Cannabis For Chronic Pain

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I appreciate that Mr. Exum shared the conversation he had with his physician about treating chronic pain. 

Many people with serious medical conditions have turned to cannabis and away from some prescription medications because cannabis gave them better relief.

At the time Illinois became the 20th state to approve a medical marijuana program, Dr. Anthony Reder, a neurologist and specialist in treating Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Chicago was interviewed. He views medical marijuana as an important tool.

“It is just one more drug we have to treat symptoms of MS and the more options I have, the better it is.  It works,” he said, speaking about patients using medical marijuana to treat symptoms such as muscle cramps and spasticity. “A lot of them get it on the streets, at some risk to them, since it's illegal.”

Due to internal processes at the Drug Enforcement Administration, we may never see cannabis removed from Schedule 1. Unless Congress acts, it may always be a federal crime to possess it. (No private firm will pay millions of dollars for a FDA approved study showing cannabis is safe and effective as a medicine since they can not patent the plant .) 

Illinois found an acceptable political solution, with one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the nation. 

Here is the list of qualifying conditions for Illinois medical marijuana patients:

Cancer, glaucoma, HIV, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, cachexia, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Arnold-Chiara malformation and syringomeylia, Spinocerbellar Ataxia, Parkinson's, Tourette's, Myoclonus, Dystonia, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Causalgia, CRPS, Neurofibromatosis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Sjogren's syndrome, Lupus, insterstitial cystitis, Myasthenia Gravis, hydrocephalus, nail-patella syndrome, residual limb pain, or any other debilitating medical condition approved by the Department of Public Health. 

An attentive reader will notice the list does not include "chronic pain" as a qualifying condition. Some lawmakers and law enforcement officials have criticized "chronic pain" as being a giant loophole for program abuse.

Perhaps one day, Tennessee will also allow patients to utilize cannabis without fear of state prosecution. 

Matthew Hine

Joe Smith Will Be Our Watchdog

I am writing as a registered Democratic voter asking that all voters, regardless of party affiliation, vote for Independent Candidate Joe Smith for District 3 Hamilton County commissioner.  The Hamilton County Commission is the local legislative branch of our county government and their duties include making policies, ordinances, appropriating funds and many other things ... (click for more)

Medical Cannabis Can Literally Save Lives

Narcotic drug overdoses have increased in our area over 40 percent in the past year, and it's time to do something about this public health crisis. Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Director Mark Gwyn said, "We had more overdose deaths in the state last year than we had traffic fatalities."  Medical cannabis is an alternative to the use of potentially dangerous narcotics ... (click for more)

Cold Case Unit Makes Arrest In Murders Of Brothers In Brainerd Almost 20 Years Ago; Detectives Say Brainerd Jeweler Rick Davis Tied To Incident

The Cold Case Unit set up by District Attorney Neal Pinkston has made an arrest in the murders of two brothers in Brainerd almost 20 years ago. The Hamilton County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 52-year old Christopher Jeffre Johnson on two counts of first-degree murder in the January 1997 deaths of Sean and Donny Goetcheus. The 25-year old Sean Goetcheus and his ... (click for more)

Gang Member, 22, Shot In The Arm On Wilcox Boulevard Early Tuesday Morning

A 22-year-old man was shot in the arm in the 1800 block of Wilcox Boulevard early Tuesday morning. Just after midnight, Chattanooga Police responded to a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, police located Jakobi Buthelezi Johnson suffering from a very minor, single gunshot wound. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital for treatment. The victim ... (click for more)

After Productive Open Week, Vols Eye Gamecocks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee football coach Butch Jones, Josh Malone, Colton Jumper, Ethan Wolf and Emmanuel Moseley spoke to reporters at a weekly press conference. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) is coming off of its bye week and next face South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium with a 7:15 p.m. ET broadcast on ESPN2. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)