Holistic Health
Holistic health: A BOOK REVIEW
by: Donna Kraft- Smith, LMT
PRESCRIPTION POT: A Leading Advocate's Heroic Battle to Legalize Medical Marijuana
George McMahon & Christopher Largen

So, I bet the title of this book got your attention!

A few months ago I received a request from "New Horizon Press", Publishing Co. asking if I'd consider writing a book review on the above title mentioned. I replied that I needed to see the text before I'd consider it. Within a week I was sent a copy.

I was very skeptical. I assumed the book would not be well written, and the authors would probably be radical, recreational potheads. I also felt that many people, as well as myself, knew a reasonable amount of info on this topic. It's been a known fact for sometime that the federal government has allowed some patients with doctors’ prescriptions to legally smoke. I was also uncomfortable about writing on a topic that is so controversial. I was surprised to end up being very educated on the subject by two reasonably well written and very informed authors. I was also emotionally moved. As you can see I decided to write the book review.

As someone who is interested in the nutritional and healing aspects of plants, I've known that marijuana (Cannibas) has also been noted to have medicinal properties. It has been used for healing, as well as material for clothes, rope etc, in our culture since its conception, and by other cultures, more ancient, as well. I was most aware of its use in helping some patients dealing with glaucoma. This is a disease effecting eyesight that usually leads to blindness without treatment. This book educated me on the facts. Its medicinal properties are extensive for many people who suffer from chronic pain and debilitating symptoms for many different reasons. This includes spinal cord injuries, other nerve injuries, cancer, AIDS, M.S., genetic diseases and more. For many, it has been useful to relieve chronic muscle spasms, therefore reducing a lot of pain. . It has relieved the "wasting away syndromes “ for many with these illnesses by increasing appetite, reducing nausea and helping to relieve sleep deprivation. THC, the primary compound in marijuana, is also effective in reducing "tics" in patients suffering from Tourette's Syndrome. Its negative health side effects are minimum to many legal prescription pharmaceutical drugs.

In his book, Mr. McMahon refers to marijuana that is used as medicine as either Medical Marijuana or Cannibas. He refers to "Pot" as the recreational drug. The book goes on to explain, with scientific evidence, how Medical Marijuana has aided people with terrible illnesses; lead better quality lives with less side effects, then many legal prescription drugs. This includes the author George McMahon. As a health care provider I know this to be true. Many of my massage clients who come seeking help recovering and/or coping with injuries use legal, prescription painkillers. Many report how they make them sleepy all the time or can't think straight. Some get nauseous or dizzy, destroying the quality of their lives. Not all meds work for everyone, even if they have the same symptoms. Often it takes a few times to find the right medication as well as the right dose. Some people are too sensitive to ever use chemical pharmaceutical drugs. Many also become addicted to their prescribed painkillers and tranquilizers. Years ago I saw my mother get addicted to Valium, a very strong tranquilizer. She suffered a nervous breakdown when she tried to withdraw from the drugs use. Many are now struggling with Oxycotin, noted to be as addicting as heroin for some, which has also become a black market drug.

I was also educated on the fact that so far only 15 people in the U.S. have ever been allowed by the government to use Cannibas. Only 7 of these people are still alive. The book is primarily about Mr. McMahon, who is a sufferer of a rare genetic condition since birth, Nail Patella Syndrome. He is one of the 7 people receiving medical marijuana from the United States Federal Government's Compassionate IND program. He truly believes, as well as many of his doctors and family, which he would be dead by now if not for his use of Cannabis. This program was closed during the Bush administration, leaving thousands of patients and their doctors, without hope of receiving a fairly reasonable, and relatively safe treatment. I was not aware of that.

He portrays his own life with a debilitating disease from boyhood. He tells of how Western traditional medicine, legal prescription painkillers, other drugs and surgeries, with very well meaning doctors, actually made his symptoms worse. He explains the story of how he discovered that Cannibas could help him reduce his pain to a much more manageable level and improve the quality of his life. As the story advances into his middle aged years, he goes into how a nurse and doctor helped him get the Medication Marijuana prescription from the U.S. government that he needed. The book goes on to explain how even with the federal governments approval, it is often still a hardship for him to use his prescription, due to official red tape and society's ignorance on the subject. He also explains how the Compassionate IND program works. He writes about the vigorous application process. He explains his prescription, which is for 10 Cannibas cigarettes per day. Each month he receives 300 freeze dried, prerolled cigarettes from the U.S. government. This ensures a good quality product each time. Mr. McMahon also writes of the dangers of illegally buying this medicine on the black market- safety, quality and legalities.

The book also includes the personal stories of others who use Cannibas medically, legally and illegally. Both George's mother and daughter speak of how his disease has affected their lives and how they feel about his use of Medical Marijuana. A chapter also includes networking addresses in the book to organizations that can support this legalization of medical marijuana.

At somewhat of risk to himself, Mr. McMahon, is on a crusade to reopen the U.S. Compassionate IND Program maintaining the legalization of Medical Marijuana. He feels it is imperative that we help others who have only found relief from debilitating symptoms with Cannabis. The program is now closed to others who can no longer hope to receive that status if they qualify, even though they and their doctors believe this is the best course of action for them. Though he is granted legal status for his need for Medical Marijuana for life, he is a leading advocate for maintaining the legalization of Medical Marijuana and has testified before Congress.

I recommend reading this book to educate yourself on the topic, from the perspective of people who need this prescription drug. It is truly an eye opener! I believe there are many political and safety considerations to keeping the legalization of Medical Marijuana available. Some of these topics are only eluded to in the book. All in all, I give it a " Must Read".

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