I have had dogs most of my life. Currently, I own a chocolate Lab (I am a dog owner not a pet parent people who call themselves that are idiots), unimaginatively named Coco (that’s the name she came with).
She’s getting on in years, and as some breeds age, they develop joint trouble. In her case, she has a hip that stiffens up when it gets cold. Massage and exercise help, and I give her some joint-friendly supplements. The supplements don’t have any scientifically rigorous studies that prove their efficacy, but they make me feel better because they might help her and dont hurt. However, if a legislator in Nevada gets his way, a vet there could prescribe medical marijuana for her. This, I think, is how the absolute prohibition of marijuana will end.
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The Associated Press reports, Nevada’s Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring the measure that would allow animal owners to get marijuana for their pet if a veterinarian certifies the animal has an illness that might be alleviated by the drug. Segerblom said hes concerned that some animals might have adverse reactions, but ‘you dont know until you try,’ he said. You don’t know until you try sounds like a reason to legalize it.
SB372 is the bill in question, and if it passes, my Coco would be eligible (were I to move to Vegas) for weed treatment for her hip. Naturally, she would have to have an edible or a liquid. Smoking pot would be out of the question because dogs don’t have lips capable of holding a joint (I also don’t let Coco play with matches). That said, I am in the market for a painting on black velvet that has four or five dogs of different breeds passing around a bong.
Now, let’s do a thought experiment. Suppose you wanted to use marijuana for the fun of it, and you don’t live in one of those states that treats you like a grown-up and lets you. Let’s further suppose that the state in which you live lets a dog take it for canine glaucoma or hip issues or whatever. I’d be willing to bet that the humane society would run out of old dogs pretty damn quick, along with cats, rabbits, ferrets and other mammals (I draw the line there because who wants to have a snake on weed?). Just as I share the occasional steak bone with Coco, I figure she would want to share her pot-laced doggie biscuit with me.
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According to the FDA and DEA, marijuana is highly addictive and has no medical usage. That’s the definition of a Schedule I drug, and that’s the label pot has had for years. This puts it in the same league as heroin and LSD. We all know this is nonsense. Marijuana seems to have quite a few medical uses from alleviating the nausea that comes with chemotherapy to managing chronic pain.
When it comes to veterinary drugs, the FDA is still the regulatory body you have to please. You have to prove safety and efficacy before you can sell a drug for animals, just like a drug for humans. But here’s the beautiful irony: To prove safety and efficacy for humans, you start with animal studies. In other words, letting dogs and cats use cannabis for medical purposes will lead to human use for the same purposes.
Even as a prescription drug, marijuana will be used for recreational purposes. How many people have a few Tylenol with codeine left over from their migraines or a Xanax (Schedule IV for heaven’s sake, defined as mildly addictive and very useful) or 12 from those panic attacks a few months ago? Nobody flushes that stuff when the medical condition passes. Fido’s hip pills might just make your Saturday night a little more mellow.
Wouldn’t people be grossed out by eating doggie treats with pot in them? Hardly. When you consider all the ways people ingest stuff that screws with their bodies, eating a dog biscuit is rather tame compared to a port wine enema or swallowing hand sanitizer.
Dear Congress, please save us from this silliness and just legalize it already.
Jeff Myhre is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.