Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Note on Medical Marijuana

The Great Falls Tribune reported today that a physician will begin surveying medical marijuana users in Montana. Dr. K. Allan Ward, a pain specialist, is interested in finding out how people are using it and the effects on their lives.

He is interested in several questions: positive impacts, contraindications, purpose of use, and how prescribers and providers are advised (given that there is no training in medical school for prescribing or treating with this drug). The survey question I am most intrigued about is this question, "What are so many young persons, age 21-30, getting medical marijuana cards?" I am especially curious about this age group, given that Montanans were very supportive for medical use of this drug to alleviate suffering of individuals with chronic pain and terminal illness. These afflictions typically affect an aged population, so what's with all the young adults?

Dr. Ward is not the first to conduct research in this area. As reported in the same article by the AP, something interesting was discovered in California labs: that low potency marijuana has the same effect as high potency, but with less mental confusion. Based on the information that plants can be grown to effective, not destructive potency, wouldn't states' move to regulate growing specs?

At any rate, I'm as curious as Dr. Ward. His survey is confidential and he'd like to get at least 1,000 of the 8,604 registered Montana users to answer the survey. It can be found online at

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