Legislation Renews Debate Over Medical Marijuana

Legislation Renews Debate Over Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on March 07, 2005 at 07:02:17 PT
By Connie Cartmell
Source: Marietta Times
In a quiet room with a seriously ill cancer patient, or sitting in a support group with patients, or with their families, Kem Dye, cancer care coordinator at Strecker Cancer Center, listens and learns. One big issue of repeated interest is the medical use of marijuana."My support group has talked about medical marijuana use, pros and cons, and if it could help better than what we have today," Dye said. "They have even joked about the idea of baking marijuana brownies."
The medical marijuana controversy is back on the front burner.For hundreds in Washington County who still wonder if marijuana could help them or their family members, the "hot-button issue" is resurfacing in Columbus. "I've been at this a long time now," Dye said, "and you know what? Nothing controls all the symptoms of cancer. People have known for many years the benefits of medical marijuana, but it is not for everyone."When his father was ill and dying of cancer four years ago, Sen. Robert Hagen, D-Youngstown, hoped for a miracle and something for his father that would relieve the horrible symptoms of the disease, without debilitating side effects.Cancer brings "wasting" and serious appetite suppression, often because of the powerful medications used to attack the cancer itself.Nausea and vomiting are common and pain is often chronic and overwhelming."His father was so sedated on morphine and pain killers those last months, that he wasn't able to interact or respond," said Gregg Paul, legislative aide to Hagen. "Maybe he could have been made more comfortable. The family would have done anything they could to have that happen."Because of his experience with the death of his loved one from the ravages of cancer, Hagen has introduced legislation in the Ohio Senate, SB 74, to protect medical marijuana patients from criminal arrest and state prosecution. Medical marijuana, in pill form, is already legal and is being prescribed by physicians for their patients in Ohio.But what the senator is proposing is the use of the drug in any form - including smoking it - or even sprinkling powdered pot in your morning coffee."It is pretty much for discussion purposes, at this point," Paul said. "The last time the use of medical marijuana was brought up in the Ohio legislature was 1997. It was not considered."Experts say about 80 million Americans admit to having smoked marijuana. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) a pubic-interest lobby that provides a voice for American who oppose marijuana prohibition believes the time has come to stop denying patients access to the medical benefits of the drug.Most often mentioned are appetite stimulation and proven control of nausea. There is little argument in the medical community about these benefits."It's hard to say there is a downside to this," Paul said. "Pain killers, which are highly addictive, are derivatives of opium. I don't believe that by legalizing the medical uses of marijuana, we are not going to see drug abuse rates go up or down."Proponents have been working three decades to bring marijuana out of the shadows and into the mainstream of U.S. medicine.Dr. Michael Brockett, a physician and Marietta city health commissioner, said he has already prescribed marijuana, in pill form, several times. "It does bring some real benefit to patients, especially with nausea, for sure, and with appetite stimulation," Brockett said. "It's been used for a long time and, if used properly, it is no worse than any other medication."But Brockett draws the line when it comes to smoking marijuana for medical purposes."It's OK with a pill, but I'm not so sure about smoking it. It's pretty tough on the lungs," he said. "But there are cases where a patient can't keep medicine down and might want to smoke it instead."Individual cases need to be considered, if other forms of medical marijuana are approved, he said.For Brockett, there is still a stigma in society to the use of marijuana that isn't likely to go away any time soon.Opponents fear legalizing all forms (including smoking) will send the wrong message to children, legalize still another intoxicant (alcohol and tobacco already under siege), and release an addictive and dangerous "gateway" drug into society."We already allow the medical use of many drugs, such as cocaine and morphine, which can be abused in a non-medical setting," NORML literature has said. "Basic compassion and common sense demand that we allow the seriously ill to use whatever safe mediation is most effective."The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal law makes no exceptions for growing or distributing marijuana, even if the goal is to help seriously ill patients using marijuana as a medicine.Ten states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) have legalized the medical use of marijuana, despite the Supreme Court's decision, according to NORML.One of the major points brought forward by opponents is that there are - already - traditional medications that work perfectly well to help patients. Marijuana is not needed. But for some patients, traditional medications simply do not work.Patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, do not always get benefits for their symptoms from traditional medications.Hagan and proponents have no illusions that S.B. 74 will sail through without a battle."The last time it came up here, it was defeated," Paul said.Gov. Robert Taft is known to be opposed to any legislation that would include medical marijuana."I do know one thing, that he isn't going to like it," Paul said. "We have a zero tolerance in Ohio. We know we have a tough fight, but we want those who could benefit from this to tell their side of the story."Suggested Medical Benefits of Marijuana Helps control nausea and vomiting. Stimulates appetite, especially for patients suffering from HIV (wasting syndrome) or dementia. Pain relief, especially of neuropathic pain (nerve damage). Marijuana is less toxic than many drugs