I was watching TV last Friday night and I caught a news story that got my attention.
It was a news piece on the benefits of using medical marijuana as an alternative treatment for adolescents with severe ADD and ADHD. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Fascinated, I watched on. A mother of a 13 year old boy with severe ADHD was talking about how medical marijuana has literally saved her son's life. After years of trying all kinds of drugs and alternative drugs to help her son, the doctor prescribed an unconventional treatment; medical marijuana. The mother reported that her son was instantly able to find his equilibrium and return to school.
While I personally feel like a little hit-off-the-peace-pipe-a-day, may keep the doctor away, I couldn't condone the regular smoking of cannabis for adolescents, as the obvious dangers of smoking anything come into play. The story went on to explain that there are alternative ways to take the pot into the body. Research says that cannabis can be baked into foods and/or made into tea and candy. And that same research is inconclusive. Longitudinal studies are being done to determine the credibility of marijuana as an effective treatment of ADD and ADHD and the findings at this time are undocumented.
Still, people like the mother of the 13 year old feel that she would rather have her son "take a hit" and find his inner balance, then give him large doses of amphetamines and Ritalin which have been unsuccessful in her son's case. Also, proponents of medical dope say there are far too many adults suffering from ADD/ADHD who swear by it. A search of the internets turned up all kinds of pro and con arguments and lots of medical professionals who are either for it, or willing to look at the research on it.
I say if it makes you feel better and works to promote a better life, then I am all for it, as unconventional as it may be. The unfortunate truth is that it's regular use can lead to a lifetime of addiction and other medical problems. But maybe just as much as prescribed narcotics can, and one can argue the "organic" aspect of using marijuana as an alternative treatment. Has society vilified an organic substance that quite possibly could be a "miracle drug" in the treatment of certain disorders? The benefits of cannabis have long been touted as an approved medical treatment in the management of pain and other chronic disorders. Why not now?
Only time will tell, but in the meantime how could we begrudge a teen for using a prescribed substance under a doctors orders, to alleviate a chronic disorder just because society says it's bad for you?