Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on October 23, 2008 at 06:11:12 PT
By Rick Coates
Source: Northern Express
Michigan -- When Dr. George Wagoner, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist from Manistee, saw the suffering his wife of 51 years was enduring from her battle with ovarian cancer last year, he turned to marijuana to ease her pain.“During her chemotherapy she experienced intense nausea, and conventional anti-nausea drugs didn’t help much. One drug cost $46.20 a pill and didn’t help,” said Dr. Wagoner. “Another made her hallucinate, so she refused to take it.
Basically, pharmaceutical drugs were ineffective and the marijuana -- just a very small dose -- was most effective.”Dr. Wagoner and his wife are among many who have taken the path of using marijuana for medical purposes. However, in Michigan, they are breaking the law. On November 4, Ballot Proposal 1 will give Michigan voters the opportunity to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Currently, 12 other states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana.For Reverend Steve Thompson, chapter president of the Benzie County NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), the ballot issue is music to his ears.“I have been an advocate for this for many years,” said Thompson. “I have been using marijuana for the past 42 years of my life. I am not into alcohol and a prescription drug about killed me. I turn 61 on November 5 and I expect this to be the best birthday present ever.”SUPPORT & OPPOSITIONOf course, Thompson is assuming that the ballot proposal is going to pass. The most recent survey of Michigan voters conducted by the Detroit News/WYXZ radio shows 66 percent of voters in support of the ballot issue.However, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge and former congressman, state senator and Michigan Agricultural Director Bill Schuette has been leading the opposition fight against the ballot proposal. Schuette is part of the newly-formed organization Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids that has been campaigning against the issue.“Proposal 1 is flawed and full of unintended consequences which will be devastating to Michigan’s kids and their families,” said judge Schuette. “While there is a need to help people burdened with chronic pain symptoms, Proposal 1, which advocates legalizing marijuana, is carelessly written and opens the door to greater access to drugs for teenagers across Michigan.”But Thompson counters that the other side has been campaigning on half truths and not giving the voters all of the facts.“If you look at the states that have passed medical marijuana, the use of marijuana in all of those states by teenagers has declined. A big difference between NORML along with the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (the group spearheading the ballot proposal) and Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids is transparency,” said Thompson. “First of all, at our websites we post all of the leaders behind this and our phone numbers and e-mail addresses. It is very difficult to determine who is actually behind the opposition organization. Also, they only post half truths on their website. We post both sides of the issue, including articles that are written against the ballot measure as we want citizens to understand both sides of the issue and make an educated decision when they vote.”STEP TO LEGALIZE IT?One of the criticisms launched by those that oppose the legalization of medical marijuana is that it is simply just a step in the process for the outright legalization of marijuana.“It is no secret the NORML wants to see marijuana legalized,” Thompson said. “It is why we have taken a backseat and the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care is taking the lead on this. I am confident in Michigan voters being intelligent enough to differentiate between this. I believe there are people who are willing to support this ballot proposal and not willing to see the legalization of marijuana for recreational uses. This ballot proposal is about compassion. It is about providing a medical alternative to prescription drugs that do not help in some medical situations. As for all of these half truths, I encourage people to read the actual law. There are stiff penalties for anyone abusing this law.”Those in opposition also point to a pharmaceutical drug, Marinol, that accomplishes the same result. They point to the fact that Marinol is prescribed in doses, whereas smoking marijuana is not a controlled dose.“Marinol does not have the same effect,” said Thompson. ‘This has been proven time and time again. It is the smoking of the marijuana that is most effective in relieving these symptoms -- In particular, loss of appetite, as Marinol does not increase one’s appetite, while smoking marijuana does.”OTHER CONCERNSThe Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids point to their concerns if the proposal passes:• Allow use of marijuana without a doctor’s prescription.• Allow a person arrested on any marijuana offense to use a “medical marijuana” defense in court.• Allow a flood of lawsuits over things such as whether doctors and hospitals must allow patients to smoke marijuana in a doctor’s office or hospital room, despite every other law banning smoking.• Allow the opening of pot shops and smoking clubs in neighborhood strip malls, like has happened in California under a similar proposal.But Thompson counters that opponents are using scare tactics.“I am not sure they have read the legislation, but everything they are suggesting has been addressed and they are taking half truths to scare the public,” said Thompson. “This gets down to compassion for those with medical conditions. My mother, who is 82, has had series of strokes in recent weeks and has told me she is going to hang on to see this pass.”As for the future, Thompson is hopeful that marijuana will someday again be legalized (it was banned in the United States in 1937, although the law was fuzzy at that time and allowed for State’s rights, and a marijuana tax was passed for medical use).