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By Hempology | July 6, 2004

Dr.Ethan Russo, Melanie Dreher, & Mary Lynn Mathre

Pg. 118 The possibility of a “drug free society” is unrealistic. People seek and use drugs to feel better. Medications/drugs are not risk free, but the risks can be minimized only with accurate and readily available information on the harmful effects prior to their use. Compared to most medications available today, cannabis is remarkably safe and effective and therefore should be available as an initial option to patients. As a social/recreational drug, the effects of cannabis are pleasant for many with little personal or societal risks and therefore may be a safer choice compared to other social/recreational drugs used by adults. While concern is justified about the dangers involving children and teenagers using drugs, the lies and cruelty of the marijuana prohibition are confusing to young people who learn not to trust their government. The harm resulting from the prohibition of cannabis costs individuals and our society as a whole much more than the drug itself.
When viewed from a nursing perspective, cannabis can be a useful therapeutic agent if it were legally available. Cannabis could be a useful harm reduction agent for substance abuse if it were regulated. The greatest harm from cannabis is the threat of legal consequences related to its illegal status. Nurses and other health care providers can play a vital role in reducing the harmful effects of medication/drug use. Health care professionals can teach patients and the public how to minimize the potentially harmful effects of cannabis when it is used as a medicine or social/recreational drug, but as long as cannabis remains in schedule 1, health care providers will be reluctant to talk with their patients about this drug. The role of the healthcare provider is severely compromised by cannabis prohibition and society suffers from this unjust, cruel, and costly policy. Published by Haworth Press, 2002

Topics: CD-2nd, Spring 2004 | Comments Off

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