Pot Bill Needs Careful Review 

  Pot Bill Needs Careful Review 

Posted by CN Staff on January 11, 2006 at 17:53:25 PT
Source: Salem News  

Massachusetts -- Though approving the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has become something of a fad among legislatures nationally, those on Beacon Hill should approach the issue with great caution.Law enforcement professionals, including Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, are convinced that use of the drug is a gateway that can lead to experimentation with more powerful narcotics.
We've heard the arguments that marijuana is no more harmful or addictive than alcohol, and that it is the only drug capable of providing relief from the pain caused by certain ailments and counteracting the nausea caused by radiation and chemotherapy. And the current bill, co-sponsored by state Rep. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, hardly amounts to legalization. Access to the drug could be obtained only with a doctor's prescription.Yet federal law still outlaws the use of marijuana for any purpose, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year held that the federal prohibition takes precedence over more lenient state laws. Besides the legal trap the pending bill might create, there are also concerns over the fact it would allow not only the consumption, but the cultivation, of marijuana plants with a doctor's OK.There are many potent pain and anti-nausea medications currently on the shelf that cannot be consumed without a prescription. But none of them, so far as we know, can legally be produced at home.Similarly, marijuana, if made legal for medicinal use, should be supplied by a pharmacist, not harvested from one's backyard garden.We agree with Rep. Doug Petersen, D-Marblehead, who's still undecided on the issue, that if marijuana is made available, "it should be totally controlled."Like Petersen, we have not detected any groundswell for legalization of the drug for any purpose. Nor have we seen any conclusive evidence that it's the only substance capable of relieving pain or nausea in certain circumstances. Given the variety of medicines out there, it's hard to believe there's not something already available via prescription that would work equally well.The recent action by the Rhode Island Legislature allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients is believed to have prompted a fresh push to pass a similar bill here. In our view, that alone is hardly a good reason for Massachusetts to take the same precarious step toward loosening the prohibition against marijuana use.Source: Salem News (MA)Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Essex County NewspapersWebsite: http://www.salemnews.comContact: online_editor Related Articles & Web Site:MassCann Consider Medical Marijuana Favors Allowing Medical Use of Marijuana Pro-Pot Decision Won’t Sway His Opposition

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Comment #21 posted by museman on January 13, 2006 at 13:22:22 PT:
RE:comment 14
How about this scam;Here in Oregon, several local county Sheriff depts have concocted quite a scheme for generating revenue;The Sheriffs go out like hunting dogs looking for teenagers to bust for..what teenagers do..and then hold their drivers license hostage to make them sign up and pay for the local 'diversion' classes. I have been in family court twice for one of my sons, who incidentally has a 4.0 grade average and is currently attending U of O on scholarship. My son had been charged with M.I.P.- marijuanna on school grounds. He had not even been caught but had gotten away. His friend inadvertantly (who had been holding) gave up enough information to bring the cops to my door. He had not been caught with anything, and the cop didn't even read him his rights. or even write him a ticket. I showed up with a stack of papers that I researched about juvenile rights and the judge wouldn't even come out of his chambers.The next time my son 'admitted having a beer' (oh how I despise that pastime) so I couldn't defend him. He had to do 2 weeks of classes, and pay $50 to keep his drivers license from being suspended EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN'T HAVE ONE, HAD NEVER HAD ONE! He would have had to pay the county exhorbitant re-instatement fees (as well as the state).On the day that we went in there were over 20 families crammed in that room with their 'delinquent' children. The county got around $100 a family just on that day. In a neighboring county (notably rich) the fees are around $1,000 a kid!I made a point of pointing out to them that it seemed to us (the other parents agreed) that the cops were a bit cowardly in going after teenagers, with all the meth activity around, vandalism, thievery, violence, rape and murder. Teenagers are easy, real crriminals are more difficult.Now in my fifties, I have no misconceptions about who the real scum-buckets are, and aside from Nazi-minded tweakers, the 'law enforcement agencies' take the prize. Not to mention their Rich masters.
