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Medicinal Marijuana: No easy high

Daily Dose 2011-04-19 0 comments

By Melissa St. Aude |  Published in Tri Valley Central

Edited by The Daily Dose

"Having advanced cancer is no trip to Disneyland. Cancer patients who use medical marijuana are not using it for euphoria. They'€™re not using it as a recreational drug.€" - Dr. Donald Hill, A Casa Grande-based oncologist who advocates medical marijuana. (Photo credit: Steven King/Dispatch)

When Dr. Donald Hill, a Casa Grande-based oncologist, first heard of Proposition 203 — the 2010 ballot question that eventually legalized the use of medical marijuana in Arizona — he was opposed to the measure, despite having seen positive benefits the drug has on cancer patients.

“I thought it was a backdoor effort to legalize recreational use of the drug, which I am opposed to,” Hill said. “I thought Arizona would become like California or Colorado, where people can get medical marijuana for anything from a hangnail to a hangover.”

When he learned more about the measure and that the state would place strict controls over the drug, he became a proponent of the cause and now hopes to open one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries in Casa Grande.

“Having advanced cancer is no trip to Disneyland,” he said.

“Cancer patients who use medical marijuana are not using it for euphoria. They’re not using it as a recreational drug.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services began accepting certification applications from patients seeking to use medical marijuana.

Patients with allowable conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or other debilitating medical conditions may qualify for state approval to use medical marijuana.

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