/ 
Feb. 7, 2013 11:01

Understanding Pain

If you’re human, you’ve experienced pain. Everyone does. Chances are, you might be in pain right now—which is likely the reason why you turned to God’s green plant for relief. And pain can take many forms. It can range from the soul-killing pain you undergo battling cancer, chemo and radiation treatments. There’s the excruciating, down-to-the-last-white-hot-nerve pain of a broken back or a cluster headache. There’s the profound pain and discomfort of diabetes, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms.

And there’s the crippling psychological pain of stress and anxiety. To paraphrase country music and cannabis icon Willie Nelson, stress “is the biggest killer on the planet, and the best medicine for stress is marijuana.”

So, there are all types of pain, and, thank goodness, we can use cannabis to tackle it.

Unfortunately, the fact that we experience pain and some of us opt to legally use a plant instead of an opioid to treat it doesn’t sit well with some people. Exhibit A: Arizona lawmaker John Kavanagh. The state legislator recently proposed a measure for the 2014 ballot that would rescind that state’s Medical Marijuana Act, which passed in 2010. What’s Kavanagh’s problem? Well, several things, but he’s upset over the fact that MMJ cardholders in Arizona say they use cannabis for, among other things (and those “other things” include cancer, hepatitis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease and nausea)—pain! Yes, pain. More than 30,000 patients list cannabis as their med of choice for chronic pain.

Ah-ha, Kavanagh (a former cop) must have thought, since, in his mind, “vague, ill-defined, impossible-to-disprove” pain complaints suggest abuse.

“This is what critics feared: that [Arizona’s MMJ program] would be abused by people saying they had a bad back, and that’s apparently what we’ve gotten,” he told media outlets.

So—let me follow the argument here—because lots of people decide to treat their pain with a plant instead of a pill, that’s bad and grounds for potentially shutting down an entire state’s voter-approved MMJ system?!?!?!

Kavanagh’s so wrongheaded he won’t even allow an exception for cancer patients to use cannabis if his measure was successful. Wow.

What do the “real” experts say about chronic pain? According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Such pain affects more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Pain costs our country anywhere from $560 billion to $635 billion in health care costs each year, according to 2010 data. Besides the terminal conditions, lower back pain, headaches/migraines and neck pain are the most commonly reported types of pain.

Pain is real. Your pain is your own. Only you and your doctor can make a decision about how to treat it. And if you’re lucky to live in an MMJ state, you have the right to use cannabis for the health benefits it provides—don’t let others take that choice away.

Never mind what John Kavanagh—and other wrongheaded prohibitionists—say. He’s just being a pain.

Also in Letter from the Editor

Also from Culture

Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:29
Available through Always Greenest Delivery.This Romulan ’91 nug is so frosty, it almost looks like a tiny disco ball! There are so many trichromes covering the excellent structure, it’s easy...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:46
Available at Delta-9 T.H.C. in Wilmington.Saturn is the most spectacular planet in our solar systems and of all the planetary named strains, Saturn OG is considered to rank right up there with th...
Available wherever Edipure products are carried.These peanut butter cookies by Edipure are really, really good. Maybe too good. Tasting just like the cookies you remember from childhood, there is...
Available at The Barn in Burton.Now this is something for the cannasseurs. Lemon seems to overwhelm this strain, but the piney after-notes keep it grounded. At 70/30 indica-dominant and 19.85 per...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:23
Available at Greenland Dispensary in Portland.This fruity sativa tastes sweet like a honeydew melon. Sold by Greenland Dispensary in Portland, these are some pretty skunky buds. When smoked, this...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:44
Available at Weed Care in Riverside.Pluto OG, which bears the last planet’s planetary strain name, is as amazing as the pictures from the New Horizons probe’s three-billion mile encounter wit...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:45
Available at HGH Collective in Corona.Dream Extracts’ motto, “Dabs Rule Everything Around Me,” which uses every letter in the word DREAM, is emblazoned across the top of the colorful packag...
Available at The Crown Collective in Mira Loma.As AU is the periodic chart symbol for gold, AU Gold Snow Cap Crumble can be read as Double Gold Snow Cap Crumble. Have no doubt that this legacy We...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:52
Available at So-Cal Co-Op in Woodland Hills.Named for the rap star for whom it was purportedly created, Master P could have had this potent strain in mind when writing his hit rap, “Make Em Say...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 09:59

Milo Greene will satisfy your soul with its unique sound

For the last five years, the Los Angeles quintet, Milo Greene, has dedicated itself to establishing the band as one of the hardest working acts in the indie rock world. When not diligently writing...
Aug. 5, 2015 - 03:57
Madden NFL 16 Pub. EA Sports Dev. EA Tiburon Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 Release Date: August 25 If there’s one thing that gamers can count on,...
July 1, 2015 - 03:09
F1 2015 Pub. Codemasters Dev. Codemasters Birmingham Release: July 21 Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC The F1 game franchise has been exciting gamers with authentic F1 rac...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:20
Available at The Pole in Detroit.A very tasty strain; the parents of this 80/20 indica-dominant hybrid are Blueberry and Shining Silver Haze. With a sweet blueberry taste, you’ll want to get ca...