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Comment #20 posted by BGreen on January 13, 2006 at 12:24:18 PT
My story is similar to yours, runruff
For me it was the Junior Deputy program run by the Jackson County sheriffs department in the Kansas City, MO area.It was a forerunner of DARE, and in 1973 a deputy came to our 6th grade class, burned something that was supposed to let us know what "marijuana" smelled like, and told us the usual "pot=heroin=downers=speed=LSD, they're all the same and they'll all kill you" mumbo jumbo.I already knew some older kids who smoked cannabis and were doing just fine, so all I took away from the Jackson County sheriffs department is that if they lie about one thing they must lie about everything.Talk about a valuable 6th grade lesson. LOLThe Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #19 posted by museman on January 13, 2006 at 12:10:11 PT:
Gateways to addiction
Ok last time,
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN (scene shows eggs in hand of beautiful young rich starlet. She throws the eggs in a frying pan)
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON TELEVISION No not ON TV, addicted to TV.Public school is a gateway to harder addictions, like having to have money for everything under the sun, or actually coming to believe that your slavery to the rich is of some benefit to you or your family.Television is the mighty addictor, what other 'drug' do you know of that is capable of making millions of people believe in the emperors invisible attire? 9/11? Terrorists? All right here folks on channel 9.Television relieves us of the burden of human interaction, allows us to feel that the little figures inside the magic box have got it all figured out for us. "And all marveled at the power of the beast.."The hypnotic eye of the beast has captured most if not all of America in it's thrall. How much time of our lives do we willingly give over to it...after we've given most of the rest of it so the rich can ski in Vale, and take those wonderful cruises in the Bahamas?And when are they going to bust all those DRUG STORES that exist on every mainstreet in America. They deal in some pretty nasty stuff made from chemicals remotely resembling the herbs that originated the medicine. And somebody is really rakin in the dough.Marijuanna is an herb bearing seed, given to us in the beginning of time by God Himself to be used for all manner of 'meat.' Before all the rest of the Pat Robertsons stuck their saliva covered feet into the fray.Alcohol is a poison legal and sanctioned by the power elite as a very effective way to stifle intelligence.Logic and reason are attributes of humanity that supposedly seperate us from animals. For the masters of America logic is whatever suits their fancy at any given time, and reason is a finite loop of fanatical denial with no bearing on reality at all, and no hope of pointing out that fact to the fanatical minions who adamantly serve their opulent Lords in public office.As you peel away the layers of mud, there's more mud here.Seems to me that we have to go for the heart of the matter...which discussions like this are aiming at... and not get too hung up on issues. We have to make sure that while we are making a stand on one front, that the b*stards don't sneak around and pull off some major oh crap they already did...the "Patriot Act."Ignorance is a disease that can be cured with good information, but unfortunately there is no cure for stupidity. Therefore we can expect a high turnout from mindless TV sitters in the next election.After years of researching and witnessing the republican phenomenon I can state with certainty that there are basicly two kinds of republicans;The very rich, and the very stupid. Our current monkey pres made that fact abundantly clear.One more addiction I need to mention which is the vilest known to man and the universe; POWER. And money is the gateway. Somebody stop them please.
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Comment #18 posted by runruff on January 13, 2006 at 10:06:20 PT:
The Reefer madguess disease.
They brought this disease around to two schools I went to as kid. First in 1957 then again in 1959 They had us wide eyed yoots really scared. We got to see Reefer Maddness at 
the school assembly then a long speech about the evils of marijuana from some big ol' scary republican woman. She told horror stories that could have come right from Hitchcock or Edgar Allen Poe. She told of childern comming into the ER at the hospital where she worked. Kids who were addicted to reefer were straped to gurnies where they foamed at the mouth and struggled with their bindings 
and begged for a fix, A joint. I remember even then identifying with the anti-heros in the film. The rebels who were supposed to be the bad guys. Well she scared the 
yumpin yiminacks out of us. So fast forward four years and I'm overseas with my military buddies. They are tokin' Spanish grown herb laughin' it up and havin' a good ol' time. I noticed that the next day they were back on the job alert and doing their jobs cheerful and all. I didn't see any addiction or terrible withdrawls. So when I was offered some I ventured to try it. The first couple of times I couldn't feel anything but soon I noticed a slight buzz. It was fine. Didn't jump into herion. But it was then I knew I had been lied to in school. I didn't understand at the time why they lied but this began my growing distrust of all thing authoritive. Untill then I didn't mind authority very much. No! I mean I didn't MIND authority very much or often. I *never* did what I was told after a while after that though. This great deception made a profound impression on me.
