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The Medical Marijuana Myth

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2022 9:23 am

The Medical Marijuana Myth

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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July 5, 2022 9:23 am

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs welcomes back Luke Niforatos to discuss his recent article in NC Family’s Family North Carolina magazine, entitled “The Medical Marijuana Myth,” and particularly how it relates to the recent push to legalize “medical” marijuana in North Carolina.

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Policy matters and engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fold better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our house to family policy matters. Tracy Devitt brings thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters tends to legalize marijuana use in North Carolina are making historic gains this year as a bill, SB 711 and Nokia Wesley entitled MC compassionate care act is already been approved by the state Senate and now awaits consideration in the statehouse. This would mark North Carolina's entrance into the marijuana industry, albeit under the guise of medical use. Despite its name, the legalization of marijuana has been proven to be far from compassionate in other states. When the totality of its impact is considered here to help us get beyond the rhetoric is Luke Nick Parada's Executive Vice President at smart approaches to marijuana, an organization dedicated to a health first approach to marijuana policy is article the medical marijuana myth is available in our most recent edition of the family North Carolina magazine Luke Nick Parada's welcome to family policy matters. Thank you so much for having me on a real pleasure right so you been known to say that the debate surrounding marijuana as medicine is riddled with half-truths, anecdotes and empty promises wise that it really is. So I think you know a lot of will hear the word medical marijuana and yield you what you said. It sounded innocuous to the public something we can do to help people who maybe have tried other medications but haven't worked and maybe marijuana will work for them. So I think a lot of people come to this with with really good intentions. However, we have to look at defiance right and so you know all the research that is out there to help out that your marijuana is addictive.

It's got great consequences for mental health get into later. But there a lot of psychically established harms with using marijuana and as it relates to the medical benefit. What were seeing is states like North Carolina are choosing to vote on marijuana as medicine and we don't vote on ibuprofen of medicine will vote on a Tylenol.

We have if that was across the country for medicine because the FDA clinical trial, nonpartisan know no conflict of interest. Scientific body reviewed our medicine to make sure that they're safe and efficacious, and so you know what people don't realize this but the FDA has actually already approved several marijuana based medications that you can legally get prescriptions for from your doctor today like Marinol, which is pure THC and Apple dialects, which is pure CBD.

We hear about a lot and that the safe way to get your medicine but when you talk about voting on your medicine and calling it yell medical marijuana.

A lot of people don't realize that it just marijuana. What you call it medical or recreational.

These doors are for-profit companies that are selling weed that you smoke and just click on your medicine there's no dosage. There's no prescription so I think you what were hearing it anecdotes you will hear that they marijuana worked well for them and you know maybe it did work for them.

But the issue is that this is not being treated like a medicine. It's not regulated it's not overseen by the FDA.

So those are concerns we have to look at when we talk about medicine. Do we really want to let an industry sell. We the people can just smoke and use which is really not how medicine works for do we want to follow the scientific process which is really worked out well for our country over the last hundred years. Our lawmakers don't know a thing about how to approve medicine nor should they need to focus on policy and representing their constituents and they need to leave scientific decisions to the client and is really the medicine that's really important.

I and you I think it's really interesting you look at North Carolina's law that there during compassionate care act. It has a wide array of different "qualifying conditions that would qualify you to receive medical marijuana.

Now what we know from the sciences that marijuana based medications can help with very rare forms of seizures and they can help late stage cancer patients, possibly with their appetite or nausea. Those are the two most well documented instances of benefit for marijuana based medication.

If this bill truly was trying to follow what medicine should be. You would think it would address only those two conditions possibly without some sort of basis in science. But the bill is far broader than that for folks with Crohn's disease, and folks with with other forms of illness that there is no scientific literature that supports them using marijuana in any way shape or form course North Carolina has a large military population and PTSD is one of the conditions that people talk about marijuana being helpful for talk a little bit about that isn't efficient for treating PTSD in your knowledge. That is the inclusion that really upsets me the most because you see all these anecdotes of your let's take care of our veterans and let's give them medical marijuana so so they don't use opioids and that method sounds very good but unfortunately the literature working out there actually indicate marijuana may make PTSD worse, not better on there was a massive review of over 500 studies done on marijuana and PTSD. Just last year, and the summary of almost 500 studies found that not only does it not help PTSD using marijuana worsens that gives them more suicidal thoughts more issues that with depression. It actually hurts our veterans so that's one of those conditions that really does make you scratch your head and wonder why and unfortunately it's because you know again coming back to this point we don't vote on our medicine and so when you are doing medicine through a political process. Our lawmakers here from an lawmakers North Carolina here anecdotes you know in testimonies about although I use marijuana that works great for me and they have to take that into account. That is just not how we do medicine. It it it be if we did medicine that way. Then we would have the person who is an alcoholic who says like drink whiskey every day and help me with my depression which we all know actually make that worse, but that that person anecdotes we would have alcohol is as medicine this country we would have other horrific substances of medicine in this country.

So the reason why we do that in you what we follow scientific processes because it's objective.

