Patients Need Patience

Patients Need Patience
Posted by CN Staff on September 13, 2007 at 09:14:39 PT
By Dennis Myers 
Source: Reno News & Review
USA -- Nevada voters may have voted for medical marijuana, but that doesn't mean that law enforcement is willing to make it easy for them, nor are the politicians who set federal policy.At this point, the greatest hope patients and their physicians have is next year's presidential election, which could bring into office a candidate willing to stop law enforcement raids on health care use of marijuana. And for Nevadans, the best way to affect that decision is in the January presidential caucuses in which most candidates have pledged to stop the raids.
Nevada radio personality Travus Hipp of Silver City was arrested last month on pot charges although he has a California-issued medical marijuana card. A search of his home turned up 4 ounces of marijuana and 3 ounces of peyote.On July 29, a vote was held in the U.S. House of Representatives on whether to tell federal agents and prosecutors to knock off harassment of patients in 12 states that have approved medical marijuana by cutting off money for such raids.Nevada House members Shelley Berkley and Jon Porter voted for it. Dean Heller voted against it.The measure failed, 165-262, nearly identical to a similar vote last year of 163-259.It was the best showing the measure has received but still a long way from victory. Worse for proponents, it showed little growth in strength, even with the Democratic takeover of the House.The amendment, designed to protect patients who use medical marijuana in accordance with state law from federal prosecution, was sponsored by Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California and Democrat Maurice Hinchey of New York.None of the Nevada representatives spoke during the floor debate. Internet Campaign The vote was the subject of a great deal of online organizing and campaigning, with groups like the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCN) and the Drug Policy Alliance getting their constituencies to pressure their House members to vote for the Hinchey amendment.But it has failed to crack the barrier to being a national news story. Of the news services, only Reuters covered the story and newspaper coverage tended to be concentrated in the states that have made medical marijuana legal under state law. In a prepared statement after the vote, Hinchey said, "It is unconscionable to me that the federal government would seek to not only deny, but arrest and prosecute, medical marijuana patients who are using the drug in accordance with state law to relieve pain and nausea associated with debilitating illnesses such as cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. What we tried to do on the House floor tonight was protect those patients and their doctors from unfair and inhumane efforts by the federal government to deny them the medicine they need."DRCN posted a message on its website: "Don't look to the Democratically-controlled Congress to protect you, patients!" Seventy-nine of the votes against the amendment were Democratic. An analysis by Jon Gettman of showed that members of the House from medical marijuana-supporting states voted heavily in favor of the Hinchey amendment.Berkley, a Southern Nevada Democrat, released a statement that suggested her interest was not just in stopping interference with current patient usage but also removing obstacles to medical marijuana research."Congress needs to stop letting politics interfere with research on the medicinal value of medical marijuana," she said. "FDA approval of marijuana could happen, but not until the DEA stops blocking the first step in that process."There was no response to requests for a statement from Heller of the reasons for his vote.Jack Cole, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), said, "It is a shame that the majority of our representatives in Congress could not agree to pass this compassionate Hinchey amendment that would have stopped the funding used by federal officers for making those destructive arrests. Nearly a quarter of the states in the union have legalized medical marijuana because the citizens of those states acknowledged by their personal votes that they realized medical marijuana can save lives and make people dying of terrible diseases more comfortable. The police, judges, prosecutors and corrections personnel of LEAP have spent their entire careers working to stop drug abuse. We know that to reduce death, disease, crime and addiction in our communities we must end this failed war on drugs because it is a self-perpetuating and constantly enlarging policy of disaster."During the day of the vote, the Drug Enforcement Administration staged raids of medical marijuana dispensaries all across Los Angeles County. The sweep came not only as the House was about to vote, but also as the Los Angeles City Council approved a measure calling on federal agents to stop harassing such groups. A DEA spokesperson called the timing "purely coincidental."In November 1996, Arizona and California voted to make marijuana legal for health reasons. In the years since, medical marijuana has become legal under state law in 12 states, mostly in the West—Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. (Voters in Arizona and Maryland, have also approved health uses for marijuana but they also have state laws banning possession.) The Hinchey amendment would apply only to those 12. Caucus IssueWith presidential caucuses and primaries scheduled to start in four months, every presidential candidate has been questioned about the issue on the campaign trail, and most of them have said they would