Crosstalk: October 23, 2018
Dr. David Stevens is the Chief Executive Officer of the Christian Medical & Dental Association, the nation’s largest faith-based organization of healthcare professionals. Dr. Stevens has also served as a missionary doctor in Kenya for some 10 years. He also has conducted numerous seminars on such issues as stem cell research, human cloning, genetics, faith and health, physician-assisted suicide, abortion and other topics.
Dr. Stevens is not surprised by the number of states that have marijuana related issues on their ballots. The reason he carries this opinion is because he doesn't believe that legalization is the issue. Instead, he believes it's about the commercialization of marijuana. You can go to the stock exchanges and invest in marijuana stock, therefore he feels it's money that's driving this.
Regarding the various names used in marijuana discussions, Dr. Stevens began with hemp. Hemp is a form of the cannabis plant that has no psychoactive substance in it. Rope used to be made from this plant and in some areas there are efforts being made to allow its use as a cash crop and he has no problems with that.
There are two substances most talked about with regard to marijuana. One is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and this is the psychoactive ingredient that gives the 'high' and mellowness that follows consumption.
Next is the cannabinols (CBD). These are what provide the few medicinal effects that we know exist and counteract to some extent the psychoactive effects of the THC.
Sometimes you'll hear about CBD oil. This is an extract from the marijuana plant that is used for medicinal uses. According to Dr. Stevens, CBD oil can help patients who are on chemotherapy to reduce vomiting and nausea, as well as appetite stimulation in AIDS patients, but there are already FDA approved drugs on the market that can provide what patients need in good quality, a measured dose and where side-effects are known. On the other hand, there are studies that clearly show marijuana is not effective in reducing pain. In fact, it's actually a 'gateway drug' and that your chance of using opioids, either prescription or 'off the street', actually increases remarkably when using marijuana.
As this broadcast moved along, Jim had Dr. Stevens talk about the negative psychological and physical effects, the current problems marijuana is causing with youth in Colorado, where marijuana stands in terms of federal regulation, the tax revenue angle, the large amount of water and electricity it takes to grow marijuana, the Christian perspective on marijuana, and much more.
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