We look at facts and data, we say is this medicine actually helping people or is it hurting people and so you would PTSD. We need to be very clear. The literature does not show a benefit for using marijuana and ended with PTSD, listening to family policy matters weekly radio show and podcast of the North Carolina family policy Council. This is just one of the many ways in seizing and educating citizens across Mr. a lot of about policy issues that impact families. Our vision is to create a state a nation where God is on religious freedom sources, families and life's cherished more information about his family and how you can help us to achieve this incredible vision for our state and nation. Visit our website and see family.org units in see family.org and be sure to sign up to receive our email updates, action alerts, and of course reflexive publication family North Carolina magazine. We also look for you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram don't work, so don't say I mean we see this in so many instances where people are pushing issues where they'll choose this anecdote that really wrenches your heart, but but it is you just said the science doesn't support so talk a little bit about that talk about the science. The research and the data about the use of marijuana for other medicinal purposes, but we have to be very clear.

The push to legalize medical marijuana is not about medicine it's about profit, but an industry and so you know again when you legalize medical marijuana.

It's not your physician prescribing you anything they can't. It's not FDA approved. So you get a card that says it's okay for you to go to a for-profit pot shop but selling your high potency marijuana products like gummy bears, candies, ice cream, these things that is super high potency.

I was for those you don't know marijuana 10 years ago was to the 3% potency now with this industry, medical or recreational sport the same with art of up to 99% potency products okay so it's a totally different drug.

It's much more potent on and with much more addictive and so you saw what happened with addictive medicines with the opioid crisis which continues to mount killing over 100,000 Americans a year. It's devastating. And that was a highly regulated industry to pull that off. The pharmaceutical industry. So marijuana is not even close to the level of regulation is Pharma companies and yet they are also selling an addictive substance, albeit a different substance from opioids, but it certainly is much more addictive and the harms are really on mental health site. So what the literature tells us is that you not mention the two studies that show some benefit of marijuana based medications which features and end cancer and nausea related cancer, but outside of that we are not seeing an indication the medical benefits for this drug. Now that is not to say that if someone is in the late stages of cancer and they want you to try your marijuana or whatever else I think we can have compassionate laws that maybe respect these one-off note to off situations with them is really saying you know what I'm in the late stages of a terminal illness and I'd like to try any medication what marijuana or anything else that you I'd like to try something else.

I think we can have compassion on those folks with very limited approaches. The thing looked they can try this versus what you're talking about North Carolina where you are blanket legalizing an industry to sell what's called medical marijuana.

That's a much bigger policy decision with with broader consequences. So there are ways to have compassion without setting up an entire apparatus to sell and distribute and promote a drunk and so I think that the key distinction to make their you mentioned the harms that are being seen on the mental health side and it's interesting because there are several states that have legalized marijuana so we can see what has happened and learn from their experiences. Talk a little bit about what we are seeing in those other states absolutely filled with medical marijuana and recreational again.

I can't emphasize enough the same drug at the same weed people are smoking it or calling it a dramatic order calling it recreational. It's an issue of semantics, not substance. So when people are using the high potency marijuana that were talking about what we are figured if you are a regular user of this high potency marijuana. You are five times more likely to develop schizophrenia or psychosis. This is extremely important to talk about.

Especially now were receiving rising rates of violent crime and property crime and faith like mine dump in Colorado for state to legalize marijuana. We seen 40% increase in violent crime, 23% increase in property crime over the last decade since we legalize marijuana with the California similar circumstance there, look at anything but legalize marijuana and they are seeing soaring rates of property in violent crime now not to say we have a causal link established yet been legalize marijuana, not because it can't say that yet but what we can do is look at the data that out there and it's not encouraging right now we need to learn more about what these links are but when you look at this now really becoming an established link between marijuana use and psychosis, marijuana use and schizophrenia is not surprising that worsening folks turned violent because those ailments those mental illnesses are very highly associated with violence. So those are things we really need to look into more especially the number state legalize this letter, recreational or or medical purposes, and I think were also seeing is the addiction rates on that's another concern one decade ago, one in 10 people who use marijuana last year with develop an addiction to it. That's according to our national Institute on drug abuse. Our federal government's top research institution in in looking into drugs now 10 years later after state to legalize this after potency has skyrocketed one in three people who use marijuana in the last year will develop a cannabis use disorder so addiction rates are skyrocketing and that's another thing we should be very concerned about. We look at legalizing clinical medical marijuana.

We are about out of time so we talked a little bit about your organization. Smart approaches to marijuana. Absolutely yet, we would love to connect with you and be a resource.

Our website is learn about Sam.org we are led by science advisory board of people from Harvard, Princeton jail who are doing the research on marijuana every day to guide all of our work on all the studies I talked about on this podcast. They actually are available to you on our website again learn about them.org we are of you. We see ourselves in the middle road approach to this were not looking to throw patients in prison. We we have compassion to but were worried about is legalizing a drug and building an industry around it because when you do that it be potency increases the promotion, the production and the commercialization become serious health concern.

So that's where the concern is about and would love to be a resource to your communities and we want to remind listeners that you can sign Luke's recent article that he wrote for our latest family North Carolina magazine called the medical marijuana mess either hard copy of the magazine or on our website@ncfamily.org and also on a website can find ways to contact your local North Carolina lawmakers if you want to speak out about this issue live sniff around us.

Thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters. You been listening to family policy matters. We hope you enjoyed the program and plenitude in again next week to listen to the show online insulin more about NC families work to inform, encourage and inspire families across both are Lotta good or website it NC family.award that's NC family.org. Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family


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