I did some quick research for this article and quickly came to the conclusion that the more things have changed, the more they have remained the same. The same groups that are agin’ it are still opposed, and the partisans and pro-pot crowd are still blowing smoke for it. The scientific journals have at least toned down their formerly frothing at the mouth medical mythology and junk science that they had spewed in prior decades…Such as chromosome damage, psychosis, gateway drug and all that.
Still after an admittedly cursory look into the data, the long term beneficial effects seem not to have been studied much at all.
In the Rio GrandeValley and all along the Mexican Border, Marijuana has always been prevalent. I doubt that the usage is statistically higher than anywhere else, but the price consistently doubles as one gets away from the border and crosses north past the internal custom checkpoints. Also there is a tradition of healing using “La Mota” that comes from Mexico that maybe pre-dates Cortez. Quien Sabe? That being said, as in Mexico, so along the border. There is a long tradition of healing.
I encountered two individual practitioners of herbal self healing.
A young lady was ahead of me in line at a South Texas indoor flea market for an ionic foot bath, and she was asking how she could alleviate her congenital back spasms. She was born out alignment and/or had an aggravating accident that made everything worse. Her pain was in a level beyond annoying, to somewhat debilitating. The doctors had two solutions: One was to prescribe pain pills that made her woozy and intoxicated and the others worked to make her ill with horrific side-effects. So she had her own solution: Medical Marijuana, self prescribed, but side effect free, and free of noxious toxins and also ADDICTION.
What should she do? I gave her some advice. What would you do?
Another occasion was at a spiritual and religious event, this time in a colonia in the Rio GrandeValley. I had just finished an interview with a leading scholar on the people of the Mexican-American border, and part of that interview included the healing modalities of the shamans and curanderos of Northern Mexico. They use among other things, “La Mota”, Peyote, and so called Magic Mushrooms. After the interview, A young lady wanted to talk about her own experiences in healing. She, however did not want to appear on camera, so she shall remain nameless.
Although she didn’t go into fine detail on her case, it does seem from what she said that mainstream medicine had not served her well. Perhaps they did have a good reason for destroying her liver, perhaps not. Nonetheless that is what happened. And it can happen surprising easy. Even common medications can be liver destroyers. So the doctors gave her drug induced hepatitis,
Now there are some very good pharmaceuticals that serve some very good purposes, but toxicity and side effects are legion, because, for one reason, they are synthetically made. So in cases such as this what the doctors prescribe can make things worse. So our patient turns to Marijuana, which kills the pain, relaxes her, and lets her enjoy life. Her kids do call her pothead, and like a lot of people she would like to be totally law abiding. Sometimes this can be impossible.
So there it is, two anecdotal examples of herbal healing, Be sure and send your experiences to us as well.