U.S. Should Allow Medical Marijuana

U.S. Should Allow Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on February 17, 2008 at 05:25:39 PT
By Robert T. Stephan
Source: Wichita Eagle
Kansas -- Some seem surprised that I advocate the legislation that is supportive of medical marijuana. Let me make it clear that I do not advocate the legalization of marijuana or any other controlled substances.This marks the 25th year since I first publicly supported medical marijuana and the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug (Class I -- no medicinal value; Class II -- medicinal value).
I find it almost unbelievable that our federal government would continue to let its citizens suffer from various diseases when the properties contained in marijuana would alleviate that suffering. Frankly, I don't know how those in the federal government and the Drug Enforcement Administration can sleep at night when they choose to ignore mounting evidence that marijuana relieves suffering from many diseases.I know about the nausea that comes with most regimens of chemotherapy. In 1972 I was diagnosed with lymphocytic lymphoma in stage IV. The nausea is not just an upset stomach that can be quieted by chewing Pepto-Bismol tablets. It is horrible and in some instances can cause you to be unable to eat or digest food and become immobile for a time.While I was undergoing chemotherapy, some medicines worked and some did not. The same thing is true today. Opponents of medical marijuana, who say there are plenty of drugs to alleviate suffering, tout the latest drug -- Marinol. Shame on them.Over the past few months, I have been talking with a young lady who has stage IV liver cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. She is unable to hold down much food and is terribly ill with nausea. One day she was excited because the doctor was going to prescribe Marinol for her. It contains THC, a component in the marijuana plant. A week after she started taking Marinol, she was still so ill she could not hold back vomiting. She has since commenced acupuncture, which helps, but she is still nauseated. Why would anyone deny this wonderful woman the right to use a drug to relieve her suffering?For 15 years, I visited cancer patients in hospitals in Topeka and Wichita. Some patients said they resorted to marijuana to relieve their nausea. It is not right that they should be subject to incarceration because marijuana was their last resort for relief.The states cannot violate federal law, but they do have the right to determine state penalties for violations of law. Twelve states have sent a message to the federal government by passing medical marijuana laws. Kansas can add to that message.DEA administrative law judges have ruled against the DEA position. The New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 called the federal ban on medical use of marijuana "misguided, heavy-handed and inhumane."By passing Senate Bill 556, the Legislature would send a message to the federal government and the DEA that they must allow appropriate research of the marijuana plant and place marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug.Robert T. Stephan, a Lenexa attorney, was Kansas attorney general from 1979 to 1995. This was adapted from his testimony last week to a Senate committee.Source: Wichita Eagle (KS)Author: Robert T. StephanPublished: February 17, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Wichita EagleContact: letters Website: Articles & Web Site:KSCCC Therapy or Recreation? on Panel Agenda Would Allow Judge To Consider Illness Defense
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Comment #3 posted by Truth on February 17, 2008 at 12:40:10 PT
A Lovely Morning in Mendo
question ??? 
Here's my question:
If you voted today, and the choices were: A B & CWho would you vote for?A. John McCainB. Barack Obama and who ever he wants.C. Dr. Ron Paul, with Hillary and/or William Clinton as equal cocouncil for VP. (on the newly formed Constitution Ticket)
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Comment #2 posted by potpal on February 17, 2008 at 11:50:49 PT
It is a crime
To prohibit cannabis. To deprieve the sick of a helpful herbal remedy. To deprieve scientists from researching the possible uses of a plant put on the planet for our use. To even comtemplate the eradication of a plant that has so much potential to improve the human condition. Its the DEA that needs to be eliminated, not the cannabis plant. We know who the criminals are. Facists indeed.Let me make it clear that I do not advocate the legalization of marijuana or any other controlled substances. 
Controlled substance? NOT. That's what regulation would do, prohibition ensures that it is not. It is an uncontrolled substance, left to the black market. The DEA works for them also. We all saw the movie Traffic.Prohibition is the real crime.Kudos to the author.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on February 17, 2008 at 10:01:44 PT:
What a country!-Yakov Smirinov
The US Supreme Court always sides with industry in America.
When government and industry are in lock step that is called fascism. The Surpreme Court is fascist. Some members more than others but time after time they move us toward a more fascist police state.Of course they are rewarded. And please don't point out how their income is monitored. We all now the value of having complete use of something without owning it. How about off shore banking? College funds for their kids? Money that they will never see but will show up for the benefit of their kids years from now. Look, I'm not even cleaver about this stuff. I'm sure they are and have the best advisors in the world to show them how it is done.I believe prosecutors are all crooks and judges are elevated prosecutors.
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