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My visit with the Rheumatologist

By Hemp | February 2, 2002

more by Lee Morrison


Last week, I visited my Rheumatologist for the first time in three years.
He has treated me for over seven years for atypical connective tissue
disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. Three years ago, I was in chronic
pain, was 40 lbs heavier and my mobility was greatly impaired.
Living with severe pain had exaggerated a hereditary depression. I’ve been
pleased at the tremendous benefits that smoking cannabis regularly has had
on my life and felt sure that he would feel the same. My family doctor had
agreed to sign “Personal Licence to possess and grow” which is supposed to
award protection from prosecution. This was formerly known as the
Exemption 56. I felt the same confidence that the specialist would also
recognize the amazing healing qualities of this herb.

I went armed with The Medical Marijuana Handbook and new research from
the Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy. A doctoral student, Susanna
Tchilibon had successfully isolated an acid derived from cannabidol (CBD).
This was proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and has been given
the code name HU-320. It had been found to be comparable to indomethacin
without the common side effects of serious gastrointestinal damage.

The shock to me came when I realized how “close-minded” he was. His
reaction was one of indignation at the mere suggestion that cannabis
could actually be used as an alternative to prescription drugs. Upon
presentation of the evidence at hand he disregarded and refused to even
read it.

His lecture then began as he spilled out the propaganda of years of
misinformation. His first point was the addictive potential of marijuana.
I quickly rebutted that cannabis had been unequivocally proven to be not
physically addictive. I will recognize that it could be psychologically
addictive. But so are video games, T.V. and food. I have already proven
myself to be a non-addictive personality. His second point was even more
ridiculous. Since cannabis was a powerful pain killer, that I would have
a greater potential for self-injury. I countered with the facts that my
disorder is routinely treated with codeine, Demerol and a variety of
other narcotics and anti-inflammatory.

The end result was that I left the Rheumatologist with a prescription
for 5 more pills to add to my daily intake. The next day I called my
General Practitioner for another referral for a second opinion. I want a
doctor who is more open-minded. I realize that I will probably always
require a certain amount of pharmaceuticals to help control my conditions.
I’m glad they’re there. But the medical profession needs to embrace some
of the natural remedies that God provided for us.

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