Could medical cannabis be right
for you or a loved one?
Modern medicine is a recent invention, but medical cannabis has been around since ancient times. In the Resources list at the bottom of this page, you’ll find links to sites that can place medical cannabis into historical perspective. Meanwhile, medical cannabis is now legal in 29 states, and the list keeps growing.
According to the Washington Legislature, there is medical evidence that some patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions can benefit from the medical use of marijuana for conditions including, but not limited to:
- Nausea, vomiting, and cachexia associated with cancer, HIV-positive status, AIDS, hepatitis C, anorexia, and their treatments;
- Severe muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other seizure and spasticity disorders; and
- Some forms of intractable pain.
The Washington Department of Health has expanded on this:
“Under Section 16 of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, the legislature finds that there is medical evidence that some patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions may, under their healthcare practitioner's care, benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
Terminal or debilitating medical condition means a condition severe enough to significantly interfere with the patient's activities of daily living and ability to function, which can be objectively assessed and evaluated and limited to the following:
- Cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or spasticity disorders.
- Intractable pain, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications.
- Glaucoma, either acute or chronic, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications.
- Crohn's disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
- Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
- Diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
- Chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Traumatic brain injury.
You may find the following links useful to research the history and uses of medical cannabis.
The history of medical cannabis
The website ProCon.org has published an interesting history of cannabis for medical use dating back to 2900 BC, many centuries before the advent of modern medicine.
Wikipedia offers another historical overview with many links for expanded research:
Take a look at Medicalcannabis.com
Medical cannabis generally
The Mayo Clinic
Washington laws and regulations
For the complete text of Washington State’s medical cannabis statutes, see: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A
Companion information is published by the Washington State Department of Health, covering a broad range of topics: