When Medical Marijuana Is Misused

When Medical Marijuana Is Misused
Posted by CN Staff on June 24, 2005 at 08:07:53 PT
Source: New York Times
San Francisco -- Those who believe, as we do, that marijuana should be legally available for medical treatments have to be concerned about reports of abuses in California's pioneering medical marijuana program. If the abuses cannot be curbed, a political backlash could undermine the ability of thousands of patients to get marijuana to treat the nausea of chemotherapy, the loss of appetite that accompanies AIDS and other medical problems.
The future of medical marijuana in California and 10 other states that allow its use is already precarious given a recent Supreme Court decision that the federal government may prohibit and prosecute the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes. Nobody yet knows what impact that decision will have on the states but raids by federal agents on medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco this week could be harbingers of a broader crackdown. Public officials would be wise to clean up their programs lest flagrant abuses by a few bad actors bring about destruction of a program that benefits many.In this environment, it was worrisome to read a first-person report in The Times on June 12, that the writer, a 31-year-old marathon runner, found it "shockingly easy" to obtain marijuana in San Francisco. Although she was in peak health, she sought medical marijuana on the grounds that she suffered a migraine headache every month or so. After her own health plan turned her down, she got a recommendation from a clinic doctor who never asked to see her medical records. His say-so was enough to get her an identification card from the city's health department, along with cards for two friends she had designated as "primary caregivers" so that they could pick up her marijuana if she felt too ill to fetch it herself. That laissez-faire transaction sounds like an easy target for anyone seeking to denigrate the whole program.Californians who support medical uses of marijuana see the danger and are already moving to tighten regulations. Public officials and even medical marijuana advocates in California have been looking for ways to rein in abuses and oversee the dispensaries. Stronger regulation, some say, would help defuse opposition and send a message that, whatever federal drug officials may have in mind, the state stands behind its medical marijuana law.Source: New York Times (NY)Published: June 24, 2005Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company Contact: letters Website: Related Articles:Arrests Follow Searches in Marijuana Raids Reins In Marijuana
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 29, 2005 at 21:33:22 PT
SFC: Political Fight Looms Over Pot Clubs 
Discord among supes over how far city should go in limiting dispensaries.Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff WriterThursday, June 30, 2005 
 A San Francisco supervisor said Wednesday he wanted a sharp cut in the number of pot clubs operating in the city -- signaling a deep political divide as City Hall prepares to take up new legislation to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who earlier this month called on the city attorney to enforce a moratorium on new pot clubs, suggested there should be no more than eight such establishments operating in San Francisco, far below the 40 or so clubs open now. "I do think it should be capped," Elsbernd said Wednesday. "Oakland has four. We have twice the population, so we should have twice the number of pot clubs. I'm certainly willing to consider what the right number is. But right now we have almost as many pot clubs in this town as we do Starbucks. We have more pot clubs than the number of McDonald's and Burger Kings combined. I think we need to be realistic." The Board of Supervisors will consider in the coming weeks legislation proposed by Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Gerardo Sandoval that would require background checks, licensing, permit fees and restrictions on when, where and how medical marijuana can be dispersed in the city -- but without calling for a limit on the number of outlets. Currently, there are more than 40 pot clubs that have cropped up in San Francisco since passage of a 1996 state measure permitting marijuana use for medical purposes -- with 7,000 registered medical marijuana patients in the city. But police say the system is widely abused, with drug dealers and gang members buying at the clubs and putting more pot on the streets than ever before. Elsbernd's comments suggest that -- despite Mayor Gavin Newsom and all 11 members of the Board of Supervisors professing support for medical marijuana -- a political fight is looming over how far the city should go in limiting pot clubs. Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on June 24, 2005 at 09:50:07 PT:
The best weapon is laughter
I can't wait to see Mr. Soling's work. But not because I need a laugh.*"O wad some Power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us! 
