What Ailments Can Be Treated with Medical Cannabis in Hawaii?

AilmentsCancer, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, or the treatment of these conditions; A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome; Severe pain; Fibromyalgia; Severe nausea; Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or any other medical condition approved by the department of health pursuant to administrative rules in response to a request from a physician or potentially qualifying patient.

Can There Be Problems With The Use Of Cannabis?

All patients need to understand their responsibilities when considering the use of marijuana for their health conditions.  Like any medication, it can have adverse effects and problems when misused.  The reality of its use requires the patient's obligation to honestly consider the potential for negative effects.  I would estimate that 90% of my patients actually use very small amounts of cannabis, and learn quickly how to avoid any negative problems.It is the patient's right and responsibility to determine the species of plant used, the delivery system or systems, and how much to use. I always screen for the 10% of all patient populations who may be prone to overuse and dependency, no matter the medication.  I would worry much more about Opioid and sedative dependency in traditional medicine.

"On the cognitive domain it impairs the human capacity to discriminate time intervals and space distances, vigilance, memory and the performance for mental work. On the psychic area Δ9-THC may induce unpleasant reactions such as disconnected thoughts, panic reactions, disturbing changes in perception, delusions and hallucinatory experiences. However, the long term effects on the psyche and cognition are not known as there are no reports of prolonged use of Δ9-THC. Actually, it has been proposed by WHO that Δ9-THC should be rescheduled to schedule IV of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Drugs, as it does not constitute a substantial risk to public health and its abuse is rare if at all". (Ref=

So What is Currently Happening In Hawaii?

The program in Hawaii requires that you either grow your own marijuana or that you arrange for someone to grow it for you, thereby, assuming the caregivers job.  These arrangements are obviously unacceptable to many patients who are not in position to grow due to location, ability, or time.  Many patients have distinctive problems with their own caregivers, who fail to live up to their responsibilities to provide.  My cancer and disabled ill patients need safe access to high quality cannabis immediately, and do NOT have time to learn how to grow it and wait for the crops to appear, hoping that no bugs or disease ruin things.

I would estimate that nearly 75% of my patients still have to purchase their medicine illegally through someone they know.  Many patients go without due to these circumstances.  Most do not even know what type or species of cannabis they are buying or using.  No one buying "off the street" can be assured of its safety and quality.  This is all totally unacceptable!  A dispensary system is needed immediately.  The legislature needs to show great courage this next session.  We need politicians with the courage to be humane and to do what is right. Most of all, we need citizens to become involved in the political p[rocesses, and to communicate with their state representatives. The lack of patient involvement arising from fear of law enforcement is our greatest obstacle, but in reality, this only represents further lack of respect for our civil rights by government and their attempts to "chill" our first ammendment rights.

Abercrombie speaks to Maui Time June 3:

  • “Whether it's marijuana or any other drug, if it's medically sanctioned for use, for relief of pain or any other symptoms, then of course it should be utilized. If you can advertise drugs on television for public consumption that include death as a side effect—I've seen this, as I'm sure you have. 'Go ask your doctor.' This isn't even something that's being ordered or prescribed by your doctor, you're being urged to go see your doctor to see if you can use the drug. And it's being stated on TV as possibly having a side effect of killing you! And someone's worried about medical marijuana? We're at a point of public idiocy.”

Just try watching TV and listen to the ads for medications for pain and depression:  "May increase feelings of suicide", "May cause death", "May cause fatal heart rhythms", "May cause liver or kidney failure", and many other less deadly but significant symptoms. Even Darvon, a less than effective pain medicine, was recently yanked off the market for problems with fatal heart rhythms.  Does everyone see what the Governor is talking about, the PUBLIC IDIOCY? 

As a Pain Physician, I have seen patients in many clinical situations.  I have seen the patients who have committed suidice due to pain and suffering, by self inflicted gunshots, pain pill overdoses, or other means.  There is a known epidemic of inadvertant methadone overdose deaths in many states. The most common reason for liver transplants in the US is due to Tylenol toxicity.  We are killing ourselves with pills!  So let's get some perspective about this whole marijuana controversy!  

Can't I Buy Cannabis Somewhere, Like California, In A Dispensary Or Store?

There are NO dispensaries in Hawaii as of yet.  We are diligently working towards this end with the state legislature.  Hawaii is NOT California and we will not set up a program like California.  Hawaii will have its own unique dispensary solution.  The reality is that it will take Hawaiian political power and money to implement any system of dispensaries.

It is my opinion that it will take real leadership to breakdown the ignorance of people who want to protect the status quo.  Consider these statements by the Hawaiian Herbal Center group (!

  • "We have over 8000+ Sick Patients in Hawaii and all of them have to purchase there(sic) Medicine from the Streets, so how can Law Enforcements say that by allowing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to be Legal in Hawaii it will cause Organize Crime? The truth is by not having any Dispensaries they are helping the Organized Crime become more financially sound and when you legalize Marijuana Dispensaries you wash away all the so called Marijuana Organizations. We need to wake up Hawaii.
  • Hawaii is at a all time dead end when it comes to our Economy, we are grabbing money from other funds to just make those funds alive, before you know it Hawaii will never get out of this bad economy crisis. When we did this Segment on the News, we did it because we wanted to educate the people of Hawaii that Marijuana is a clinical approved Medicine, UNDERSTAND that and we can have more imortant matters taken care of like the more hardcore drugs such as ICE. We are going to get this Legal soon!"

Yet, we still have Hawaii state and city government and law enforcement groups who act like the Hawaii Medical Marijuana laws are not real, not really laws that have to be honored as the "Will of the People".  They will make public statements that they are against the "law of medical marijuana".  This only generates fear and shame in people and patients who might benefit greatly by reducing their own suffering or that of someone they love.  Then, they go on to claim that dispensaries would increase crime without any proof.  All they are doing is protecting the crimes that are already occurring and protecting the dealers who are already in place, and forcing innocent and disabled people to participate in these affairs.  In my book, that is a crime and a shame!

If and when a dispensary system is implemented, I personally feel that the dispensaries should sell product that is home grown and Hawaii regulated. I am against the importing of cannabis from the Mainland, California or Canada. I am also against the ability of any prominent landowners, Big Tobacco, or corporations to control the marketing, growing, and regulating of the dispensary system.  I feel that local Hawaiians should benefit at all levels of its production, with the use of Hawaiian lands only, with jobs created for Hawaiians in the production, distribution, and management of the system. 

As a physician with federal licenses, I can not have any relationships with these dispensaries.  So I state these things without hope of any monetary gain. In addition, because of these licenses, I will not be able to answer any questions about how to get marijuana or any marijuana infused products, seeds, or clones. I leave that up to others, like grow shops or the internet. There are many groups and congregations of sincere and law abiding people who are willing to help those in need, such as those with cancer and chemotherapy. I am expressing my own personal opinions, according to my First Ammendment rights under the US Constitution, and upheld by the Supreme Courts of the United States, namely the Ninth US Court of Appeals.  Most of all I want to stand up for those who might not be able to stand up for themselves.  I am an advocate for my patients.