How Far We’ve Come

Posted on Posted in Actions for Change, Treatments

In December of 2014 Congress passed a bill that prohibits Federal agents from raiding and shutting down state legalized medical marijuana dispensaries.

It makes me think of just how far we’ve come.

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I remember in November 2010, Oregon Ballet Measure 74 tried to legalize medical marijuana, but didn’t pass. In a few years, Oregon not only has legalized medical uses of marijuana, but last year in 2014 legalized recreational use as well.

Today there are 32 states and the District of Columbia where pot or its ingredients used to treat aliments is legal for patients to use. In the 1990’s there were hardly any.

I currently choose not to use marijuana at all, but I have used it in the past to treat my Crohn’s disease and found it be surprisingly effective.

Even though I don’t use it, I’m glad it’s becoming more accessible. That’s one of the problems I hoped to see change when I began working on the documentary in 2010. Some alternative treatments are not approved for use in treating IBDs or are simply hard to access.

When we have a pharmaceutical industry that artificially increases prices of approved treatments, or manipulates study data to make their drugs look more effective than they really are, it’s important for all treatment options to be made available for patients.

Even when there are approved pharmaceuticals that are inexpensive and work to bring relief from symptoms, patients have a right to choose other treatments they personally feel more comfortable with.

There’s still a lot more progress to be made. Today too many employees can be fired for using medical marijuana to treat their IBD. That treatment option needs to be accepted just as much as a pharmaceutical treatment.

Fecal transplants for IBD are not covered by insurance or allowed to be done by medical doctors except in cases of c.diff.

Helminthic therapy is another alternative that is hard to access due to FDA regulations.

We’ve come a long way and I’m very thankful for the gains made. I’m also excited to continue seeing change and more alternative treatments become easier to access in the near future.

Are there any alternative treatments you wish were more accessible? Let us know in the comments.