Drug Policy

If You Love Dogs—But Believe in the Drug War—Please Read This Post About Medical Marijuana for Pooches.


courtsy SF Weekly

It has always surprised me that many human beings seem more moved by the suffering of animals—especially doggies and kitty cats—than by the suffering of, well, human beings. If Hotel Terminus is a disturbing, heartbreaking, rage-inducing story, then Hotel Terminus…For Dogs would simply be unwatchable!

This cross-species empathy plays out in all sorts of odd and disturbing (to me) ways, especially in drug war stories. Often, it means that public outrage is highest not when living, breathing people are shot or killed but when exactly the same sort of violence happens to puppys. When cops or a SWAT team commit homicide, folks may or may not be outraged. But when cops or SWAT teams commit puppycide, the outrage blows through the roof. The upside of puppycide, which even has its own topic tag at Reason.com? It reaches a part of the public that otherwise doesn't get too riled up about violations of basic rights and common decency.

And with that as an intro, let me direct you to the next front in the drug war: Medical marijuana for dogs.

Look, it's one thing if grandma's head is pounding due to migraines and cataract pressure or if Biff can't choke down meals due to wasting syndrome, but it's a whole other story when Sampson the Rottweiler gets the runs due to cancer:

Christine stumbled upon a controversial homemade herbal remedy that she credits with enormously improving her dog's quality of life. She's grateful that, in his final year, Sampson weighed in at a robust 106 pounds and lived free of the wracking pain that had haunted him. Whereas before Sampson had been too weak to walk, almost overnight he became a born-again youngster. "He was a puppy again, happy and playful," Christine recalls. "He'd trot around the house with his toys in his mouth, wanting to play fetch!"

The name of the controversial herbal remedy Sampson took? Cannabis.

courtesy Houston Pet Talk/Imageechef.com

And yet, there are still vets who, just like doctors for humans, refuse to open their minds and their eyes to what's right in front of them. Don't they understand that most dogs aren't looking for a cheap high (not that there's anything wrong with that), they're just trying to do what works for them.

Despite mounting scientific evidence proving the herb's potent pain-relieving property—plus increasing anecdotal evidence from dog owners who've experimented with MM successfully—the veterinary mainstream wants cannabis weeded out, citing the risks of overdose and carcinogenic secondhand smoke.

As Ohio vet Neal J. Sivula explains, "I am very frustrated by veterinarians' seeming lack of interest in exploring this potentially very useful plant, Dr. Kramer being the exception. I am gathering that most veterinarians have not followed the changes in genetic strains of MM [medical marijuana]. Most think of MM only in terms of what might be purchased for illicit use and haven't done their research to know that strains have been developed with an eye toward pain control, nausea relief, and appetite stimulation with minimal reported side effects [in people]."

Although it's understandable why vets frown on sharing pot with pets for recreational purposes, when marijuana is administered orally via a tincture, in precise dosages prescribed by a vet with the goal of relieving unbearable pain, the smoke risk is eliminated, and the herb appears to do much more good than harm. Plus, cannabis doesn't adversely impact the liver, as many medications do. That's why, for every vet who opposes cannabis, there's another open to giving it a try—once it's legalized. 

Read the whole thing here.

Hat Tip: Veronique de Rugy.

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  1. You must hate dogs, Nick, if you just want to get them stoned all the time.

    Unrelated, but Here’s a dog story worth reporting.

    FTA: “Just as convicted pedophiles aren’t allowed free access to children,” said PETA spokeswoman Jane Dollinger, “anyone who [has] caused them to suffer . . . should never again be allowed access to dogs.”

    Based on her logic, her organization ought to be banned from even going near a fucking dog.

    1. For those who don’t know what sloop is referring to:


  2. That’s nice Nick, but the War on Drugs is also a solution to dogs in pain, dogs who have ever been in pain, or dogs who might ever experience pain.

    1. Hugh, do you ever get back to SoCal? Just curious.

      1. What? Hugh is the Emperor of the Inland Empire, dude.

        1. He’s a porn mogul?

        2. I never knew Ventura was in the Inland Empire, you fucking retard.

          1. I never lived in Ventura. I lived in the Valley.

            So yes, Jesse, I was a porn mogul.

            1. Yay!

      2. sloopy I am the only guy in Glendale with the -ski suffix on my last name instead of the -ian suffix.

        1. Glendale? Why did I think you came down to the LBC from Ventura that one time? And yes, Glendale is in reality Armenian purgatory.

          1. I came from Canoga Park, which was still a pretty long haul but not as bad as Ventura.

            1. Oh. And why did I think you had moved to Colorado?

              1. I came from Colorado.

            2. Did you know Joe?

  3. Nick, how do you spell “Puppies?” Didn’t Lucy get fired for stuff like this?

  4. “It has always surprised me that many human beings seem more moved by the suffering of animals – especially doggies and kitty cats – than by the suffering of, well, human beings.”

    Not me. While I have been bitten by a dog, I have never been taxed by a dog or cat. Also, dogs and cats do not use my tax dollars to murder people a continent away.

    1. The vast majority of people have not done that to you either. And I bet dogs would if they could. Cats wouldn’t because they are radical individualists.

    2. I have the same questions as Nick. Why do people get outraged when they see mistreatment of a dog, but not a fellow, sentient human? That seems disgusting to me. A dog is just a fucking dog. It’s not a human.