that physicians prescribe every day. Helps control spasticity (erratic body movement). Glaucoma management (lowers eye pressure).Source: NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).Opponents of Medical Marijuana Say ... There are traditional and legal medications that offer same relief. Why legalize another intoxicant when alcohol and tobacco use already causes enough damage in society? Sends the wrong message to children. Marijuana is an addictive and dangerous drug. Marijuana is a "gateway" drug meaning it will lead to use of other illegal drugs. There's no scientific evidence of the positive impact of marijuana as a medication.Source: Times ResearchComplete Title: Proposed Ohio Legislation Renews Debate Over Medical Use of Marijuana Source: Marietta Times, The (OH)Author: Connie CartmellPublished: Monday, March 07, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Marietta TimesContact: letters mariettatimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #29 posted by ekim on March 08, 2005 at 20:09:05 PT
-------------------------------Golden Joint Award 
Dr. William G. Woodward, for instance, who was both a physician and an attorney for the American Medical Association, testified on behalf of the AMA. Please Norml and MPP when you gather give respect to the good doctor that stood tall when others fell. This History must be laid down so it is clear to all to see/
and any living ancestor of Dr. Woodward should be asked to accept the award. The Police Officers should be represented as well.
Let Leap submit names of those who have worked for change.The true award to Jack Herer for respect of this plant.
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Comment #28 posted by ekim on March 08, 2005 at 16:01:25 PT
thanks RPZ for link to
The Emperor Wears No Clothes
"Did Anyone Consult the AMA?"However, even within his controlled Committee hearings, many expert witnesses spoke out against the passage of these unusual tax laws. Dr. William G. Woodward, for instance, who was both a physician and an attorney for the American Medical Association, testified on behalf of the AMA. He said, in effect, the entire fabric of federal testimony was tabloid sensationalism! No real testimony had been heard! This law, passed in ignorance, could possibly deny the world a potential medicine, especially now that the medical world was just beginning to find which ingredients in cannabis were active. Woodward told the committee that the only reason the AMA hadn't come out against the marijuana tax law sooner was that marijuana had been described in the press for 20 years as "killer weed from Mexico."The AMA doctors had just realized "two days before" these spring 1937 hearings, that the plant Congress intended to outlaw was known medically as cannabis, the benign substance used in America with perfect safety in scores of illnesses for over one hundred years. "We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman," Woodward protested, "why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was being prepared." He and the AMA" were quickly denounced by Anslinger and the entire congressional committee, and curtly excused.3 *The AMA and the Roosevelt Administration were strong antagonists in 1937. When the Marijuana Tax Act bill came up for oral report, discussion, and vote on the floor of Congress, only one pertinent question was asked from the floor: "Did anyone consult with the AMA and get their opinion?"Representative Vinson, answering for the Ways and Means Committee replied, "Yes, we have. A Dr. Wharton [mistaken pronunciation of Woodward?] and {the AMA} are in complete agreement!"With this memorable lie, the bill passed, and became law in December 1937. Federal and state police forces were created, which have incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Americans, adding up to more than 14 million wasted years in jails and prisons - even contributing to their deaths - all for the sake of poisonous, polluting industries, prison guard unions and to reinforce some white politicians' policies of racial hatred. (Mikuriya, Tod, M.C., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; Sloman, Larry, Reefer Madness, Grove Press, 1979; Lindsmith, Alfred, The Addict and the Law, Indiana U. Press; Bonnie & Whitebread; The Marijuana Conviction, U. of VA Press; U.S. Cong. Records; et al.) Others Spoke Out, Too Also lobbying against the Tax Act with all its energy was the National Oil Seed Institute, representing the high-quality machine lubrication producers, as well as paint manufacturers. Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee in 1937, their general counsel, Ralph Loziers, testified eloquently about the hempseed oil that was to be, in effect, outlawed: "Respectable authorities tell us that in the Orient, at least 200 million people use this drug; and when we take into consideration that for hundreds, yes, thousands of years, practically that number of people have been using this drug. It is significant that in Asia and elsewhere in the Orient, where poverty stalks abroad on every hand and where they draw on all the plant resources which a bountiful nature has given that domain - it is significant that none of those 200 million people has ever, since the dawn of civilization, been found using the seed of this plant or using the oil as a drug. "Now, if there were any deleterious properties or principles in the seed or oil, it is reasonable to suppose that these Orientals, who have been reaching out in their poverty for something that would satisfy their morbid appetite, would have discovered it. . . "If the committee please, the hempseed, or the seed of the cannabis sativa l., is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing that for many generations, especially in periods of famine. . . The point I make is this - that this bill is too all inclusive. This bill is a world encircling measure. This bill brings the activities - the crushing of this great industry under the supervision of a bureau - which may mean its suppression. Last year, there was imported into the U.S. 62,813,000 pounds of hempseed. In 1935 there was imported 116 million pounds. . ."