de-emphasize the raids. In New Hampshire, the first primary state, Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana has tracked the statements of the candidates.So far, Democrats Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson, and Republicans Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo have said they support ending the raids. John McCain has given conflicting statements on the issue.Republicans Sam Brownback, Rudolph Giuliani, Michael Huckabee, Duncan Hunter and Mitt Romney have said they would continue the raids.Democrat Mike Gravel has not expressed himself on the specific issue of the raids, but supports making marijuana legal.There are additional bits of information in the candidates' backgrounds that reflect on their stands. Barack Obama sponsored an amendment in the senate to stop the raids. Bill Richardson, as New Mexico governor, signed New Mexico's medical marijuana measure into law and last month criticized the arrest of a wheelchair-bound Malaga, N.M., man who was certified by the state Health Department to possess and smoke marijuana for medical reasons. The arrest took place in a raid on the man's home.Joe Biden's stance on the raids stands in sharp contrast with most of his record on drugs in Congress, where he has been one of the most aggressive supporters of prohibition and the war on drugs. Note: A decade after voters started approving medical marijuana, Congress still hasn’t gotten the message.Source: Reno News & Review (NV)Author: Dennis Myers Published: September 13, 2007Copyright: 2007, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.Contact: renoletters newsreview.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on September 14, 2007 at 08:33:21 PT
Comment 7, by Afterburner
"Drug testing is humiliating, costly and ineffective..."True... and yet lie lovers push it on and on and on.Like so much of the War on Drugs. What could really be going on here?Maybe profits and more profits for some "special" people. Maybe teaching the not so "special" people how really weak, helpless, and useless they really are. You know, to keep them in their place.Something else that I really detest...testing accident victims to see if they had contraband in their tissue. That's absolutely nothing but a way for insurance companies (one of the "special" people) to get out of paying up on their end of the bargain they made, and a way to humiliate and intimidate those left behind... and to stain the memory of the dead for no other reason than looking for a way to get out of keeping the money from the bargain they made and the desire to blame and punish someone... somehow... however. The reason for it is profit, greed, and disrespect.
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Comment #8 posted by whig on September 13, 2007 at 22:47:21 PT
Max Flowers
I agree.
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on September 13, 2007 at 22:36:57 PT
ekim, Michiganders: The ONDCP is Coming to Detroit
"The date and location of the summit is:"Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 9am-4pm"Doubletree Hotel Dearborn5801 Southfield Expressway, Detroit, Michigan"From : Jennifer Kern, DPA  
Sent : September 6, 2007 10:06:46 AM 
To : YOU 
Subject : The ONDCP is Coming to Detroit 
 September 5, 2007 
 Oppose The ONDCP's Random Student Drug Testing PropagandaDear YOU,We will not let the Drug Czar have the last word on random student drug testing. His staff has been flying around the country holding propaganda filled summits to try to convince local educators to start drug testing students -- randomly and without cause.Earlier this year we organized at the summits in South Carolina, New Jersey, Hawaii and Las Vegas to get out the word that these surveillance programs are ineffective and harmful, and we were incredibly successful.In an unexpected twist, the ONDCP is hosting an additional summit in Detroit at the end of September. However, they are not advertising this summit on their website. Please attend and show the ONDCP that opposition will meet them everywhere they go!The date and location of the summit is:Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 9am-4pmDoubletree Hotel Dearborn5801 Southfield Expressway, Detroit, MichiganPlease make sure you register for the free event by faxing this form to 202-395-6744, calling 202-395-6750 or e-mailing vwoodberry . Also, let me know you are attending so I can send you additional materials and answer any questions you might have.Prepare for the event by familiarizing yourself with the issue.Read our tips for asking tough questions that will have drug testing proponents stumbling over their responses.Please arrive in business casual attire to be most effective in communicating with educators.Even if you can't attend, you can still get involved. Check out our toolkit for more ideas.The ONDCP's goal is to present itself as the single authority on student drug testing. Don't let them hit regional educators and run! Your participation will make an important difference in Michigan.Thank you!Sincerely,Jennifer Kern
Drug Testing Fails Campaign Coordinator
Drug Policy Alliance
www.drugtestingfails.orgLearn more about student drug testingDrug testing is humiliating, costly and ineffective, but it's an easy anti-drug sound bite for the White House. Student testing breaks the trust between children and adults, and drives students away from extracurricular activities. What's more, studies even show that student drug testing doesn't work to deter drug use. Read the story of how one student's life was turned upside down by drug testing.Visit our website and read a copy of our booklet Making Sense of Student Drug Testing: Why Educators Are Saying No. 