      1. So you’re more of a cat person?

      2. It’s the same reason some pro-lifers support the death penalty or someone who would be horrified at a story about a child murder makes fun of the gun deaths in Chicago: There is a presumption of innocence on the part of companion animals. Like a child, nothing they have done makes them deserve what was done to them.

        Human beings are judgmental fuckers most of the time.

        1. And I say the same thing as Peter because I don’t scroll down before my compulsion to feed your attention whoring ways kicks in.

          1. You can’t quit me, and don’t pretend you can.

            1. He’s just waiting for the cocaine and hookers to take care of that for him.

              1. I figure he has about six more months, Nikki.

        2. Human beings are judgmental fuckers most of the time.

          Let he who has never judged another come forth and judge me!

          I think Jesus said that in the Parable of the Dope Dealers.

      3. Dogs aren’t “fucking dogs,” they’re just “dogs.” They’re living, thinking creatures who for the most part exist to please or assist humans. Dogs are basically powerless when it comes to being mistreated by humans, and they probably don’t have the mental ability to understand why they’re being treated badly. Mistreating them is a sign of a lack of morality. There’s a reason why animal cruelty has been shown to be a significant personality trait in serial killers.

        Some humans are immoral, soulless bastards and I would certainly feel worse for any dog than I would ever feel for those people.

        1. “Well, animals are not like people, Mrs. Simpson. Some of them act badly because they’ve had a hard life, or have been mistreated. But, like people, some of them are just jerks.”

          1. All cats are jerks.

            1. All cats are jerks.

              You’re right, you are a sociopath.

              1. That’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make. Damn cats, always shitting in boxes and expecting me to clean up after them.

            2. All cats are jerks.

              Yes, they are.

        2. You’re anthropomorphizing dogs. This is stupid. They’re not sentient, they’re just animals. It doesn’t mean you should mistreat them–they can feel pain–but it doesn’t mean they’re capable of comprehending any sort of morality or framework of treatment. Humans can, and if you have no problem with a sentient being being mistreated, you’re on your way to being a sociopath.

          1. So I’m wrong, but I’m also right, and I might be a sociopath, and I’m stupid. Got it.

            Speaking of a dog’s ability to feel pain and think isn’t remotely close to anthropomorphizing them. I realize that a dog experiences the world completely differently than a human does, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t experience the world.

            You should reacquaint yourself with the definition of sentience. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience

            1. Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!

            2. It’s becoming incredibly boring having people avoid my point through semantic bullshit. You know exactly what I mean, yet you divert through squabbling about the exact meaning of “sentient”. How incredibly passe.

              1. And out comes the french word. Fuck You Poindexter. Make that, Monsieur Poindexter.

              2. No. I addressed your point in my first post, so you can rant all you like.

                Arguing semantics is this: it’s “pass?.” “Passe” is French for “pass.”

        3. They are “fucking dogs” if that’s what I call them.

          Look, I’m not going to say that it isn’t a bad thing to mistreat a dog. I think it is. But it is far far worse to mistreat a human being. That is the basis of morality: people come first. You don’t like it, fine, just don’t claim to be moral.

  5. I neither love dogs nor believe in the drug war, therefore I didn’t read your article. Hope you’re not offended.

    1. And yet you took the effort to clutter up the comment section with your uninformed drivel. You’re worse than Tony!

      1. You know who else was worse than Tony?

        1. Hugo Chavez
          I’m really not sure anymore.

        2. That Golden Boy troll over on the Illinois pensions thread?

      2. And yet you took the effort to clutter up the comment section with your uninformed drivel.

        Well of course! That’s what everyone else does here!

        1. Some of have informed drivel, thankyouverymuch.

    2. You monster!

  6. “carcinogenic secondhand smoke”

    What the fuck? Dogs are going to smoke pot? And doesn’t it take decades of smoking to get lung cancer anyway? Dogs don’t live long enough for that to be a major concern.

    1. All the cool dogs smoke cigars already.

  7. People suck. Most dogs, on the hand, are generally pleasant.

    And MM has to work better than Rimadyl, which made my last dog puke black bile for 3 days.

    1. Most dogs, on the hand, are generally pleasant.

      I guess. If you enjoy being constantly pestered and drooled on.

  8. Plus, cannabis doesn’t adversely impact the liver, as many medications do. That’s why, for every vet who opposes cannabis, there’s another open to giving it a try – once it’s legalized.

    So if you support drug prohibition, you want dogs to die from liver failure. And bullets. What kind of monster do you have to be to believe in that?

  9. Dogs, like young children and little old ladies, are “innocents.” Unlike, say, 20-something year old males, who are always guilty of something.

    1. The authoritarian version of Original Sin. I like it.

      1. In defense of this view, for most of my 20s if stopped at random I probably was guilty of something. Public intox, most likely. But I think that’s more reflective of our 3 felonies a day culture than any real moral turpitude on my part.

  10. Because dogs stoned on pot leads to dogs taking meth. Nobody ever talks about what really ended Lassie’s career.

    1. The sudden rise of canine meth mouth leads to huge profits in the dog dentures industry. STIMULUS!

  11. I think I will name my next dog Cheech.

    1. “Ruhves rot rhere rhan.”

  12. citing the risks of overdose and carcinogenic secondhand smoke.

    Is this meant to imply that the dog owner would smoke the weed and blow it in the dog’s face? ‘Cause otherwise I’m having hard time imagining how one would get a dog to inhale.

    1. It has been known to happen.

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