When I came home from Europe the USA was straining at the seams. I jumped right into the mix. It was easy for me to expierment with LSD, Hash, opium, magic mushrooms. After the BIG lie I decided all thing were open to exploration.
My distrust of government fell in with my general understanding of all things unreal. So for me you might say the gateway drug was the big lie.
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Comment #17 posted by unkat27 on January 12, 2006 at 22:09:09 PT
Somebody has to educate the Prohibitionist idiots
Someone has got to get it across to these hair-brained idiots that still believe cannabis is a "gateway drug" to harder drugs that it has nothing to do with cannabis and everything to do with the dealers of illegal drugs who "push" harder drugs on their customers because there is more "profit" in harder drugs than there is in cannabis. There is more profit in harder drugs because it is easier to smuggle, easier to conceal, and easier to flush down the toilet in the event of a surprise raid by the police. There is much more profit in the sale of an ounce of cocaine than an ounce of cannabis. This is the primary reason why drug-dealers push harder drugs on their customers and it is also the primary reason why many of their customers experiment with harder drugs.The solution, if these hair-brained idiots could just think these things through and add 2 + 2, is not harder penalties for drug possession, the solution is to take cannabis out of the hands of illegal drug dealers and put it into legal dealers through legalization and regulation, like alcohol or tobacco. 
Vampires and Vultures: The Drug War Profiteers
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 12, 2006 at 08:28:10 PT
Thank you for all your efforts. I really appreciate them.
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Comment #15 posted by siege on January 12, 2006 at 08:16:47 PT
Success for Sentencing Reform in New Jersey
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Comment #14 posted by siege on January 12, 2006 at 07:58:28 PT
Success for Sentencing Reform in New Jersey
Success for Sentencing Reform in New Jersey
Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey has acheived a big victory for sentencing reform in the lame duck session of the state legislature. The New Jersey Senate and Assembly passed legislation on Monday, January 9, that would give judges discretion not to revoke people’s drivers’ licenses for drug offenses. 
Currently, it is mandatory that anyone convicted of a drug offense (no matter how minor, and even if it is unrelated to driving or driver safety) lose his or her license for six to 24 months! This harsh law does nothing to reduce drug use and hinders employment, drug treatment access, child care and other options for those convicted of drug offenses. Acting Governor Codey is expected to sign the reform bill, and once he does so judges will have the discretion not to impose this ineffective and counterproductive penalty. bust brings suitA Kauai couple claims they were manhandled in their home by officers looking for marijuana OKs pot dispensaries
School districts oppose ordinance despite limits
By Mike Sprague Staff WriterWHITTIER - Over objections from two school board trustees, the Whittier City Council approved a marijuana dispensaries ordinance allowing pot-providing collectives to open in certain areas within city limits.Before affirming a Dec. 13 vote on the ordinance, council members Tuesday night heard from Whittier Union High School District and Whittier City School District trustees, who said making pot dispensaries legal in the city sends the wrong message to young people.They also heard from a local psychologist who told them marijuana can have medicinal benefits.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 12, 2006 at 07:20:46 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
New Mexico Urges Consideration of Compassionate Use***Thursday, January 12, 2006The Alliance New Mexico, patients and other advocates urged Governor Bill Richardson in meetings Wednesday to consider medical marijuana in the upcoming legislative session. The Alliance New Mexico is also holding a letter-writing campaign so New Mexicans can remind the governor how important this issue is to the state.With the recent victory for medical marijuana legislation in Rhode Island, momentum for reform at the state level is building. But because this is an even-numbered year, Governor Richardson represents the only opportunity for the issue to be considered this year. In the month-long 2006 session, which starts January 17, only budget matters and bills the governor puts on his "call" will be addressed by the legislature.Last year, intense advocacy work brought the legislation very close to passing, but it was stopped just short of a full House vote by a political conflict unrelated to the legislation itself. "Coming so close in 2005 and being stopped at the very end of the process was heartbreaking," said Alliance New Mexico director Reena Szczepanski. "So why are we trying this again? Because we are dedicated to protecting the rights of the seriously ill and dying in our state who should have access to this medicine. Because we are more confident than ever that we have the legislative support to pass this bill."The governor has not yet decided whether to put the medical marijuana bill on his call, but the recent meetings and letter-writing campaign have given him numerous reasons to do so. The governor must decide within the next few days.