It wad frae monie a blunder free us, 
An' foolish notion..." - Robert BurnsIn other words, if the antis could see what joyless tight-arsed phoney's they are in reality, instead of their delusion of being the self-proclaimed defenders of Western Civilization against the heathen onslaught of a hippiedom long in the grave, they just might understand the depth of contempt thinking people have for knee-jerk reactionaries. That film might go a long way in doing just that.It would, at the very least, educate those who believe falsely that since they 'don't do drugs' (put out that cigar and dump that brandy before you say it, first) they are unaffected by the laws.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 24, 2005 at 09:28:51 PT
NYT: And Now for Something Completely Wacky
By Jeanette Catsoulis June 24, 2005Destined for instant pairing with the 1936 exploitation classic "Reefer Madness" on the midnight-movie circuit, "The War on the War on Drugs" gleefully takes aim at United States drug policy with ingenuity and heavily disguised logic. Already the proud winner of a best experimental feature award at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival, the movie is 74 minutes of hilarious pro-drug vignettes, loosely strung together like a themed episode of "Saturday Night Live."Opening with the near-hysterical 1937 Congressional testimony of the first drug czar himself, Harry J. Anslinger - crediting marijuana for everything from jazz to the immoderate sexual preferences of white women - "War" is a hodgepodge of wildly different cinematic styles and influences. Parodying 1950's public service announcements, present-day infomercials and antidrug campaigns aimed at children and young adults, the film leaps from comedy skit to puppet show to mockumentary with a nimbleness that belies its cumbersome title. Frequently ribald and always irreverent, each segment argues that our current drug laws are nothing more than government-sponsored mind control, an argument not necessarily diminished by its nostalgic evocation of burning incense and Grace Slick. The writer-director Cevin Soling, who also composed much of the film's music, is heavily steeped in the surreal influences of shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In," and some of his sequences strain too hard for hipness. The film is most successful when standing on solid factual ground, and a section dealing with our weakened constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure is particularly effective. Much of the time, however, the facts are obfuscated by Mr. Soling's relentless need to entertain, leading to a riotous comparison of the government's D.A.R.E. program and the Hitler Youth movement. By the time he blames the Partnership for a Drug-Free America for every modern calamity, including Kurt Cobain's death and the hole in the ozone layer, you'll be laughing too hard to care that reason has left the building. Ultimately, "The War on the War on Drugs" is a lively and well-executed satire that sweetens its occasional truths with rebellious humor. You may not care about the disturbing facts of the drug war, but if you want to know how to bake the perfect hash brownie or find a dealer you can trust, this is the film for you. The War on the War on DrugsOpens today in ManhattanProduced, written and directed by Cevin Soling; edited by Neil Stuber; music by Martin Trum; released by Spectacle Films. At the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village. Running time: 74 minutes. This film is not rated.WITH: Joseph Greene (Professor Science), Carrie Keranen (Carrie), Kevin Mulhern (Interviewer), Susie Schwartz (Arab Tennis Player), Tara Platt (Agnes/Tara), Yuri Lowenthal (Judge Knott), Brett Colby (Brahma/Paco), Kenny Marshall (Kali), Darren Fouse (Dr. Burke/Businessman) and Cevin Soling (Nimbus the Elder). Copyright: 2005 New York Times
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 24, 2005 at 08:27:40 PT
I really believe there are good Democrats and good Republicans. I believe that we are suffering growing pains. When anything grows as fast as the medical marijuana movement has grown there will always be kinks that happen.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on June 24, 2005 at 08:25:57 PT
right Sam -Times should be covering 500 economists
Taxing And Regulating Cannabis Could Yield $14 Billion In Annual Savings And Revenue, Study SaysJune 2, 2005 - Boston, MA, USABoston, MA: Enforcing state and federal marijuana laws costs taxpayers an estimated $7.7 billion annually, according to a report released this week by visiting Harvard University economics professor, Jeffrey Miron, and endorsed by more than 500 economists.The report, entitled "Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States," estimates that legalizing marijuana would save state and local governments $5.3 billion annually, while saving the federal government $2.4 billion. A previous analysis of marijuana arrest expenditures published by the NORML Foundation in March estimated that enforcing marijuana prohibition, primarily at the state level, costs approximately $7.6 billion per year.Miron's report also estimates that legalizing cannabis would yield $6.2 billion in annual revenue if it were taxed at rates comparable to those imposed upon alcohol and tobacco."We ... urge the country to commence an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition," states an open letter accompanying the report, signed by over 500 economists, including Stanford University's Milton Friedman. "We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods. At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition."A previous survey published in the April 2004 issue of the journal Econ Journal Watch found that most US economists believe that current drug prohibition strategies are ineffective and favor liberalizing American drug policies.Full text of report, Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States, available at:
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on June 24, 2005 at 08:20:09 PT
Another idea
Why doesn't the Times send their marathon-running narc girl into 10 psychiatrists' offices asking for Prozac or Xanax. She won't have to claim any health problem at all, she can just ask to be more happy. She'll quickly be given a drug that can cause violent urges & suicide.Or better yet, send her with her little 6-year-old girl to a pediatrician & ask for Ritalin, then she can grind it up & snort it, or sell to some high school kids. 
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on June 24, 2005 at 08:16:14 PT
NY Times
Why do they pretend like they even care? A week ago they supported the SC decision that sent armed thugs after individual patients, now they're telling us that they support medical MJ? If they support it so much, how come I never read anything in the Times about the NY state medical MJ bill? I can't understand these Democrats. It's like Al Gore, writing a book about Earth in Crisis, then he hangs around for 8 years as the second most powerful person in the country, and does absolutely nothing to fight back against global warming. As soon as he's out of an office where he can actually do something, he immediately reverts back to preaching.It's no surprise that people are attracted toward the Republicans. They back up their extremist rhetoric with extreme ACTION. Of course I don't agree, but it seems clear that they're a lot more dedicated to their (evil) convictions, the Democrats seem to provide lip service & not much else. That turns people off.
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