Medical Marijuana patients have started a petition calling for DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg to removed from office for calling the medicine “a joke”. So far 10,000 people have signed the petition.

Rosenberg was quoted last week saying, “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal because it’s not. We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

“There are pieces of marijuana — extracts or constituents or component parts — that have great promise, but if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana — which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana — it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”

Angry medical marijuana patients point to studies and research that have found medical marijuana as effective for treating cancer, pain, muscle spasms, and epilepsy, among other things.

An analysis of 79 medical marijuana studies involving over 6,000 patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows “moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity.”

Many doctors nationwide opt to prescribe medical marijuana over addictive prescription painkillers. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16,000 people overdosed on prescription painkillers in 2013. Other studies have found that the availability of medical marijuana correlates with a reduction in painkiller abuse rates.

The major difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is that in medical marijuana the THC which causes the high has been removed and the CBD which mainly contains the health benefits of the plant have been increased. Medical marijuana is not just smoked but is often made into oils, salves and tinctures.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, regarded as one of the country’s leading medical marijuana practitioners and medical director of Integr8 Health, says CBD actually blocks the euphoria induced by THC.

“Naturally CBD has been bred out of the strains on the underground market,” he says “In the last five years, however, this has been changing rapidly, as growers strive to grow medicine that helps relieve symptoms or reverse disease. Several strains have now been produced that are non-psychoactive but extremely therapeutic.”

Sulak has established a medical protocol which uses medical marijuana to successfully wean people off prescription medications which they have become addicted to.

Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, although it is still illegal under federal law.

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