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Comment #27 posted by Richard Paul Zuckerm on March 08, 2005 at 09:13:13 PT:
This month's issue of HEADS MAGAZINE is devoted to Medical Marijuana. Two points of interest caught my eye from this issue. First, they report that Georgia Tech study concludes that the "runners high" we get after exercising for an hour is caused by endogenous cannabinoids, NOT "ENDORPHINS"!!! Second, smoking pot benefits night vision. I have already mailed letter, personally visited, and telephoned local New Jersey State Senators Barbara Buono and Bob Smith asking for support of New Jersey State Senate Bill 2200, a medical Marijuana Bill, even had them photocopy the Med Pot article from the December 2004 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN!!Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, N.J., 08840-0159, (Cell telephone number)(908) 403-6990.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 20:33:04 PT
Partial Transcript to comment on program: suspect Stan (The Man!) White is responsible for one of those comments. Could be wrong though. Could be just someone who's learned Stan is absolutely correct about "The First Page of the Bible".
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 19:20:15 PT
Saving it.
You can add it to your Library on Media Player.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 18:59:12 PT
If they do put one on line I'll do my best to get it posted. I tried to save the radio program but I couldn't. I haven't ever been able to figure out how to save streaming audio or video. I think they don't want us too! LOL!
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 18:54:21 PT
A transcript
That would be great.I want to play it again...but it takes all my bandwidth...or something...and I can't check anything else while it's playing.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 18:44:23 PT
What Rob Kampia Said
This might not be word for word but the point he made I understood. He said that only 39 percent of society believe marijuana should be legal but in the 70 percent area believe that medical marijuana should be legal. I understand what he meant when he said it. I hope there's a transcript made available. I don't want to misquote him.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 18:34:30 PT
If we must forget legalization...ok.
But why torture those who could benefit, to the point of life and death, from it?That's incredibly insane. What can they be thinking? They are under the influence of some sort of hysteria propagated by those who benefit from keeping it illegal.But when I think about what law enforcement did to that boy on Cops that time...I can't just forget about it. People treating people so hideously and cruelly because of a plant...a smoke? No. I can't really forget about it. But I can compromise.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 18:25:30 PT
Of course.
The ill would be covered and protected under legalization...but if not that...then for God's sake, Man! Have some compassion on the ill!Medical marijuana. Medical cannabis.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 18:21:19 PT
My Thoughts
This is how I see medical marijuana compared to legalization. I believe very strongly in my heart that the sick need medicinal cannabis and what they need is the most important issue. We should help the sick. It's like a golden rule to me.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 18:12:45 PT
Rob took Bob to the mat.
He wouldn't say "Uncle"...but Bob knew he was pinned at the end of the match.I wanted to comfort Angel. I loved Val.Medical Marijuana to me is like this. They say "Trojan Horse". Ok. Let's break this thing apart and look inside it.Hmmm. There are voices in it. Imagine that! What are they saying? "Can we legalize marijuana?""No!" Not just NO...but, HELL NO! It cannot even be considered or discussed! You ought to be arrested for just mentioning it!""If we can't make it legal for those many who seem to want it...can we at least make it legal for those who really need it?"Medical Marijuana Trojan Horse in a nutshell...or a Trojan Horse shell.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 17:56:57 PT
I was truly amazed. I liked the brownie comment too!
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 17:26:37 PT
It was wonderful.
