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Will marijuana ever be okay in nursing?

Nurses   (24,907 Views | 98 Replies)

Bakingismylife has 1 years experience .

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Since smoking cigarettes is frowned upon in the medical arena (there is another thread on AN supporting my observation) I doubt if smoking joints or blunts will be acceptable.

Edibles.

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560 Posts; 3,883 Profile Views

About 75% of my trauma victims are positive for THC. Sorry to burst your bubble on that. Often it's in combination with other substances, but it's still there. And often on its own.

I get tired of hearing that's it's a completely benign substance because that is simply not true. Nor is it metabolized like alcohol.

I think it can work medicinally for people with seizures as it slows the brain down which is what most anticonvulsants do. But it's not a cure all.

And if I show up on the job under the influence of alcohol, I'm fired and will probably lose my license. Yet somehow it's supposed to be acceptable with marijuana?? People are grasping at straws.

I had one glass of wine when I got home last night. I also did not work today and don't tomorrow. But I also know that the alcohol would have metabolized out of my system by this morning. Marijuana would not have.

If somebody wants to prove me wrong with a peer reviewed study that shows no effects from marijuana 10 hours later, I would be glad to read it.

You can't have peer reviewed studies on schedule 1 narcotics. That's the problem. People want to be able to study it more and can't.

Edited by broughden

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 104,169 Profile Views

Ding ding! I was waiting...

(Yeah, I was, too.)

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Have Nurse has 25 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg/Infection Control/Geriatrics.

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Okay I realize my username isn't the best for this topic... anyways :woot:

Let's talk about marijuana. The fact that it's illegal is mindblowing. Let's ban a plant but not life crippling narcotics. We all know that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

Unfortunately with the weed being legal in certain states, I feel like the BON wouldn't care about those laws. Plus being illegal on a federal level (what.) doesn't help either.

So do you guys think weed will ever be okay in nursing? I hope one day it will be. To be honest, with all the stress (mentally and physically) we go through, a joint might be extremely beneficial. What do you guys think?

I think you may wish to consider doing more research. While it may be helpful for some people who suffer from chronic pain in terminal illness, other things need to be considered:

Marijuana can also cause more health problems if you have a condition like liver disease, low blood pressure, or diabetes.

If you're a man, heavy use could lower your testosterone levels, and your sperm count and quality. That, in turn, can zap your libido and fertility.

Research shows a link between marijuana use and mental health problems like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, short-term psychosis, and schizophrenia. While it's not clear if marijuana causes these conditions, it can make them worse.

Though you may have heard otherwise, marijuana can be addictive: Nearly 10% of people who use it become dependent on it. It isn't clear whether marijuana is a gateway drug that makes people more likely to try harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.

The amount of THC in marijuana has gone up in recent years. Most leaves used to contain between 1% and 4% THC. Now most have closer to 7%. Experts worry this might make it easier to become dependent on or addicted to marijuana -- and it also strengthens many of the drug's mind-altering effects.

(From WebMD)

In addition, if nurses used it, they would be under the influence which can put your patients in danger, so no, I don't see it happening in the future. Good question!

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA.

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Yes, marijuana isn't for children and adolescents; yes it CAN BE a "gateway drug". My husband worked w/ the Sheriff's Dept. said he'd whole lot rather deal with someone high on pot, than to have to deal with someone who is drunk. The folks who were smoked up were a lot less likely to be belligerent.

Look, I grew up in the 50's and 60's, but didn't start using pot until the 1970's. I graduated nursing school in 1971. It was during what was referred to as "The Hippie Haydays"...drugs of all kinds were prevalent almost everywhere. I admit to trying a lot of them, though nothing considered a "hard" drug. Most of the pills made me fall asleep or feel sick from feeling dizzy, some made me feel like a bowl of creamed spinach, and some were downright FUN, very enjoyable with a lot of laughter. Mostly we'd just gather in the evening and smoke, play music and talk...and laugh.

I never got high before going to work, I never drove high; I 'used it' as some here have described, as someone would have a beer or a glass of wine after work, as a pleasant way to unwind and decompress.

Drinking made me throw up. My dad was an alcoholic. I remember the day my younger brother told our dad that he should try smoking pot instead of drinking

I would have rather he smoked pot, too.

