(PETS/ANIMAL HEALTH) Most Americans are pro-pot, and a whopping 65 percent of young people support the legalization of the substance. Just last year, voters passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Washington and Colorado. In fact, Maryland is the newest state to have just passed the legalization of a hospital-based marijuana program.
Many do not deny that there are certain benefits marijuana can provide when treating illnesses like cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions, yet others believe that the drug is completely unnecessary, highly addictive, and way too dangerous.
With marijuana use on the rise with humans, veterinarians are seeing a spike in dogs being treated for being high on cannabis. Dr. Stacy Meola, a veterinarian in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, helped organize a study that shows the number of dogs that become ill due to the substance has quadrupled in Colorado since the legalization of medical marijuana.
Many Colorado veterinarians are warning people of the dangers associated with pet pot use and that pets do not experience the same “euphoria” as humans do when on the drug. Animals under the influence are often disoriented, display anxiety, and lack coordination which tend to not be enjoyable for them.
Yet, one California veterinarian has recently emerged with a slightly different perspective on the leafy green substance. Dr. Doug Kramer agrees that unnecessary exposure to marijuana can be harmful to animals, but he also argues that the drug can actually have therapeutic effects on sick animals when used properly.
Kramer is among a small number of experts who believe THC can help canines cope with painful conditions when other treatments do not work. During an interview with Vice, he told the magazine that some dogs do not respond to pain killers, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medicine, and marijuana can be an alternative option for pet guardians.
The pro-pot vet first considered marijuana for animal treatment when one of his clients inquired about obtaining medical marijuana for her pet when other medications stopped doing the trick. Kramer also tried the treatment on his cancer-stricken Husky named Nikita. He said that the marijuana improved her quality of life and put off her inevitable euthanasia by helping with her pain and stimulating her appetite.
While speaking to the news organization Mother Jones, the 420-friendly doctor also mentioned that people have used cannabis for treating their pets’ inflammation from arthritis. He said one woman even gave her horse marijuana-infused butter to treat the hoofed mammal’s case of laminitis, a foot disease that causes painful swelling.
Marijuana madness is sweeping the nation, and every American seems to have a strong opinion about the substance. Further testing and research may reveal additional benefits and disadvantages associated with marijuana use, and hopefully the hazy cloud that surrounds the cannabis controversy will soon be cleared by lucid answers.
— Stephanie Henkel, exclusive to Global Animal