Last year, I was at a dinner with a group of school parent friends and I started talking about medicinal cannabis and how excited I was about it being legalized in Florida because it could do wonders for my dad’s Parkinson’s disease and young cousin’s MS. As I was met with looks of disgust and disdain, my face turned 50 shades of red. While I finished my story about how I wanted to learn more, possibly look into a cannabis business, etc., I was simultaneously working out an exit plan in my head. Totally humiliated, I quietly said my goodbyes and exited the restaurant.
While not totally surprised by their reaction given the stigma of “pot” in general, and given the normal reaction to my “storytelling”… i.e., verbal diarrhea involving me sharing my wealth of knowledge on any subject to any human at any time, anywhere... which may be a little too much for some, but still, these were my school parent friends. However, after having some time to reflect, I realized the reaction I elicited was the stereo-typical, simple-mindedness reaction that so many people across the world share. Most people still associate cannabis to pot-smoking in the back alley and most I’ve encountered are not out of the “cannabis closet” or willing to speak publicly about it because they are simply not educated on the subject of cannabis for medical use. So let me try to help...
Newsflash People: Since Florida has recently legalized cannabis for medicinal use, this will now be dinner table conversation and not the taboo topic it was just year ago.
FACT: Florida has a new form of medical treatment: legal medicinal cannabis.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR IT: Qualifying conditions: Cancer; Epilepsy; Glaucoma; HIV; AIDS; PTSD; ALS; Crohn’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Multiple sclerosis (MS); medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those above; a terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification; and chronic nonmalignant pain caused by and/or that originates from and/or persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.
HOW TO GET IT: In order to obtain this treatment, one has to qualify, obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry ID card and visit a qualified ordering physician. According to the Office of Medical Marijuana, the prescribing physician, in accordance with the constitution and statute(s), must diagnose and determine whether medical marijuana is an effective treatment for his/her patient.
Although first used over 10,000 years ago, medicinal cannabis just recently passed the hurdles of the Florida legal system and is now available for medicinal use. The treatment is so new, however, that most doctors and caregivers in the State of Florida are not yet registered to prescribe it. That being said, in less than a year of legalization, the demand for medicinal cannabis in Florida has already far exceeded expectations.
Cannabis doesn’t have to be a taboo topic. Do the research. Educate yourself. Attend an educational conference or webinar. Start the conversation. You’ll learn that cannabis helps control seizures in children with epilepsy, decreases tremors in Parkinson’s patients, limits PTSD symptoms, manages pain in cancer patients and helps with so many other debilitating diseases for both children and adults.
Stop judging. Start learning.
For more info or links to ways medicinal cannabis can help you or a loved one, visit http://www.emeraldcoastkids.org/special-needs or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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