This is in regards to the opinions concerning whether medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed within the city limits (“Something in the air,” Q-Line, Feb. 16-17). I agree that there is a discrepancy between actual medical use and recreational use. If one visits any dispensary you’ll notice the majority of “patients” are buying for recreational use, not that it’s always apparent.

I’m a cancer survivor and was issued my first letter by an oncological pharmacist, at their suggestion. I don’t smoke, so I use tinctures and edibles. It has been, and continues to be, an invaluable natural medication far superior to any of the pharmaceutical ones I’ve been issued throughout my treatment. I no longer use any pharmaceutical medications and can treat a variety of symptoms effectively using medical marijuana preparations.

The U.S. government is, as I write, testing a tincture spray named Sativex to be approved by labs in Japan for use in the U.S. by patients of doctors who would prescribe this “drug.” The problem is that once a preparation approved by the AMA goes into the medical system the cost becomes exorbitant. Sativex will most likely sell for at least $200, while a perfectly pure and pharmacologically safe and standardized tincture similar or identical to it that is available today might cost no more than $50 for the same amount and strength. As one who works privately as a health consultant with many clients who are in the process of chemotherapy and pre and post surgical procedures that require pain management, referring them to a doctor for a recommendation letter for medical marijuana has been a life saver for them.

Back to the subject of dispensaries in Santa Monica. It has long been a policy of the city to forbid such businesses and yet I agree with another reader who wrote that the tax revenues going to dispensaries in nearby communities paid by residents of Santa Monica could be well worth allowing the dispensaries to operate within city boundaries. All of the dispensaries I’ve visited in Westwood and Venice are low-key friendly places, not scary storefronts with armed guards and bars on the windows in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

It is not a gateway drug, and as for the people who use recreationally, it’s far better than to have them buying from people connected to the Mexican Mafia and Colombian drug lords, etc. I started using marijuana recreationally at the age of 14, and it never led me to stronger drugs, but actually led me to yoga and a career in natural healing, as well as reduced to no usage of marijuana, until I was diagnosed with cancer.

As for the middle-aged woman who recommended it for menopausal and post menopausal symptoms, it’s true! Sleep problems, body aches, mental anguish, and stress-related conditions are alleviated with the proper usage for symptoms. Some of my clients are middle-aged women who have successfully gotten off of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds by using far less amounts of medical marijuana tinctures instead. Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms are also controlled and/or alleviated using this natural medication, and at far less cost than prescription meds.


Melissa Ward

Santa Monica

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