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This seems like a phenomenal idea. This allows the patient to put their care into their own hands. I wish America would follow suit on this. Cultivating your own medicine and regulating your dosage allows for a sense of control usually lost on patients who use medical marijuana for legitimate purposes.
Published July 22, 2014
A German court ruled on Tuesday that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis “for therapeutic purposes”.
Five people suffering from chronic pain brought the complaint to a court in Cologne after Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) refused them permission to grow the plant at home.
The court said the BfArM had to reconsider three of the requests that it had rejected.
While the plaintiffs all had permits to buy and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes, they wanted to cultivate their own because they could not afford to purchase the drug and their health insurance did not cover it.
I am glad that finally someone has discovered the sense to act on this. Illinois has now legalized medical marijuana for children with seizures. I thought that this would have take much longer to come to fruition – it has been hard enough to legalize MMJ for adult use! I am interested to see where this goes. I am just glad that children are now getting the relief they need.
Posted: 07/20/2014 5:29 pm EDT Updated: 07/20/2014 5:59 pm EDT
July 20 (Reuters) – Illinois children and adults with epilepsy will soon be allowed to use marijuana to ease their symptoms under a law signed on Sunday by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, the latest in a series of measures loosening restrictions on cannabis by U.S. states.
The move to add epilepsy and other seizure disorders to the list of conditions legal to treat with marijuana or its extracts comes as numerous states have made medical use of the drug legal. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized its recreational use.
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How to Talk About Pain - Courtesy of http://www.nytimes.com/
By JOANNA BOURKEJULY 12, 2014
LONDON — IN 1926, Virginia Woolf published an essay on pain, “On Being Ill.” Isn’t it extraordinary, she observed, that pain does not rank with “love, battle and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature. She lamented the “poverty of the language of pain.” Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”
Where are the novels or epic poems devoted to typhoid, pneumonia or toothaches, Woolf wondered? Instead, the person in pain is forced to “coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning), so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.”
The difficulty in talking about painful sensations forces people to draw on metaphors, analogies and metonymies when attempting to communicate their suffering to others. Woolf — writing nearly a century after the popularization of ether, the first anesthetic — was perhaps too pessimistic about the creativity of sufferers. Take lower back pain, the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In the 1950s, one sufferer of back pain said that it felt like “a raging toothache — sometimes like something is moving or crawling down my legs.” Half a century later, one person confessed that “my back hurt so bad I felt like I had a large grapefruit down about the curve of the back.”
Woolf would not have been impressed perhaps by claims that backs hurt like a toothache or a grapefruit, but she was right to recognize that people in pain seek both to describe their suffering and to give meaning to it.
By Lisa EspositoJuly 15, 2014 3:25 PM
Imagine gritting it out with sharp, throbbing pain from a migraine or back injury for just a few hours. Or doing your best to concentrate at work through the ache of an abscessed tooth.
Now, imagine coping with similar pain for years — and though it goes away at times, it’s never for long. Sadly, that’s the reality for millions of Americans. Chronic pain can take over a person’s life, but it doesn’t have to. Still, there’s no magic pill. Learning to manage pain is a process you go through and a decision you make.
Pain’s Wide Reach
Pain is invisible — others can’t see it or touch it. There isn’t a blood test that measures pain, or an X-ray that confirms its existence. It can be hard for people to get their pain taken seriously. But pain is a big problem. About 100 million U.S. adults are affected by chronic pain, and it costs up to $635 billion yearly in medical care and lost productivity, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report.
Backaches and headaches (especially migraines) are the most common pain culprits, but there are many others. Arthritis, injuries, pain from cancer or heart disease, genetic conditions like sickle cell disease, and surgical complications like severed nerves — any of these can result in pain that becomes a continual presence.
Here to Stay
For Penney Cowan, founder of the American Chronic Pain Association, the journey with pain began nearly 40 years ago. Fibromyalgia was the reason, but it took six years for doctors to properly diagnose it. Even today, the cause of fibromylagia is still unclear, but common symptoms include widespread muscle pain, fatigue and sleep problems. In Cowan’s case, pain affected nearly her entire body and worsened to the point that her quality of life was “down the tubes,” she says. “I couldn’t even hold a cup of coffee; it was too painful.” It became so bad, she says, that it consumed every waking thought and moment.
When does pain cross the line from temporary setback to lifelong condition? “If the pain’s been around for five years, the chances of having zero pain are probably pretty small,” says Robin Hamill-Ruth, an anesthesiologist, pain management specialist and president of the American Board of Pain Medicine. At that point, she says, pain management becomes the goal: “How do you get the pain to a level that it doesn’t control [patients'] lives — they control it?”
There are big differences among the states in the rates at which opioid painkillers are prescribed — differences that can’t be attributed to disparate rates of illness or injury. Unfortunately, in places where prescribing rates are high, so are death rates from overdoses.
Opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin may well be overprescribed in virtually every state, but they are egregiously overprescribed in several Southern states, led by Alabama and Tennessee. Doctors in Alabama, the highest-prescribing state, wrote three times as many prescriptions per person for opioid painkillers in 2012 as doctors in Hawaii, the lowest-prescribing state, and federal officials think even Hawaii’s rate is too high.
There is a lot that states can do to stop careless — or drug-dealing — doctors from driving the opioid crisis. In a report this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credited Florida with achieving the first substantial decline in prescription drug overdose deaths in the past decade. That death rate dropped by 23 percent from 2010 to 2012, and the death rate for oxycodone, one of the most widely abused drugs, dropped by more than half over the same period.
Nationally, Florida had been home to 98 of the 100 doctors dispensing the highest amounts of oxycodone directly from their offices. Now, none of Florida’s doctors are among the top 100. It accomplished this by cracking down on so-called pill mills, forcing 250 pain clinics to close, requiring pain clinics to register with the state, prohibiting doctors from dispensing opioids from their offices, and monitoring what narcotics were dispensed.
No other state is dealing with the same level of overprescribing that Florida has now managed to reduce. Each state is apt to face a different constellation of drug problems and questionable medical practices. But the lesson from Florida is that a multipronged approach and the will to crack down can save a lot of lives.