It takes courage to defy unjust laws, so I tip my baseball cap to those who do what they know is right, what they know is decent, what they know they need, whatever unthinking, unfeeling, uncaring Uncle Sam has to say about it.
Clinical findings in the latest issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes show there are a lot of these brave folks about: Approximately one-fourth of patients suffering from HIV smoked pot within the past month to relieve their symptoms.
As the National Organization for the Repeal of Marijuana Laws reports:
Twenty-three percent of the 252 participants in the study responded that they had smoked medicinal marijuana within the previous month. “Reported benefits included relief from anxiety and/or depression (57%), improved appetite (53%), increased pleasure (33%), and relief of pain (28%),” authors stated.
A similar survey conducted in Canada and presented last November at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network research conference concluded that 29 percent of HIV-positive Ontarians used marijuana therapeutically.
Presently, clinical trials examining the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in HIV patient populations are ongoing at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.
According to a recently published study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, use of inhaled marijuana demonstrates “no major, short-term harmful effects and possibly some beneficial effects … in
HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors.”
Check out abstracts of the study, “Patterns of Marijuana Use Among Patients With HIV/AIDS Followed in a Public Health Care Setting” — it is worth a read.