Why Medical Cannabis is Every American’s Right

02.20.2018 Arts & Culture
Christine Dionese
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Our nation needs a prescription for how we perceive and attend to mental and physical healing:

Enter cannabis…

Once a forbidden plant, emerging science suggests that cannabis seems to hold not only a more holistic healing approach, but perhaps even a miraculous gift bringing people from all walks of life together.

Should suffering epileptic infants and children be denied medical cannabis while practitioners try one failed drug after another? Should cancer patients continue to roll the dice with inferior pharmaceutical treatments and experience sequelae as a result when instead they could optimize their quality of life with access to therapeutic cannabis medicine?

Sometimes we forget how insulated we are here in California. We have access to the very best of the best in health and wellness, and medical cannabis is not in short supply or difficult to access. We are always ahead of the trend, but outside the Golden State much of the country is still deluded by pharmaceutical-driven propaganda surrounding the health and wellness industry — and rights to plant marijuana medicines are often denied or poorly understood.


In my private practice, I’ve always worked my ass off to advocate for rights to services and evidence-based healing natural medicines that cause no harm and actually heal. My opinions on recreational cannabis use pale in comparison to my continued advocacy focused on improving the integrity of cannabis research in this country and worldwide.

So, let’s say cannabis isn’t your thing. I bet there’s some cause you feel vigilant about protecting and upholding for the greater good, right? Even if it’s not your thing, it is the thing when administered in a research-based dosage that is bringing healing and relief to millions (not just here in the States).

In an interview with Newsweek earlier this month, Raphael Mechoulam, who has been called “the father of marijuana research,” said that when he started his research, he walked into his local police precinct and asked for confiscated marijuana. Over coffee with the officers, Mechoulam explained his intended studies and walked out with five kilos of cannabis. Since the 60’s, the US government has funded much of Mechoulam’s research on cannabis’ effects on schizophrenia, anxiety, epilepsy and nausea.

Like many of us, Mechoulam thinks medical marijuana should be legalized throughout the entire US and simply be well-regulated and well-managed.

So aside from political issues, what exactly is holding up marijuana use in mainstream medical practices? Just like the countless health-conferring plant-medicines physicians should have studied and should be studying in medical school, most know little about medical marijuana and largely rely on pharmaceutical companies to “teach” them what medicines they should be using in their practices.


If you want anything to change with healthcare, you literally have to be the one to enact the change. Your healthcare providers work for you, so you have to tell them who you are, how you live your life and the type of healing you expect from your care.

Tell them what you need and want and if they’re adamant about putting you on a mainstream program that you’re not interested in, let them know there are other alternatives they can learn about, study and incorporate into their research and practice. You can even suggest they access the consensus report, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research (2017) published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.


You’ve likely heard the sentiment, “Don’t ask people for directions who aren’t heading in the same direction.” If you’re getting pushback from your care providers and it’s not in your best interest, ditch your conventional care provider and align with an integrative health specialist, naturopath or traditional Chinese medical doctor instead.


Charlotte’s Web Hemp, one of the world’s leading, evidence-based medical cannabis companies works alongside the Realm of Caring, a group of scientists and nurses who help the public gain access to research, medical cannabis in their region and personalized advice. Companies like these provide helpful and useful information. Additionally, Procon.org, the leading resource for pros and cons of controversial issues can keep you up-to-date as cannabis laws vary state by state.

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