Ease Patients' Suffering with Access To Marijuana

  Ease Patients' Suffering with Access To Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on April 30, 2007 at 17:32:41 PT
By Cole Krawitz 
Source: Huffington Post  

Connecticut -- This May, I will celebrate living cancer free for eleven years. I'm the first of three generations in my family to survive cancer following chemotherapy and radiation. As more young cancer survivors live on, we also face new health challenges. Last month I had surgery for endometriosis, a painful reproductive and immunological disease affecting over 7 million women and girls in the U.S., leaving me with chronic pain, affecting my ability to walk and live my daily life.
We all have these stories of our own experiences, or watching friends and family suffer from debilitating illnesses for months and years. We also know the lengths we would go to ease their pain and suffering.For this reason, support for medical marijuana is overwhelming in Connecticut.A 2004 UCONN poll revealed that 83% of all Connecticut residents believed doctors should have the ability to recommend marijuana to their patients. Over the past three years, advocacy groups, numerous politicians, the Connecticut Nurses Association and more than 500 doctors have expressed strong support for passing medical marijuana legislation.Support for medical marijuana is not limited to Connecticut . Over the last ten years, twelve states have passed laws supporting safe access to medical marijuana. Seriously ill residents of Vermont , Rhode Island and Maine have access to doctor recommended marijuana, and a bill in New Jersey is likely to pass this session with 86% constituent support.Earlier this month, Gov. Bill Richardson signed a compassionate use bill in New Mexico, making him the first presidential candidate to actively support medical marijuana. But here in Connecticut, we haven't gotten it right -- yet.A bipartisan team of legislators, led by Rep. Penny Bacchiochi (R-Somers), has introduced HB 6715, the Compassionate Use bill. Similar bills almost passed in 2004 and 2005, but were blocked in the final stretch.Without an effective medical marijuana law in Connecticut , patients and caregivers who use marijuana to alleviate pain will face prosecution. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 17,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Connecticut this year alone -- add over 14,000 people currently living with HIV/AIDS, and the need for effective pain management options becomes evermore apparent.When I began chemotherapy, I was knocked out from severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Before long my blood counts were so low I was injecting daily booster shots to keep my blood generating. My body had gone into complete shock. My veins shut down. I couldn't bend my left elbow. Severe nausea left me unable to eat or drink water, and after my second treatment, I was hospitalized with no white blood cells to defend my body against a common cold.We learn to live with pain when we are sick, but we rely on effective pain management options. Doctor prescribed medical marijuana makes these options better.Opponents to medical marijuana state that patients are already prescribed Marinol, a synthesized version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), just one of the 60 active chemical compounds found in marijuana.Studies have shown, however, that smoking marijuana has different effects than oral administration of Marinol, which many patients and physicians have determined is not as effective as marijuana. Furthermore, Marinol only comes as an oral dose of pure THC, making it difficult to regulate the intensity of the effects. Smoking marijuana allows patients to regulate the dose needed to address symptoms without feeling drugged.Not only is medical marijuana effective, it's substantially more affordable. Marinol is almost twice the cost.During times of illness, the ability to manage our pain and the pain of our loved ones is invaluable. Connecticut 's medical marijuana bill gives doctors another choice in caring for their patients who suffer from nausea, debilitating fatigue, pain, vomiting and grave weight loss. We need a law to protect patients, their doctors, and their caregivers from prosecution. We need compassion.This legislative session, let's not allow HB6715 to get mired in political debates while our loved ones continue to suffer. Connecticut needs a workable medical marijuana law. In a 2005 debate about this bill, Rep. Melissa Olson (D-Norwich) remarked, "This bill is not about law and order, crime and punishment or legalizing drugs. This bill is about easing people's pain and alleviating human suffering."As a cancer survivor, I couldn't agree more.Complete Title: Ease Patients' Suffering with Access To Medical Marijuana: A Cancer Survivor's StorySource: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Cole Krawitz Published: April 30, 2007Copyright: 2007, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comURL: Articles: Marijuana Bill on Shaky Legal Ground Should Legalize Medical Marijuana

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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on May 16, 2007 at 22:15:29 PT
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 16, 2007 at 15:48:39 PT

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance
Connecticut House to Vote on Medical Marijuana; School Zone Reform Dies - - for Now***Wednesday, May 16, 2007Connecticut's medical marijuana bill, HB 6715, has passed through its last House committee and may be voted on by the entire House as soon as this week.The Compassionate Use Campaign—made up of DPA and a statewide coalition led by A Better Way Foundation—has exploded across Connecticut, pushing HB 6715 to the House floor for a full vote. The bill, which has strong bipartisan support, would allow certain seriously ill people to access to medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms. If the bill passes and gets the Governor’s signature, Connecticut would become the 13th state in the country to pass medical marijuana. Medical marijuana access has tremendous support among voters in Connecticut. A 2004 University of Connecticut poll found that 83% of Connecticut residents support allowing patients to access medical marijuana for relief of symptoms associated with debilitating conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. Advocates across the state have called, faxed, emailed and met with their legislators, urging them to support Compassionate Use.If HB 6715 passes the Connecticut House, it will move on to the Senate. If you live in Connecticut, you can ask your state Representative to support the bill.While medical marijuana has continued forward with strong support, school zone reform in Connecticut has met with extreme resistance. The so-called “drug free” school zones unfairly blanket urban areas and cities, so that there is nowhere in cities like Hartford where a person can stand without being in a school zone. Those arrested in the zones face harsh mandatory minimum sentencing enhancements. The laws contribute to extraordinary racial disparities as prosecutors use the threat of these enhancements to force defendants into guilty pleas. Thus thousands of people plead guilty to low-level, nonviolent drug charges in order to avoid harsh mandatory minimums.House Bill 7406 included a provision for school zone reforms, but that section of the bill was amended out after showing good progress previously. “It’s not a question of if we’ll win school zone reform,” said DPA project director Gabriel Sayegh, “It’s when.” Stay tuned as we determine the next steps forward on this important issue.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 30, 2007 at 21:16:06 PT

You're welcome. 
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on April 30, 2007 at 21:11:49 PT

exactly ...
my point is that this pr release should be copied, studied and explained as a way to mitigate the perceived danger of "smoking."When talking about smoking Cannabis, all of us should be mentioning vaporization every time we speak.Thanks for the link ...
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 30, 2007 at 20:18:40 PT

Here's a Press Release on Vaporizers. 
 The Volcano Vaporizer - Smoke Without Smoking
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on April 30, 2007 at 20:00:33 PT

but ...
no mention of vaporization.Seems we have to somehow induce ALL groups that favor sanity to talk of vaporization, too.Of course a major point on the anti side is always about "smoking medicine." The simple answer is that humans learned of the Cannabis plant when burning brush and getting a few lungsfull of the stuff.It took modern technology to develop a vaporizer for Cannabis, but now we HAVE some.a safer "smoke" ... let's talk it up ...
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on April 30, 2007 at 18:08:26 PT

Anyone who could read this article and still deny a person the medicine that could help them feel better or even save their life is a murderer. It's past time to start calling these people what they are. THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Engineers say World Trade Center collapse was planned: Inside WTC 7 Reported Explosions Before Collapse: Action Party Leader Calls 9/11 a "Trick on a Massive Scale" (video): and the Evil in America (video): Versus Debunkers - The 9/11 Big Picture:“Conspiracy Professor” Now A Bounty Hunter: Barrett 
Heading to Morocco to Apprehend Suicide Hijacker: 9/11 Truth Conference - June 22-24:
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