So anyway, I tried a lot of different stuff, and I never got hooked on any of it. I wasn't interested in losing control or losing myself to the point of nodding and passing out. I think it's a shame to tar and feather everyone for the 'sins' of the MISusers. Everyone is afraid to prescribe opiods and try instead to push meds without the 'addicting factor', but that might not work as well. Sure I enjoy the initial buzz after taking a Vicodin for pain, but it doesn't last and the idea of having to lie and/or go out on the street to buy some is totally unappealing.

I can live without drug-highs, but if I have true genuine pain I want the opiods for a few days. And I have lived just fine through long periods of time without marijuana, either due to cost or supply. Back in the 80's when Nancy Reagan introduced her "Just say no" campaign, I used to say,"MY problem is I can't find any drugs to say 'no' to!"

I don't believe in getting or being high at work, for or from whatever cause or reason, is a good idea at all. But I think that more people than you would expect are actually able to be moderate and sensible about smoking pot, including a lot of professionals all the way to the top.

So I don't ever expect the BoN anywhere to "approve" of pot for healthcare workers. IMO there are a lot of healthcare workers who divert but don't get caught, and the ones who do get caught, well, I have been surprised by colleagues I NEVER would have expected to, losing their license for that. Also there are a lot of healthcare alcoholics who justify it by saying "at least it's legal" like that makes any difference to their livers if it's overdone. And I don't want someone with a perpetual hangover or the shakes taking care of me!

By the way, there are cannabanoids (oil) that can be given/taken for various medical reasons without imparting a high. But if the government is freaked out about allowing farmer's to raise hemp, just because it is in the same 'family' as marijuana, even though it makes an incredible amount of sense to be able to grow and use hemp (save trees, etc) ... politicians are always going to be on the stump for dunning any 'use' because it's too much competition for Big Pharma, which being BIG and RICH and NOT wanting to give that up. Well, I also think that lobbyists should be banned if all they do is 'buy' favor for their employer.

Blah-de-blah-blah. How I do carry on. But I had $2 to add, not two cents, so there ya go.

Never addicted, never arrested, no inclination to over-do, but yes, I smoke pot sometimes now that I am retired. I smoked for the first 30 years of my nursing career, but gave it up entirely during the past 18 years because I was afraid if I got injured at work, there was a mandatory pee-test. And when you go to be seen for a work injury... well, in the clutches of Workman's Comp, if you refuse a pee-test, that's an admission of guilt regardless.

It's like with everything: food, drink, drugs, sex; there are always those who overdo and do unwisely. But there are just as many who don't overdo or use unwisely ... you just don't hear about THEM because they are DISCREET and sensible, like an intelligent responsible adult who knows their limits.

The pot we smoked in the 70's has nothing to do with the cultivated product of today so we old hippies have to stop using our experiences against what people are exposed to this century. I tried some prescribed ingestible packaged in Colorado. Was told that it wouldn't make me high. Well, I was up for several hours with a pronounced buzz that precluded sleeping followed by two days of not leaving the house exhausted and scrambled. I have no respect for MJ as any kind of quality controlled product. If it's too good to be true, it isn't true.

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So long as it is illegal and I'm susceptible to random drug testing, I'll refrain. For the sake of people like my husband, who could truly benefit from medical marijuana, I hope it is legalized everywhere soon.

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I want to start by saying, I don't smoke and never have smoked marijuana. That being said I worked in a midsize Emergency Department for many years and have seen probably thousands of people come through. I have additionally been certified in Emergency nursing and done research in on this topic. I feel somewhere along the way it was decided that alcohol was ok to legalize(and for some very profitable) and thus the options for marijuana were overlooked or minimized. Additionally, if you look at history, marijuana was considered "bad" for a large period of history because the primary users were African American and other marginalized cultures. I have had some police officers tell me in some areas of this country that is still true. So when you combine the facts that it is used mostly by the poor and minirities and that the government has not figured a good way to tax it and legally make the rich more rich you can see there is little to no incentive to legalize it. My personal experience has been that it is not necessarily a gateway as I have met many who do it recreationally and have never tried anything else. Also if I had a choice between someone who gets angry drunk every weekend(saw a lot of this) and some one who smokes pot every weekend also saw this, the ones usual for recreational marijuana were more likely to be job holders, productive members of society and easier to deal with in general. This is just my experience and in no way the end of discussion but I do think we need to re-examine alcohol(which is always ok to most nurses or any professionals) and it's effects and marijuana in real sitiluations. Do I think it will happen?? Not unless money gets involved.

