Marijuana as Medicine

  Marijuana as Medicine

Posted by CN Staff on June 10, 2005 at 13:12:24 PT
Source: Chicago Tribune 

USA -- The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government is fully within its rights to override state laws and prosecute patients who use marijuana for medical purposes. The question now is: Why does it bother?Once upon a time, the idea of smoking pot to treat an illness may have sounded like something out of a Cheech and Chong movie. But no one is laughing anymore. Over the last two decades, a growing body of evidence has vindicated the value of cannabis for a variety of serious conditions, with minimal risk.
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the federal National Academy of Sciences, commissioned a thorough evaluation of all the data available on the subject and found that "nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety ... all can be mitigated by marijuana." The New England Journal of Medicine supports allowing medical use of cannabis, arguing that "a federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed and inhumane."After the Supreme Court ruling, John Walters, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, waxed triumphant, asserting that "science and research have not determined that smoking a crude plant is safe or effective." He's misrepresenting the research--and he neglects to mention that the federal government makes it extremely difficult for scientists to do studies that might yield better data.The public is open to a different approach. Ten states have passed laws that effectively protect patients using pot for therapeutic needs, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Another 20 have measures on the books endorsing medical marijuana. According to a 2002 Time/CNN poll, 80 percent of Americans favor the idea.Yet the federal government has refused to budge--going so far as to send federal agents to destroy plants grown by patients and their caregivers in California, which has legalized medical marijuana. That's how Monday's Supreme Court decision came about. But even as the court upheld the right of the federal government to prosecute such cases, it made plain its doubts about the wisdom of the policy.Maybe this verdict will finally force Congress to recognize the urgent need for change. Currently, the federal government classifies pot as a Schedule I drug--a designation reserved for substances with serious potential for abuse and no therapeutic value. Drugs of this kind may not be prescribed by physicians. Marijuana's inclusion is absurd, considering that doctors are allowed to prescribe morphine and cocaine.Even the DEA's chief administrative law judge ruled in 1988 in favor of reclassifying cannabis. "Marijuana in its natural form is one of the saf-est therapeutically active substances known to man," he wrote. "It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between [patients] and the benefits of this substance." But the DEA refused.Some members of Congress have had enough. Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) plan to introduce a measure to forbid the Justice Department from going after patients using pot in states where it is permitted. That would be a good first step.One president after another, and one drug czar after another, has insisted on treating pot as intolerable for any reason. The policy is an embarrassment based on misinformation and blind ideology. It's time Congress demanded a change.Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Published: June 10, 2005Copyright: 2005 Chicago Tribune CompanyContact: ctc-TribLetter Tribune.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Marijuana as a Schedule II Drug Fight Far From Over Let Congress Legalize It 

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Comment #18 posted by SoberStoner on June 10, 2005 at 23:06:38 PT
Found the info I was looking for..
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Comment #17 posted by SoberStoner on June 10, 2005 at 21:11:40 PT
Angel Reich is the new Terry Schiavo
Will Delay come running to save this woman from her pain? She can tell you to your face what she wants..With the firestorm that brewed up around the Schiavo case, this case can ride off the emotional events there. These women just want to be from pain, free from fear of being arrested, free from ridiculous legal battles over why they should be made to suffer. What can anyone say about this case that DOESNT make the government look bad? They trampled the rights of the ill, they trampled states rights..all around this case has been a big loss to those in charge, even though they 'won'This charade of a presidency is starting to crumble. Like I said last year, even Nixon won a second term..The next congressional elections should be very interesting. Maybe then someone will be brave enough to run for office that can stand up and say "Smoking cannabis should not make anyone a criminal, especially someone in their last days" I doubt it, but it could happen. By the way, in the flood in articles I havent seen a breakdown of how the judges voted..can anyone give me a quick rundown? 
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on June 10, 2005 at 19:47:48 PT
The news is HIGH.
The news is on fire. NOW!And next week the ball is going to be in the congressional court.Imagine the news if they blow it!This is big.Congresspeople do not want to mess with compassion.Pain is persuasive.
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Comment #15 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on June 10, 2005 at 19:42:07 PT
It is completely wrong to let another human beings suffer and not let them have what they say gives them relief. It is even more wrong to let them suffer just so others can prosper. It sure is a different story when the suffering happens to one's self.Why people want to control other people, even in the cruelest way is a mystery to me.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 18:50:02 PT
A Really Cool Story
Arthritic Great-Grandma Whips Up Marijuana Brownie Batch94-Year-Old Disagrees With Supreme Court's Medical Marijuana Ruling June 10, 2005TORRANCE, Calif. -- Catherine Ballinger is a great-grandmother and an accomplished painter whose works fill her living room.But in the kitchen, Ballinger, 94, uses a smelly green mixture to create what the federal government says is illegal -- marijuana brownies."I've often said, I don't care if it's illegal," Ballinger, a medical marijuana user, said. "Well, I'm not a dopey. I never took a thing. I don't even smoke." Ballinger is in constant pain from crippling arthritis in her hands and legs."Oh, honey, I used to be very active," Ballinger said. "I used to dance a lot. I used to ride, take hikes, swim, do this and that. Now, I can't do anything because if I don't have a walker, I'll fall on my face."Ballinger has tried various pain medications, but she says they all produced severe side effects.Desperate to help her mother, Ballinger's daughter, Joan Kerr, sought help from a doctor who prescribed medical marijuana, as allowed by California law."A person that's ailing and suffering and going through a lot of pain should receive it and that is not bad, when you really stop and think about it," Ballinger said.The news that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of federal authorities to enforce a national law banning marijuana, even in states with medical marijuana laws, frustrates and frightens Ballinger."If they were going through the pain that a lot of us do, they would pass it because they wouldn't be able to tolerate it," she said.Ballinger, who worked the night shift at an aircraft plant during World War II, then at Lockheed as a technical illustrator, never imagined at age 94 that whe would be taking on a new challenge -- fighting the federal government.Because of the arthritis, Ballinger hasn't been able to pick up a pallet kinife or paintbrush in two years, but like everything else in her life, she hasn't given up. She hopes one day to return to her painting.Copyright 2005 by NBC4.TV
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on June 10, 2005 at 18:21:15 PT
Gettin' Warm in D.C.
Since the Raich ruling everyone is very pissed off and demanding truth from politicians and the press! Memogate could very well raise questions regarding 9/11 government complicity! The sh*t could hit the fan very soon... Congress: Memogate Hearings Scheduled for June 16: Public Confidence in Newspapers, TV News Falls to All-Time Low:
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Comment #12 posted by GreenJoy on June 10, 2005 at 17:57:40 PT
Eeeeeaaaarrrrllllll Rrrrraaaaallllpppphhhhh!!!!!
 Me too. But, At least its fair to say GW has had a buzz or two. Imagine the poor souls that have to write to Senselessbrainer and Sourpussder. That has got to be a lost cause.    GJ 
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Comment #11 posted by Toker00 on June 10, 2005 at 17:24:24 PT
It was hard being civil to this person in my e-mail, but I sent my message to GWB. Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize! (medicine)(energy)(nutrition)
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Comment #10 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on June 10, 2005 at 17:03:17 PT
All of This Recent News Is Very Good
I think all of this recent news is just the best news for getting the truth out for all to read. This is all beginning to be a problem for the DEA because all who say MJ has no medicinal value and that it is good to keep this plant away from the sick are being overwhelmingly looked upon as heartless people. The majority of the articles I have seen paint a heartless picture of the government's movement to ban medicine that a vast amount of sick people say works for them. This truth is exactly what pro MMJ need to succeed. I like how Richard Cowan puts it---- they want to install ramps on prison doors.Uninsurable
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 16:03:06 PT

