The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sometimes I laugh; sometimes I cry. advertises on NPR, specifically mentioning "medical marijuana." I therefore appraise the recommendation I am about to make in the light that ProCon probably holds much the same view as I do about the fact that at least 90 of South Dakota's 105 legislators refuse to make a painless change in law that would allow people to use cannabis for medical conditions without worrying about going to jail for trying to feel better.

I have a friend with Crohn's Disease. I entered the search term "crohn's cannabis," and the first selection on Google is this link. I quote from the pro-con citings:
O'Shaughnessy's, a scientific journal, published a study in its Autumn 2005 issue titled "Cannabis Alleviates Symptoms of Crohn's Disease," by Jeff Hergenrather, MD, that found: 
"[Crohn's] patients described marked improvements with the use of cannabis.

Beneficial effects were reported for appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, activity, and depression. Patients also reported that cannabis use resulted in weight gain, fewer stools per day and fewer flare-ups of less severity...

Cannabis-using Crohn's patients not only report significant relief of their symptoms, they are also able to reduce the amount of immunosuppressive medications that have been a mainstay of conventional treatment...

Crohn's disease is so debilitating and life-threatening and so difficult to manage with conventional medications it is very encouraging to find that cannabis is proving to be an effective treatment for it right now."
Autumn 2005 - O'Shaughnessy's
Karen Wright, PhD, Research Fellow in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath, told NewScientist on Aug. 1, 2005: 
"We are not advocating cannabis use, particularly as smoking tobacco exacerbates Crohn's disease and many smokers of cannabis use tobacco as well."
Wright told the BBC one day earlier, July 31, 2005: 
"The psychoactive effects and the legal implications associated with herbal cannabis use make it unsuitable as a treatment [for Crohn's disease]."
Aug. 1, 2005; July 31, 2005 - Karen Wright, PhD
These are just the first of several thrusts-and-parries listed within the topic. There are about a half-dozen more we-say/they-say exchanges.

Balance. Fair and balanced coverage. How can one maintain a semblance of balance when the two sides are not using the same system of weight measurement?


larry kurtz said...

"Beau Kilmer, a Rand Corp. researcher who has studied the potential economic effects of marijuana legalization, writes that if farmers nationwide were able to farm pot outdoors and in greenhouses, “a ‘joint’ might cost pennies rather than dollars.”" Business Week

Norm said...

I think Larry, that might be true unless one factors in taxes and the inevitable bureaucracies costs that would be involved, bringing the price back into the dollars.