In 2001, Canada became the first country in North America to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. The federal government sanctions marijuana farms for medical purposes. The government of B.C. for example, keeps tabs on these farms and limits the size of the crops. Citizens must have a license to legally obtain marijuana for health purposes. Some citizens grow a small crop in their homes providing they have the license to do so and the government has inspected that it is not big enough to be considered grown for commercial use.
The legal potency of this drug must be 20% and no stronger. There are various potencies of the cannabis and law accepts the “red roaster” potency.
Many people who grow these plants in the home for medicinal purposes grow hydroponics plants meaning they do not need soil or dirt to grow. These indoor plants are started from seeds, or a cut from a marijuana plant called a clone. They need food (nutrients) and light to grow. The plant will root and then flower. The whole growing process will take about four months.
These plants are usually very potent because they are use for medicine purposes. Marijuana has proven effective in regulating pain. The plants can be smoked like a cigarette, or placed in a bag, or put in various foods. For example, one licensed domestic grower in Quebec makes marijuana butter.
Cannabis was used for over 4,000 years as a pain reliever in China. It was also in wide spread use around the world until the 19th century and the invention of aspirin. The USA banned the use of Marijuana for pain relief in 1937.
The California Medicinal Marijuana Law, 1996, allows for medicinal use of marijuana for such illnesses as HIV/Aids, chronic pain, cancer, and mood disorders. The State leaves the actual regulation of growing the drug with each respect county.
Doctor Don Abrams is a cancer specialist operating at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion in San Francisco. He uses marijuana as a treatment for his cancer and HIV/Aids patients. His clients gain back their appetite, and report that they are no longer experiencing nausea and vomiting.
Studies have also been conducted showing the reduction of pain experienced by individuals afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of Jerusalem's Hebrew Universityis a leader in the research of cannabis for medicinal purposes. He recommends that marijuana be prescribed just as freely as any other drug. He states that the THC chemical in Cannabis could help the brain forget unwanted memories so vital for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The endocannabinoid system (marijuana receptors in the brain) may also help regulate other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s. Researchers at the Hadassah University Hospital also found that cannabinoid plants slowed down the onset of diabetes in genetically predisposed mice.
Many centers in Oakland California gave out Marijuana to their clients. The State of California has marijuana dispensaries everywhere you look. The city of Oakland just levied a tax of the sale of marijuana at the dispensaries.
Richard Lee owns a marijuana dispensary and has started a cooking school for marijuana, which he calls Oaksterdam. The curriculum of the school includes political and historical information, botany, and differentiation of the male and female plants.
However, even though it is legal at the California State level, the use of Marijuana as medication is not legal at the federal level and many clinics have been forced to shut down. The Federal Law to ban Marijuana use as a medicinal drug not only aims to shut down the California marijuana clinics, which has legalized dispensaries to sell the drug, but slows down the use in the other states which have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. These states are: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregan, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.