Study: Frequent Cannabis Use Not Leading To Increased Need Of Health Care Services
A wise man once said that there are three things that cannot long be hidden. The sun, the moon and the truth. For nearly a century marijuana has been demonized by the powers that be. Carefully crafted tales of the dangers of marijuana led to its being classified along with the likes of genuinely harmful substances. Despite the social and political stigmas that have surrounded marijuana in regards to health, new studies are putting to bed age old mythologies that have attempted to keep cannabis in the shadows.
As cannabis gains acceptance socially and among the medical community, one has to ask if any of the past associations hold true and are there any medical dangers associated with cannabis use. Do cannabis users have more of a need for medical services than everyone else? If the old stories presented in propaganda films like Refer Madness held true, we would undoubtedly be able to tell by examining medical records. Well a group of researchers in the United States did just that. After assessing the medical data of over 174 million adult patients, they found that there is not only no increased need for medical services by cannabis users, but that there is no connection whatsoever between cannabis consumption and utilization of health care services.
One of the biggest myths surrounding marijuana and health is that it is a gateway drug to harder more harmful substances. This has been debunked time and time again. This is nothing more than a scare tactic designed to link marijuana with drugs like crack and heroin which undoubtedly result in increased medical services and health care costs. Many of the national organizations that led the war on drugs would like people to think that marijuana has more carcinogens than a cigarette. Groups like the American Lung Association have claimed that since pot smokers hold their smoke in longer than cigarette smokers do, that it is more dangerous. Despite these claims, no study has been able to uncover any link between smoking cannabis and lung cancer.
Another myth surrounding cannabis is that it is addictive. If you buy into the official statistics, marijuana consumption leads to an increase in dependency treatment, thereby increasing utilization of health care services. Being court ordered to treatment after being busted with a joint should not constitute an increase in health care costs. The anti-cannabis lobby skews statistics and releases disinformation in an attempt to deter cannabis legalisation. They will go as far as to say that cannabis causes emotional problems, increased chances of psychosis as well as the potential for mood disorders such as bipolar and anxiety. None of these claims have proven to be true.
Several studies have been conducted in recent years on cannabis consumption and whether or not the consumption led to an increase in hospital visits or medical care. The more recent study was conducted by a group of researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in the US. They polled a sample representative of 174,159,864 adults. The results may be shocking to some who exist outside of cannabis culture. They found that people who consume cannabis, even multiple times a day, show no greater tendency to seek medical care than those who don't consume at all. To those who have turned to cannabis for relief, the results should come as no surprise.
Another group conducted a study within a single community sampling of 589 patients. Out of those 589 patients, the vast majority were cannabis consumers at some level. The study found that the frequency of use among patients varied over such a great range that there could be no connection between the amount of cannabis consumed and the need for health care services. Many of us have known for a very long time that cannabis is one of the most harmless substances on the planet. It is a relief to start to see scientific data backing up these long held beliefs.
The reality is that cannabis is having a dramatic impact on the world's health already. In the United States, it has been fond that states that have legal medicinal marijuana have dramatically less deaths due to prescription drug overdoses. Since the legalization of medical marijuana in several American states, not only have prescription related deaths gone down, but overall consumption of pharmaceutical drugs has fallen steeply. You can see why this would cause a little unrest at the corporate offices of big pharma. On average, in legal marijuana states, doctors prescribed an average of 1,826 less doses of pain killers each year. The long term implications of a society that consumes less medications opting for a natural alternative are devastating to the current medical industrial complex.
The American Medicare system saved over $162 million in spending from just 17 medical marijuana states. The estimated savings if the entire US was medicinally legal would have been over $468 million. The impact of medicinal marijuana is a freeing up of cash from already overburdened health care systems, which in turn would result in more services being available for those who really need it.
Aside from the financial worries of the pharmaceutical industry, cannabis is showing effectiveness in medical applications on a scale that no stoner ever could have dreamed. Besides the already known applications for epilepsy, nausea and pain, medical researchers are finding that cannabis can help destroy cancer cells as well as treat a number of life threatening ailments. Every time cannabis is turned to for medicinal relief, that is one less person who is absorbing the resources of the health care system.
Unfortunately the benefits of cannabis have long been kept under wraps by those who have had a vested interest in its demise. The politics of cannabis are what led to the onslaught of misinformation that the world has been subjected to for decades. The propaganda that surrounded the war on drugs spilled over into the medical and research communities who for many years propagated falsehoods about marijuana and the effects it will have on your health and well being. The truth of the matter is that marijuana is one of the more beneficial plants the earth has provided for us and the research is in. In fact, it may be the only thing better than an apple a day...
Written by: Guest Writer
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