Anti-Starvation Drug Should Be Made Legal

Anti-Starvation Drug Should Be Made Legal
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2005 at 09:15:35 PT
Source: Albuquerque Journal
Max Gardner was at death's door because he had little desire to go through the kitchen door. Stricken with colon cancer, he didn't have much appetite and chemotherapy-related nausea made it difficult to keep food down, according to his mother, Vicki Plevin. A skeletal six-footer in his mid-20s, Gardner weighed about 80 pounds.Modern medicine has developed an amazing array of weapons against cancer, but they are pointless if a patient dies of starvation. That's where age-old nature comes in: Marijuana enhances the appetite, calms queasy stomachs and helps patients keep their strength up for the battle of their life.
But nature runs contrary to the law. Gardner's doctors could prescribe morphine and other highly addictive drugs for pain, but they couldn't prescribe marijuana. It was often suggested, usually in whispers and typically by a nurse, that he needed to get some. "He had to go find a drug dealer in that condition," Plevin said.Other victims of cancer and several other conditions won't need to break the law to realize therapeutic benefits of marijuana if Senate Bill 795 becomes law.It would set up a review board that could permit patients whose doctors had recommended marijuana to possess a sufficient quantity to treat their conditions. Besides cancer, other eligible conditions specified in the bill are glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV-AIDS and some spinal cord injuries. The marijuana would be provided to registered patients by a state Health Department-licensed producer.The bill also provides penalities for abusing the therapeutic license, but there have been only a handful of prosecutions in 10 states in which patients are permitted to use marijuana. This is not a crime problem.It would probably reduce crime. Many of the 200-300 projected patients in New Mexico, like Max Gardner, are probably "filling the prescription" illicitly, pumping money into the black market trade. It would be better if they could hang on to their dignity while fighting to regain their health. Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)Published: February 18, 2005 Copyright: 2005 Albuquerque JournalContact: opinion abqjournal.comWebsite: Related Article & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Marijuana Proposal Back Before Legislature Medical Marijuana Archives
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