Itís Time To Pass Medical Marijuana

Itís Time To Pass Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 08, 2007 at 06:06:02 PT
By Darrell Ehrlick, The WDN Editorial Board
Source: Winona Daily News 
Minnesota -- To hear some Republican legislators talk, Minnesota might as well start putting heroin in milk and open a methadone clinic on every street corner. A new law in the Legislature has created quite a little rhetoric by some politicians who worry that legalizing marijuana for medical use would throw open the door to drugs.Really, Minnesota would join 12 other states in making medical marijuana legal. What that means is that those with a marijuana card would be held immune from state prosecution for possession or use of the drug, while the federal authorities could, if they chose, still prosecute those who possess marijuana, a violation of federal drug law.
A slim majority of Senate lawmakers have chosen common sense over rhetoric and done the right thing by passing a medical marijuana bill. Our two local senators, Sharon Erickson Ropes and Steve Murphy, both voted in favor of the humane law.As we live longer, we are faced with more terminal diseases that take life one miserable piece at a time rather than suddenly. That means that palliative care ó or managing pain ó is going to become more and more essential in our society. Marijuana for medical purposes has that kind of potential.For those who argue that marijuanaís prevalence in our society will only result in more children and adults becoming addicted, weíve got news for you: Marijuana is already commonplace in our communities. Medical marijuanaís impact on the streets of Minnesota will most likely be negligible because those who need it arenít doing it for a high; itís not an illicit drug to them. Itís something to be used, like a prescription or aspirin ó something to make them feel better.For too long, opponents of the medical marijuana debate have confused it with the War on Drugs. But medical marijuana has nothing to do with illicit drug use. This is about using the drug for palliative care. Itís no different than prescription pain killers that can be and often are abused.It seems unfair ó even cruel ó to ban marijuana from those who might use it to have a life thatís more pain free just because of the potential for abuse by a few. We must think of the good that will be served by those who will use it for legitimate medical purposes and prosecute those who obtain it illegally.We hope the Minnesota House will follow suit and pass a similar bill.Gov. Tim Pawlenty has threatened to veto this bill because he believes it will make it harder for law enforcement officers to do their jobs.While we donít think a police officerís job should be any harder, we also trust their professional judgment to determine the difference between illicit use and medical use. We wish the governor would give the law enforcement community a little more credit. And we wish the governor would support legislation that would help demonstrate that compassionate and conservative are more than just words in a party slogan.We hope that someday the need for medical marijuana will end. That would mean that medical science has eliminated chronic, painful and debilitating diseases. But that day isnít here now. For now, thereís compassion and maybe soon, thereíll be medical marijuana in Minnesota.The Winona Daily News editorial board also includes publisher Rusty Cunningham and online editor Jerome Christenson. Source: Winona Daily News (MN)Author: Darrell Ehrlick, The Winona Daily News Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2007Copyright: 2006 Winona Daily NewsContact: letters winonadailynews.comWebsite: Articles:State Senate Gives Marijuana Tentative OK Passes Bill To Permit Marijuana Use Panel Narrowly Approves Marijuana Bill 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 10, 2007 at 09:34:10 PT
Sam....comment 3
I agree!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 10, 2007 at 09:05:49 PT
LTE: Minnesota
Effects of Allowing Medical Use of Marijuana Overstated***Marijuana Concerns Unfounded
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Comment #5 posted by whig on May 09, 2007 at 01:41:24 PT
Soap, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on May 08, 2007 at 22:01:24 PT
What Is the Evidence of a 'Potential for Abuse'?
"It seems unfair ó even cruel ó to ban marijuana from those who might use it to have a life thatís more pain free just because of the potential for abuse by a few."And just what is this "potential for abuse" that hasn't already been propagandized, discussed here and disproved by the fine folks that frequent this site?Potential? Sounds like Minority Report!Treatment, not law enforcement.God-given herbs for food and medicine, not synthetic pharmaceutical poisons.Cannabis for safer recreation than alcohol and tobacco. 
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 08, 2007 at 12:25:15 PT
I do!
"While we donít think a police officerís job should be any harder...."I do think their job should be harder!! Absolutely. Almost everyone in the private sector is being forced to work harder and longer since "re-engineering" started in the 80s. And they're paying police salaries.I absolutely demand that police continue to work harder and smarter every year that goes by, just like all private-sector taxpayers.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 08, 2007 at 11:56:35 PT
I agree.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on May 08, 2007 at 10:48:05 PT
relative risks of FDA approved drugs.......
and various activities. is sort of off topic but I posted because,.....What is the risk of death from cannabis use?Say it with me documented deaths from cannabis use. No known toxic dosage. In fact, studies indicate that cannabis is neuro-protective and protective from lung cancer.
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