Last Chance on Medical Marijuana - Act Now!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 15:41:58 PT

Updated Page
I updated the page and there now are 59 articles with only 3 negative. 
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Comment #7 posted by billos on June 10, 2005 at 15:35:37 PT

......Johnny Pee.............
is the devils' semen.
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on June 10, 2005 at 15:31:34 PT

"Maybe this verdict will finally force Congress to recognize the urgent need for change."This would be the perfect time for change. America, the home of the Free and Brave, let not that beacon be engulfed in petty partisan profiteering politics, let America's credo be the guiding light that so many human beings have relied and depended on. The forces that have shaped humanity, have proven through the test of time and so much blood, that FREEDOM, TRUTH, and Justice, are the only fruits worth
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 15:17:22 PT

I haven't updated this page today with what I've posted but so far under the medical marijuana archive there are 52 articles and all but two are favorable. In the justice archives there are 3 positive and no negative. I have not posted near the volume of articles that have been available but even if I didn't post them all I tried to look at them and they were positive.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on June 10, 2005 at 15:06:50 PT:

Is there any way to know what the ratio is?
The ratio, nationwide, of favorable editorials like the one above as opposed to those unfavorbale?Unlike the anti Websites, we post both the positive and the negative. If the number of positive editorials as we have been seeing here is any indictaion of that ratio, the ONDCP is in some serious trouble. Too many leaks in the dike are now streaming, not dripping. Walters and crew are being shown up as, at best, well-meaning but woefully informed and ignorant public servants, and at worst close-minded, bigoted (one need not spout racial epithets to be a bigot) and vicious martinets lacking a shred of human compassion. Johnny Pee prematurely said that the MMJ movement has been 'defeated'. That's a word that has been bandied about by the media a little too freely. We have not been defeated; when defeated, your enemy cannot get back up to fight, and within literally MINUTES of the SC ruling we were back on the firing line again. Sorry, Johnny, but defeated we ain't. If anything, you did your victory dance over the bodies of the sick and dying a little too early. If anything, these editorials prove you've gone too far. The media is (finally!) taking notice of the issue, and many in the media may not have the balls - yet - to challenge you, but rest assured, they will. And no amount of propaganda poured over their heads and dripped in their ears will stop them from opening their mouths. This editorial alone has touched on the basic facts which you and yours have so assiduously tried to pretend don't exist.I said before that when the media smelled the red meat, they'd come to the table, looking for some. The SC has provided some almost as if by magic...and the Congressional bills are coming up for vote next week. It almost couldn't be timed better. Another hot Summer coming, friends...hotter than it's ever been before. 
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on June 10, 2005 at 14:49:53 PT

Increasing support
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 10, 2005 at 14:40:27 PT

Medical Marijuana Poll
Should there be a federal law allowing the use of marijuana for medical reasons? Current Results:Percentage of 494 Votes Yes -- 328 -- 66% No -- 166 -- 34%
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on June 10, 2005 at 13:31:02 PT

A tiny edit
"The policy is an embarrassment based on misinformation and blind ideology. It's time Congress demanded a change."I'd like to add one more line:The Bush administration is an embarrassment based on misinformation and blind ideology. It's time Republicans demanded a change.
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