 Contact the Drug Policy Alliance:Drug Policy Alliance
70 West 36th Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10018For subscription problems please contact
Jeanette Irwin, Director, Internet Communications
jirwin | 202.216.0035
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on September 13, 2007 at 20:38:25 PT
Pete has story on Dodd and Cannabis
at http://www.drugwarrant.comif anyone wants more on Leap
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Comment #5 posted by duzt on September 13, 2007 at 15:39:05 PT
link to travus
here's a radio site that hosts him.
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Comment #4 posted by duzt on September 13, 2007 at 15:37:05 PT
Travus T. Hipp
I listened to him for years in Nevada. He is an older man with an amazing mind who catches a bunch of the BS in politics and calls them on it. He also always new all the stuff that was happening behind closed doors and was a great source of what was really happening in politics. I'm shocked they would harass him, they will have problems for that. I hope he gets all the support he deserves. 
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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on September 13, 2007 at 12:22:15 PT
Hillary stop DEA raids? I'd be pleasantly shocked
So far, Democrats Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson, and Republicans Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo have said they support ending the raids. John McCain has given conflicting statements on the issue.I don't believe that "Bilderberg Hillary" will actually act to do this when/if the chance comes up. I think she is the GOP's favorite alternative for president, that is to say that I think she is the democrat they would like most to have in there if they must accept a democrat, because she is the most plugged in to their agenda. I hope she will prove me wrong if she gets in the white house, but I doubt she will. Let's remember that cannabis arrests actually increased while Bill Clinton was president.
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Comment #2 posted by whig on September 13, 2007 at 09:58:59 PT
Those who have never suffered don't know the meaning of compassion, perhaps.
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Comment #1 posted by mai_bong_city on September 13, 2007 at 09:46:02 PT
i'm fed-up with the 'patience' bit
truly. try having patience when you're puking your guts out day after day. when the pain in your bones makes you scream and the spasms won't let you walk, work, function - when your very sanity and life hang in the friggin' balanace.
put a stop watch on yourself and make it one that ticks loudly - every bloody second is a horrible, inhumane complete waste of time and destruction of human spirit and dare anyone ask anymore from the sick?
take our pain on your own body somehow, and then let's see how much patience these folks can handle.....the sick are the stronger, because of having to climb a mountain of pain and frustration every new morning, just to get to a little piece of happiness and the sun and a life......
i have no more patience. there is no excuse or reason in the universe for this to continue anymore. not one second longer.i need not tell my family here this. you are all well-versed, personally, painfully so.....but i hope some stranger happens upon this and maybe thinks for a moment - one second - how it is to have your life hijacked by disease and pain and illness - the frustration and emotional distress that causes ......
who would ever ask for this? who would ever go to the lengths we go to just to partake in smoking a little 'pot'??
i don't know who the crazy people are anymore.
i'm only sure i'm not one of them.
i am more sickened by the way we treat our fellow humankind than any disease could ever make me.
i truly wonder if there is any cure......or if it's hopeless. not in the long-run, i'm sure - but if i had any thought i'd get out of this life easy, it's long gone with my own hope for just a little relief, a little decency, human kindness, some ease to the inane amount of suffering that not only i but hundreds of thousands that are being denied this.
it is the wrongest this i have ever, ever known.peace to my brothers and sisters.
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