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Comment #12 posted by siege on January 12, 2006 at 07:16:07 PT
Death by Modern Medicine
Hospital Adverse Reaction – 106,000Deaths Medical Error – 98,000Deaths Bedsores – 115,000Deaths Infection – 88,000Deaths Malnutrition - - 108,800Deaths Outpatient Adverse Reaction – 199,000Deaths Unnecessary Procedures – 37,136Deaths Surgery-Related – 32,000 DeathsTotal Annual Deaths by Modern Medicine – 783,936 
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Comment #11 posted by siege on January 12, 2006 at 07:07:45 PT
Drugs and Racial Discrimination
The mandatory sentencing laws that have swept this country since the 70's have clearly done more harm than good. The inmate population has skyrocketed, driving prison costs to bankrupting levels, while having no impact at all on the drug problem. By taking away judicial discretion, the laws have led the country to write off first-time offenders who might have deserved second chances and to imprison addicts who could otherwise have been effectively and less expensively handled through treatment programs.
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Comment #10 posted by Toker00 on January 12, 2006 at 03:47:44 PT
Cannabis Prohibition/Freedom Prohibition
What exactly does it prohibit? Does it keep me from buying for recreation or medical use? No. Does it keep any of you from buying it for whatever purpose you choose? No. Does it keep the CHILDREN from having it? No. Can't any law officer set up a buy? Yes. Can your Grandmother get some through you? Yes. All a person has to do is desire it. Ask and you shall receive. What it DOES prohibit, is freedom. That's what we lose when we prohibit something. The "something" is never prohibited. Only your FREEDOM is prohibited.Children have access to drugs at ever younger ages. Thanks to Prohibition, which prohibits us from protecting them from the Black Market. There IS no protection from the Black Market, except through ending Prohibition.We have to attack the Prison Industrial Complex. They, the law makers, and the law enforcers benefit from our Freedom Prohibition. Illegal and unjust laws have to be changed. We will do it.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS/FREEDOM PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #9 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 12, 2006 at 03:40:36 PT
Gateway? Dangerous?
I can't believe the prohibitionists are still using the marijuana is a gateway drug propaganda. They lose more credibility with the public every this BS and the public knows it. The drug dealers are the gateway, and marijuana prohibition causes drug dealers.They keep pushing the hype that marijuana is dangerous. All I have to say is, "Prove it!" Show me the multitudes of people who are getting sick or dying from using marijuana. The danger of marijuana is having to obtain it from the black market, which is caused by drug prohibition.Marijuana is not dangerous, and it is not the gateway to other drugs. Marijuana prohibition is!
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 11, 2006 at 23:10:05 PT
Right on, Observer!
I so agree. It's fine for the pharmacists to do well...but I don't think we should all be forced to just bow down to them and pay exhoribitant prices for a herb that should not cost an arm and a leg.I wonder if you can't use warm olive oil for an earache anymore...because it doesn't come from the pharmacist and is for an ailment? When we got earaches when I was little that's what they did and what I rarely, but should have done more often than I did with my own children, but it worked everytime I remembered to try it first...but now you have to see a doctor everytime and buy a fifty five dollar bottle of antibiotics from the pharmacists. My children have learned to use olive oil first for their earaches and end the endless trot to the doctor and pharmacy for more antibiotics for that dreaded ear infection (which the fever from sent my son into convulsions twice) I rode the ear infection/antibiotic bandwagon for some time myself. Sometimes that's what it takes, antibiotics...but it's amazing how well the warm olive oil works. If the big "they" find out we use olive oil for ailments...are we going to get busted because of not using a pharmeceutical right away?When pinkeye was going around a few years ago, chamomile tea soaked cotton balls cleared up the infections better than the prescription ointments. When my dog had an eye infection, I cleared it up with salt water (saline) washes when the ointments from the vet didn't work.Does this mean we HAVE to use the salve we bought at the pharmacist when we get a burn, even if we have an aloe vera plant in the "back yard" and we'd prefer to harvest a bit of that to soothe the burn?