“I hope it will happen in my lifetime. What I don’t get is why growing hemp is illegal. Hemp is not pot and has no THC; and if you grow marijuana in a hemp, field it turns to hemp not the other way around. So instead of letting farmers grow it, we import 97 percent of the hemp we use in this country from Canada,” said Thompson. “NORML is probably the only organization in the country that is inviting the government to regulate and tax us. But that is not what is at stake today. That is a discussion for another day, instead what we have to do is make a decision whether or not that, and regardless of our opinion of marijuana is, if we want to be compassionate enough to allow for this to help people with certain medical conditions.”Express readers are encouraged to read the full text of the medical marijuana legislation by Googling it. The use of medical marijuana under the proposed legislation would be only allowed for certain medical conditions and patients would have to receive authorization from their doctor to grow and smoke marijuana for their condition. The conditions covered, as well as some of the concerns from the opposition, are detailed in the legislation including the stiff penalties for violating marijuana laws. Source: Northern Express (MI)Author: Rick Coates Published: October 23, 2008Copyright: 2008 Northern ExpressContact: info northernexpress.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Arresting Patients Marijuana for Medical Use Hot Topic 1 Offers Relief, Compassion, Safeguards
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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on October 24, 2008 at 07:39:05 PT
FoM #2&9 'drug-free environment?' & MM support 
"A spokesman for the Arizona realty company that manages the complex says the eviction is within the terms of the lease, which calls for a drug-free environment."So, these dwelling units have no medicine cabinets, no liquor cabinets, no storage of cigarettes to be smoked outdoors?"The reason that these entities [uninformed MDs] and associations [AMA and AGA] don’t support it is because any doctor worth his or her salt will tell you there are hundreds of other medicines now much, much better at dealing with nausea and wasting. This is a con.” -Scott Burns, ONDCPThe reason these entities don't support medical marijuana is because the federal government will not allow them to "prescribe" it because of the CSA, schedule 1. The reason these associations do not support medical marijuana is largely due to vested self-interest in more profitable synthetic pharmaceuticals and the deceptive "research" and promotion by Big Pharma.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 23, 2008 at 15:11:31 PT
MMJ Opposition Group Stops in Battle Creek
Medical Marijuana Opposition Group Stops in Battle CreekNick Schirripa • The Enquirer • October 23, 2008 Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids, the group opposing the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for medical use in Michigan, made a stop in Battle Creek on Thursday. Scott Burns, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, spoke against Proposition 1.“This is about dope. This is not about medicine,” he said. “If it was, it would have doctors who were standing up talking about the efficacy smoking this weed. Because if it was, you wouldn’t have the American Medical Association, the American Glaucoma Association and anybody with an MD who is in the mainstream of medicinal thought proposing this. It is preposterous. The reason that these entities and associations don’t support it is because any doctor worth his or her salt will tell you there are hundreds of other medicines now much, much better at dealing with nausea and wasting. This is a con.”Complete Article:
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Comment #8 posted by museman on October 23, 2008 at 11:41:45 PT
what's in a name?
I agree that the 'slur' nickname for cannabis, has been used to negatively connotate all things cannabis, but experience has taught me that, as long as we have various, seperate strata of society, and class division, we are going to have cultural distinctions in the preference of slang terminology.Even though the term 'marijuana' was deliberately derived from an obscure group of mexican revolutionaries -practically invented by prohibition- when my generation was first embracing it, our common acceptance of the term actually raised it out of the prohibition 'gutter consciousness.' We made 'marijuana' our own. At Woodstock not one person -on record (that I know of) talked about "cannabis."Take the term 'hippy' (one that I've loved and hated as much as anyone) that term was also invented essentially by the same mind set, which took an early Jazz slang of 'hip' which -contrary to ill-informed 'authority' found on places like wikipedia- was a code word for heroin addicts who were clever, or 'cool' enough to 'shoot' their drug in the hip, and became a slang term for one who was 'in the know' and trustworthy. The '60s came along and the phrase 'hippy' was paralled with the term 'chippy' which meant one who 'chipped' the heroin (small amounts at a time- an attempt to keep the 'hook' at bay - it also became a slang term for prostitutes). That term "hippy" was created by the prohibition mind set, and eagerly accepted by the society at large. My generation -for the most part- (then)accepted the term as a kind of honorific, even as the enemies of liberty were stacking negative connotations into the contemporary common useage."Cannabis" is the 'scientific' name, it is the name that was in the pharmacopia until prohibition inserted its own attempts at mind control through language manipulation.It is my opinion, and somewhat studied, that the human race is afflicted with a common obsessive disorder - the un abated desire to 'name' things, to thereby put some kind of 'surface' understanding in their own personalized box from whence they can claim their 'authority' and 'expertise.'It is out of control, this obsession. On the surface it seems to be a relatively harmless obsession, but in fact it is one of the major roots of seperation and division amongst all cultures. What one observer might call a 'dialect' is actually just well developed slang. The classic bible story of the Tower of Babel illustrates this phenomenon in effect, even if the cause (in biblical terms) is realtively obscured.As