Truly a wonderful program.I liked the "What about brownies?" thing, too.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 16:33:26 PT
So Many Good Points
I think Rob Kampia out did himself on this program. The people with the question were excellent too. I think that was one of the best radio programs I've ever heard on medical marijuana.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 16:29:46 PT
I hurry too much!
are should be
Unless it's my computer...notice how her voice breaks slightly when she says something like, "The Good Creator".I guess it's rude to analyze Barthwell...but...but..but.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 16:25:52 PT
That's funny! I think what sprang me was when she said something about 30% THC as opposed to 1%.Unless it's my computer...notice how are voice breaks slightly when she says something like, "The Good Creator".She's liying and she knows she lying. Media Player should have a loop setting.Notice how many times old Bob uses the words "stupid" and "foolish"? He sure is a snide, overbearing fella.We get to say more now. Even they say some of our stuff for us now.We rock. We finally rock.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 16:01:47 PT
That's funny because while my husband and I were listening to it he started yelling and I couldn't hear the show. I turned around and said 'sshhh' she can't hear you! LOL!
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 15:59:44 PT
I'm going to listen to it again.
I had a phone call near the last. In fact I think I'm going to listen to it until I know it.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 15:57:18 PT
Outstanding Program!
Rob was Hot! I usually think people who talk back to the tv and radio are crazy. But I found myself blurting "What you want to lie so for, Woman?" during Andrea Barthwell's spiel.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 15:44:01 PT
Closing Quote from Justice Talking Program
Closing Quote"Marijuana is self punishing. It makes you acutely sensitive, and in this world, what worse punishment could there be."- P.J. OíRourke
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 15:00:19 PT
Please if you have Windows Media Player you must listen to this radio program. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 14:50:23 PT
This Is a Fantastic Radio Show
Way to go! You all must hear it! Go MPP and Angel and everyone that is speaking out on this show!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 14:40:45 PT
Poll: Medical Marijuana
Do you favor the decriminalization of marijuana as a medical treatment?Current Results:Yes. --  92.3% 
 No. -- 7.7% 
 Please Vote:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 14:31:23 PT
Medical Marijuana: NPR Justice Talking
When Californians passed a statewide referendum allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, they defied a federal ban, challenged the nationís war on drugs and embarked on a legal battle that has landed in the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. government ... Read More & Listen to Full Program:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 07, 2005 at 10:03:02 PT
About This Bill
I really hope it passes. I haven't followed the Ohio Bill because I try not to focus on what is important to me but what is important to everyone. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on March 07, 2005 at 09:31:33 PT
The anger is so painful. We have no outlet for it. It's so disturbing.I don't want to hate. It's so hard not to.
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Comment #2 posted by JustGetnBy on March 07, 2005 at 09:06:52 PT
Jail !!!   Prison !!!
  The Prohibs never mention that families and lives are shattered by the laws and public policy they force upon the rest of us.  I could share a story about a man of limited finacial means, no medical insurance and his use of medical cannabis, but I won't because it's too close to home to put on such a public venue. I will say that because of these mis-guided policies and laws, his choice was to break the LAW, or suffer then die.  Well prohib, thanks for your concern for my safety and well being, but, you can stick tour you righteous policies and laws where the sun don't shine.  I better quit right here..... it's an anger thing.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on March 07, 2005 at 07:48:22 PT
Book a Leap speaker near you
Mar 15 05 Irv Homer Show 02:00 PM Peter Christ Levittown Pennsylvania USA 
 Board Member Peter Christ will be a phone in guest on the Irv Homer Show, WBCB 1490 AM. Peter will be discussing environmental problems caused by illicit methamphetamine production and a myriad of other drug prohbition related issues. This interview is part of Peter's eastern Pennsylvania tour. Mar 15 05 INN World Report on Free Speech TV: A Judge on Drugs 12:00 PM Jim Gray New York New York USA 
 "INN World Report on Free Speech TV: A Judge on Drugs" features Speaker Judge Jim Gray for discussion of numerous issues related to the failure of drug prohibition. Topics will include the problems created by illicit methamphetamine production, mandatory minimums, methods of harm reduction and the human and financial costs of the failed war on drugs. Visit the INN website at for the broadcast schedule in your local area. Mar 16 05 Seminar in Police Problems Class #2 02:10 PM Jim Gray New York New York USA 
 The John Jay College of Criminal Justice welcomes Judge Jim Gray to the second of two classes of its Seminar in Police Problems Class to discuss issues related to the failure of drug prohbition. Mar 16 05 Seminar in Police Problems Class #1 12:30 PM Jim Gray New York New York USA 
 The John Jay College of Criminal Justice welcomes Judge Jim Gray to its Seminar in Police Problems Class to discuss issues related to the failure of drug prohbition. This is the first of two classes.
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