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I am sorry but affect the employers bottom line??!?!? Well life affects the bottom line. I have never smoked but really resent that as a healthcare provider I have some of the worst insurance I have ever seen. Can't get needed tests without almost dying first. I am sick and tired of my personal life being linked to a bottom line. What kind of ethics is that??? I am completely ok with looking at ways (while at work) to save employers money. Don't ask me to become a company robot! The fact that I read that on a nursing board makes me slightly ill!!

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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Acknowledging a fact does not equal endorsing it. You can save your !!?!?! and righteous indignation.

Edited by klone

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Personally, I don't see any benefit from allow the free recreational use of marijuana. The inability to regulate the amount of active chemical in the psychoactive agent THC, is a major sticking point in my mind. Furthermore the federal legalization will, WILL mind you, lead to the Mouse and Cookie scenario. I can grow this harmless plant, why not a poppy plant? What about a coca plant? All of these plants can, and WILL, lead to an uptick in the backdoor selling of non regulated, home manufactured, guaranteed lethal drugs.

Professionally, I cannot refute a possible source of helpful medication derived from the plant/ingrediants. It was in this way we have derived a number of our now most life saving medications. As a poster previously noted, we have Marinol, so the possibility is there. However, due to the nature of man, we need to heavily regulate these new medication that leaves the psychoactive properties in place.

To add some more:

"But its; Just a plant, used for pain/anxiety/seizures, better than alcohol, worked great for me/friend."

None of this explains the rewards vs benefits. No where do we outline how to make it available to be studied from a purely academic and medicinal aspect. One side is hard NO, the other hard Yes. If people want change, then bring everyone together. That is the way forward.

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The human endocannabinoid receptor system (ECRS) is fascinating! Learn about it and you'll see that cannabis sativa and the ECRS evolved together over millenia. Cannabis is one of mother earth's healing plants and the ECRS makes us hard-wired for exogenous cannabinoids if our endocannabinoid system is not functioning optimally and producing its own, ie 2-AG and anandamide. The ECRS' function is homeostasis. If the ECRS is ever recognized as a part of human physiology in mainstream medicine, cannabis will be the shining star, helping many people who do not get relief from conventional meds for conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, muscle spasms, the list is long. Nurses help educate patients better understand all healing methods. Let's better understand cannabis sativa's healing potential for the people who choose to use it for their healing. We were all born into the era of cannabis prohibition (law passed in 1937) and it's harder to unlearn brainwashing. Also, there is so much fear pumped into our consciousness from the special interests who'd rather not have other healing methods available to people.

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angeloublue22 has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Addictions, psych, and corrections.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 225 Posts; 4,961 Profile Views

The human endocannabinoid receptor system (ECRS) is fascinating! Learn about it and you'll see that cannabis sativa and the ECRS evolved together over millenia. Cannabis is one of mother earth's healing plants and the ECRS makes us hard-wired for exogenous cannabinoids if our endocannabinoid system is not functioning optimally and producing its own, ie 2-AG and anandamide. The ECRS' function is homeostasis. If the ECRS is ever recognized as a part of human physiology in mainstream medicine, cannabis will be the shining star, helping many people who do not get relief from conventional meds for conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, muscle spasms, the list is long. Nurses help educate patients better understand all healing methods. Let's better understand cannabis sativa's healing potential for the people who choose to use it for their healing. We were all born into the era of cannabis prohibition (law passed in 1937) and it's harder to unlearn brainwashing. Also, there is so much fear pumped into our consciousness from the special interests who'd rather not have other healing methods available to people.

I watched a great talk given by one of the founders of the American Cannabis Nurses Association. It's quite eye-opening. I've seen it help too many people to ignore the benefits. Maybe some day we'll come back from falling down the stairs after tripping over the propaganda and bias and be able to provide better care for our patients and ourselves.

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