I have said before, communication is an art. But to achieve it, all that is really necessary is a willingness on the part of the communicators and the communicatees to both give and recieve information. A hungry man in a foreign country can communicate his needs without knowing the language-for example. When one set of people decide that their definitions of words and meanings are more valid than their neighbors, they are creating division, and they are in error.The amount of energy that is wasted on useless debate about what a substance or element should be 'called' totally misses the point of the essence of what the substance is or can be used for. If we had a language based on an understanding that everything is relative -all interconnected, instead of the many breakdowns and divisions into sectarian culture -directly relating to selective common use of terms and definitions, what we called a thing would be all important in letting us all know what the thing was, rather than just some 'name' that is meaningless to all but the ones who made it up. Attempting to force or coerce 'common useage' into any particular cultural perspective, creates angst, friction, and when it involves nations -war.If you do a search for the many slang terms for cannabis, you will find hundreds.Ponder this; If you are a person in pain, who needs the wonderful properties that cannabis can give, do you really care what it is called?Knowlege is power. Let us not limit the knowlege of cannabis by attempting to limit its many names as well as its many uses.FREE LAMBSTAILS FOR EVERYONE
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on October 23, 2008 at 11:38:15 PT:
Sam and Hope
Hope, I'm afraid you're right on the problem of naming. The public has had nothing but a steady barrage of 'mair-ee-wanna' BS poured in their ears for so long they can't relate to it any other way than as that. Which makes it even more imperative to try, as the attempt will jar loose the ones who are still inclined to question what they've been told - and after the past 7 years of brazen, fatuous and deadly governmental lies, more are inclined to do that questioning.Sam, I couldn't agree with you more, as I once a had a roomie whose son was on Ritalin, and to hear that child's muddled thoughts expressed in a quavery, shaky voice was more than enough for me to ask just who is benefiting from this forced drugging of kids. Didn't seem to be the kids, not from where I was standing.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on October 23, 2008 at 10:25:22 PT
Let's see, the use of powerful psycho-tropic drugs in children has EXPLODED in the last 10 years. Many of the doctors that did studies that showed a need for this have been exposed as taking MILLIONS from the Big Pharma.Where were all these "Save our Children" types over the last 10 years? There are men and women getting rich over forcing these toxic drugs on children, I don't hear a word from these Save our Children types. Not word.The only people that seem to protest are the Scientologists. And I give them credit for it! I'd take the religion with the space aliens & stuff any day if it actually protect the children from the predatory pharmaceutical and medical industries.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 23, 2008 at 10:13:15 PT
Giuliani Robocall Attacks Obama on Drug Sentencing
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on October 23, 2008 at 09:32:40 PT
Comment 1
I agree, Kaptinemo, but the use of the word "Prohibition" seemed to hit something that people can understand. The "Cannabis" word seems to not connect. A few years ago a friend of mine had to take a drug test to be able to get a job. He passed and when he got the results back he and his wife said, "They didn't even test for marijuana". I found that hard to believe and looked at the test results myself... and it had cannabis on it instead of marijuana. They didn't know marijuana was actually cannabis... and they should have.I suspect we may never get rid of the word... which is an irritant knowing where it came from and that's it's not a real name, but a slurring nickname.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 23, 2008 at 08:35:28 PT
Off Topic: Last Obama Event Before Hawaii Trip
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 23, 2008 at 08:08:45 PT
NM Woman Faces Eviction Over Medical Marijuana
October 23, 2008 SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) - A handicapped woman says the manager of her apartment complex told her to move in three days after discovering the woman has marijuana for medical use.Bobbie Wooten says she got an eviction notice Tuesday after a surprise inspection by a management representative for Silver Cliffs apartments who spotted her two marijuana plants.A spokesman for the Arizona realty company that manages the complex says the eviction is within the terms of the lease, which calls for a drug-free environment.Wooten, who uses a wheelchair, was paralyzed from the waist down in a car crash several years ago and suffers severe spasms.She joined the state's medical marijuana program when it went into effect last year.State Health Department spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer confirmed she's in the program.Copyright 2008 The Associated Press
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on October 23, 2008 at 07:58:29 PT:
'Marijuana, marijuana.." G-D- it, it's CANNABIS
Look, we who've done the research know what the origin of the use of the word 'marijuana' was: William Randolph Hearst, arch-racist, used it to whip up a largely xenophobic and ignorant public into a frenzy by claiming all kinds of nonsense about this 'new' drug, 'marijuana' and the effects it had on the 'degenerate races'. (It was only 'new' to people such as Hearst and his colleagues; it had been in the Chinese pharmacopeia for millennia).So...why are we using the enemy's 'framing'? Why accommodate them? Call it by its' scientific name, and then explain to people why it was slapped with the 'marijuana' epithet. Do that often enough, as we have with the word 'prohibition' to describe the social circumstances of its' banning, and the media will pick up the ball and run with it.
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