Parkinson's disease has been in the news a lot lately with the passing of boxing legend, and social justice icon, Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali had suffered from Parkinson's for quite some time, and passed away this week at the age of 74. There have been several studies that have shown that cannabis can help those suffering from Parkinson's disease. Via Reset.Me:
Several studies have been carried out in the past to illustrate the benefits of marijuana as the best alternative treatment option for Parkinson's disease. According to a study conducted in 2002 by Dr. Evzin Ruzicka, a neurologist at Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic, almost 50 percent of patients who were receiving medical marijuana treatment said that the herb assisted them to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
In another notable study, which was conducted in March 2014, researchers at Tel Aviv University's Rabin Medical Center in Israel demonstrated how 22 patients with Parkinson's disease (13 men, 9 women), had their symptoms alleviated as a result of consuming medical marijuana. The researchers discovered that consuming marijuana resulted in significant improvements in the patients' disease symptoms. Importantly, patients were seen to experience reduced tremors, rigidity, and dyskinesia. In addition, the researchers also observed that patients were able to get better sleep and showed improvement in terms of pain scores. Interestingly, the study did not report any significant adverse effects resulting from the use of the herb in treating Parkinson's disease.
The State of Arizona failed to hold a hearing on exploring the idea of adding Parkinson's disease as a qualifying condition to become a medical marijuana patient in Arizona. An administrative law judge recently ruled that the State of Arizona needs to hold a public hearing, or add the condition. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
The Arizona medical marijuana patient pool - one of the largest in the country - could get even bigger after a judge ruled the state improperly rejected a hearing into whether patients with Parkinson's Disease should be added to the qualifying list of conditions for MMJ.
According to the Phoenix New Times, Dorinda Lang, an administrative law judge, ruled last month the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the MMJ program, has held would-be MMJ patients to a higher standard than required by law.
The judge wrote the department should have held a hearing because the law merely stipulates that any evidence be submitted that cannabis can help a patient - versus relying solely on "sufficient evidence of acceptable scientific quality," the reason given for denying the hearing.
Science and compassion should decide medical marijuana laws, not the personal views of bureaucrats and/or elected officials. If there's nothing to hide, and state regulators truly felt that they were doing the right thing by keeping Parkinson's disease off the qualifying condition list, why would they break the rules by sidestepping a public hearing during which they would be forced to hear what the citizens of Arizona want? A public hearing wouldn't guarantee that the condition would be added, but at least it would afford an opportunity for citizens to sound off, and to provide an opportunity for citizens to hold Arizona officials accountable.