Detroit Voters Can OK Pot for Pain 

Detroit Voters Can OK Pot for Pain 
Posted by CN Staff on July 23, 2004 at 08:29:28 PT
By Marisol Bello, Free Press Staff Writer
Source: Detroit Free Press 
Every other day, Rochelle Lampkin injects medication into her hip that is widely used to ease the chronic pain of multiple sclerosis. But she said it's not enough to stop the blinding pressure around her eyes that feels as if her eyeballs will explode out of their sockets. And it doesn't end the crippling ache brought on by her MS that saps the energy from her arms and legs. So Lampkin turns to a few puffs of a marijuana cigarette when she needs some extra relief.
"This affords me a better quality of life," Lampkin, 45, said. "I don't think anyone should be refused that." On Aug. 3, the battle between the rights of seriously ill patients and antidrug forces in Detroit could be settled -- barring almost certain legal challenges -- when voters decide whether to allow the use of medical marijuana. If it passes, Detroit would be the first city in the Midwest to pass such a law. The Detroit City Council will hold a hearing today to debate the issue. And Lampkin said she plans to be there to make her case. "I need to do whatever I can to help me," said Lampkin, who has been smoking marijuana to battle her symptoms ever since she temporarily lost her eyesight five years ago. Ann Arbor voters face a similar ballot proposal this November. If voters in both cities approve the measures, supporters say they will ask lawmakers in Lansing to take statewide action. Antidrug activists worry that the medical marijuana push is the first step of a larger movement to legalize the drug. "I feel there would be horrible unintended consequences if it went through under the guise of medical marijuana," said Detroit City Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, one of the most vocal opponents. "I think it would be hell for the city." Tinsley-Talabi said she hopes to introduce a resolution in the council next week opposing the Detroit initiative. The proposal would not stop Wayne County Sheriff's deputies, Michigan State Police or federal agents from charging users in Detroit with marijuana possession. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins would not comment on the proposal Thursday, but his bosses in U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's office in Washington have legally challenged other states that have passed similar laws. Nine states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- allow the legal use of medical marijuana. One California case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices will decide whether the federal government can prosecute sick people who smoke marijuana on the advice of a doctor. Those who oppose legalizing marijuana for medical purposes say it sends mixed messages, particularly to young people already inclined to think there is little danger in smoking pot. They say a legal alternative exists in the form of Marinol, the only FDA-approved drug that contains a synthetic version of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol -- or THC -- the active ingredient in marijuana. The other side argues that Marinol is too expensive, has too many side effects and is much more potent than a few puffs on a joint. Advocates of medical marijuana say their fight should not be lumped into the war on drugs. "It's not a drug issue; it's a health issue," Lampkin said. "People need to realize some drugs have a purpose. I want them to let us use it, not abuse it." The single mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago. She said her legs become so weak and tired that she often has to walk with a cane or walker. Her disability keeps her from working a full-time job. She said she smokes pot once or twice a week before she goes to bed, so that the pain will subside enough that she can fall asleep. "I don't smoke this marijuana for recreation," she said. "I puff on it twice and go to bed. I'm not trying to be cool." Lampkin said she plans on keeping the routine, even if the ballot measure fails. "It'll just turn me into a criminal," she said. "But the pain is unbearable. The pain could make you do anything. This is all I got left." Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author: Marisol Bello, Free Press Staff WriterPublished: July 23, 2004Copyright: 2004 Detroit Free PressContact: letters freepress.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:DMMI Marijuana Initiative To Appear on Ballot Pot on Detroit, Ann Arbor Ballots Arbor Debates New Pot Law Pot Headed To '04 Detroit Ballot
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 24, 2004 at 07:44:57 PT
Go Michael!
I'm happy to see you and to know you're still out there working hard for all of us! 
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Comment #5 posted by Michael Segesta on July 24, 2004 at 07:38:18 PT:
This patient a hit
This patient presented before the City Council, too, on Friday, and was the only speaker (myself included) who won applause from the audience. She rules!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 23, 2004 at 20:57:36 PT
You are so nice. I really like your dreams of hope.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on July 23, 2004 at 20:44:29 PT
say a little prayer for youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
Humans from all walks of life have overwhelmingly agreed that Cannabis has medical value. Man made THC is allowed for use the Gov't agrees there is medical value in the plant. To Outlaw this plant when such qualities have been proven would be setting a very bad example for the children. But to Outlaw this plant now knowing that the latest ice-core samples show that there has not been this much c0-2 enveloping the planet for 450,000 years is Inhumane and is not a Dem or Gop issue but one of Feeling of well being for the Whole. Thank you all here for the caring of the Whole. hats off to FoM as the outlines of the movie is being stitched now by Neil and my only prayer is Mr. Moore come back to MI right out side Flint to Detroit and help ballot issue M and bring Neil--- it will be valuable footage for the movie.
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on July 23, 2004 at 10:03:25 PT
Marinol is Schedule 3
Marinol is listed on Schedule 3 under its trademank name. I have read that it is the only substance listed by its trademark and not its chemical composition. It would be nice to now it that is true. It could be that someone else got a trademark listed, and it is striking to say that only Marinol has accomplished what no one else could. All substances that bind with cannabinoid receptors are Schedule 1, except Marinol. That means THC is Schedule 1 while its synthetic twin is not. If you could get someone in government to anwer why CBD and CBD and CBN and so on are schedule 1, it would be very entertaining to a cannabis wonk , because clearly THC is not even worthy of Schedule 1, much less something that is not desirable by its nuetrality on the mental process and the no-high qualities. There is just too much ignorance out there or people would really be pissed off like those that know what is going on.
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Comment #1 posted by Virgil on July 23, 2004 at 09:55:05 PT
The disconnect
The DEA must feel that there is a complete disconnect in people's minds combined with a knowledge of vast ignorance by the masses that struggle to stay ahead of the bills and beat the deadline on all the government paperwork.It is a great question how synthetic THC is very legal as a Schedule 1 Narcotic, while the same molecule from nature is declared worthless and very illegal in all circumstances except for the seven or so people still on the experimental program that are never mentioned in the party line. We also know that pure THC is not going to work as good as the THC and CBD that will come in equal parts in GW's extracts. Thanks to the government's attitude on research there is a lot we do not know in regards to the cannabis-MS relationship. The main question out there is what would mega-dosing do in restoring some heath to the nerves of MS sufferers. There is the issue of pain, but then there is the issue of restoring some health and preventing or slowing deterioration. We should know by now what cannabis can prevent. Can it prevent epileptic seizures? If used on a regular basis, what will it do for preventing migraines? What would early use do to prevent MS altogether? The same question would apply to the inflamation diseases like arthritis and the IBD diseases.All this money has been crapped away only to prove that cannabis is very safe. I saw a fact sheet from a prescription drug cannister the other day that was in such fine print that my guess is that there were 10,000 words on two sides of a paper about 9 by 20. It will be interesting to see the fact sheet on the GW extracts.The government cannot admit the injustice and inhumanity of this CP even on the lives of the sick. At some point someone is going to have to stand up in Congress and say "We were wrong" and that things must change. The blowback to this reckless/reckful policy is growing. The prohibition balloon is just waiting to be stuck. Pop- no prohibition and then maybe some fraud trials with charges of crimes against humantity.
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