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Comment #7 posted by observer on January 11, 2006 at 21:24:05 PT
Jail ... is the issue
Similarly, marijuana, if made legal for medicinal use, should be supplied by a pharmacist, not harvested from one's backyard garden.Yes, I would much rather love in a world where Granny and Pop do have the option to buy pure, high-potency cannabis or opioids or digitalis etc. at the pharamacy. But for pete's sake, please do not ARREST AND JAIL poor Granny and Pop if they decide to grow their own poppies or cannabis or foxglove!Arrest, jail.That's where the rubber meets the road. (Or should I say where the rubber hose meets the skull?) 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 11, 2006 at 19:34:18 PT
News Article from KGO-TV San Francisco
Advocates Pass Out Pot In Front Of SF City Hall ***By Amy HollyfieldJan. 11 - KGO - Medicinal marijuana advocates in San Francisco showed the feds exactly how they feel about raids on pot clubs by passing out the ganja publicly on city streets right in front of City Hall. Among them a couple already under scrutiny by DEA agentsThese are more than just sweets. To these activists this is a sweet way to stick it to the federal government. The treats are filled with marijuana Steve Smith, medical pot club owner: "The grass roots are blending with the local officials to take a stand against the federal government." Steve and Cathy Smith gave the marijuana to patients who rely on it to ease their pain. Not only did the move not land them in jail, but they were hauled in to City Hall to be commended by city and state officials. Chris Daly, SF supervisor: "My constituents need you, San Francisco needs you, this country needs you. Thank you for the work you have done." The Smiths are getting all this support in response to a federal raid of their medical marijuana club back in December. They weren't arrested, but drug enforcement agents took 122 plants -- severely impacting the couple's ability to serve hundreds of patients. Lenora Brown, medical marijuana patient: "I's been really bad it's been in bed not able to get out of bed." The DEA didn't want to talk today, but released this statement: "Anyone, whether a member of a political body, or a private citizen who engages in the illegal distribution or trafficking of drugs could be subject to federal criminal penalties under Title 21 United States code." That statement certainly implies that federal agents could come down here to City Hall and make some arrests. But a spokeswoman for the DEA says they never discuss enforcement. The threat of possibly being arrested didn't deter some public officials from being very outspoken " Ross Mirkarimi, SF supervisor: "San Francisco and the state of California can do it without the federal government's help." Who knows when the smoke will clear in this never ending battle between California and federal law. Copyright: 2006 ABC Inc., KGO-TV San Francisco
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on January 11, 2006 at 18:25:55 PT
Another Anonymous Dolt
The recent action by the Rhode Island Legislature allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients is believed to have prompted a fresh push to pass a similar bill here. In our view, that alone is hardly a good reason for Massachusetts to take the same precarious step toward loosening the prohibition against marijuana use.Is the fact that nearly 80% of Massachusetts residents support medical cannabis a good enough reason to take the same "precarious" step as Rhode Island? Ever heard of REPRESENTATION?THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Cut to the Chase or Risk Irrelevance: The Plain and Simple Truth of 9/11: Synthetic Terror: Made in USA: 9/11 'Smoking Guns' Found in the Mainstream Media: the War Machine By Facing the Truth of 9/11:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 11, 2006 at 18:15:57 PT
US Botanic Garden Exhibits Medicinal Plants
It is an herbal medicine. We don't need it pressed into a little pill.Excerpt:Ms. Brunson also says she works for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, which advocates making the marijuana plant medically available to seriously ill people who have the approval of their doctors. Advocates say the drug, which is illegal in the United States, helps reduce pain. The plant is not among the collection at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on January 11, 2006 at 18:08:40 PT
Uh-oh, another make-believe land of the totalitarian utopia.Nothing should be allowed that is not totally controlled! Of course, 85% of high school kids can get MJ easily, so our current "control" isn't working so great. But in the land of make believe, you just hold your fingers over your ears & chant "la-la-la".And who would do the controlling of cannabis? The openly corrupt FDA, which actively helped to kill & injure tens of thousands of people by hiding the damage of Vioxx for 2 or 3 years? Government control of something doesn't make it better, or perfect, or morally correct. 
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Comment #2 posted by whig on January 11, 2006 at 18:03:26 PT
Because we can't let people deny the drug companies their profits.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 11, 2006 at 17:56:19 PT

A Fad
Gee I thought Fads came and went. In a way it is cool being called a Fad. This issue is a Fad that's stuck together with some powerful crazy glue though.
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