Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Pot isn't Therapy argument

Now that Marijuana is legal in two states there is finally some actual discussion about the pros and cons of the actual drug.

There are some valid points against making marijuana legal, and there are some truly stupid ones.

One “problem” with marijuana is for a lot of mental problems it is pretty good at suppressing the symptoms. An argument against legalizing pot is people with mental problems will use it instead of targeted prescription drugs. That is 100% true, people do that now.

I know someone who is bi-polar to the extreme. It has destroyed some of her relationships. Made her lose several jobs. Has led to a bunch of personal problems.

She has a prescription for meds that do work, and make her a functional member of society. She uses marijuana to control it instead. It's not that she doesn't want to use the prescription drugs, she does. But they cost $6,000 a month and because of her bi-polar condition she can only get a job where she makes minimum wage. Marijuana costs her a little over $100 a month and makes her functional.

There are a whole host of mental problems that marijuana can barely control. The sufferers of these would be better off with prescription meds, if they could afford them. But oddly enough it is tough for people with mental problems to get jobs with good health insurance. As well most health insurance plans don't really cover mental health problems, before Obamacare insurance companies could say, “We don't cover Behavioral Health Conditions, and if the mental health condition wasn't behavioral but an actual physical imbalance it must be pre-existing.”

Obamacare will help a lot with this, but the major insurance companies have spent decades figuring out ways to drop the mentally ill from coverage. Over the next decade it will be a struggle to add each individual disorder into insurance plans.

As far people using marijuana to self treat mental disorders that should be treated with prescription meds, it's going to happen. The answer isn't to criminalize these people, the answer is to make the prescription meds available to them.

Lots of people with mental health disorders use marijuana as a coping mechanism, it makes the disorder manageable. Manageable and cured are not the same thing. But manageable is a hell of a lot better than being totally out of control.

So to the people who argue that marijuana should be illegal so that people with mental disorders won't use it instead of prescription drugs, I say, “Shut-up Stupid. This is a false choice. Most of the people I know with mental disorders, and I know quite a few, would love to have access to the prescription meds that make them stable. But for most of them the meds are priced at more than they make working full time. If you want to stop people from self treating mental disorders with marijuana, work to get these mental disorders covered under affordable treatment plans.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE

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