Allow Medical Marijuana With a Doctor's Permission

Allow Medical Marijuana With a Doctor's Permission
Posted by CN Staff on March 07, 2009 at 18:19:43 PT
Source: Journal Star
Peoria -- Illinois moved a tiny step closer last week to joining 13 other states that permit severely ill patients to use marijuana medicinally, for pain relief and reducing nausea. It's far from a done deal, as both houses of the Legislature have yet to vote the measure up or down.Indeed, as the debate continues we fully expect many of the same arguments to be trotted out in opposition to the proposal that are often used. But overriding all those arguments is simple compassion, which suggests that if you're in pain and being treated for cancer, AIDS or any of the other myriad ailments covered under the legislation, you should have the option of turning to medical marijuana.
But only with a doctor's permission and continued oversight.Interestingly, the hue and cry about whether Illinois should permit medical marijuana use is moot - it got the OK here in 1978, but rules were never written to implement the "how" behind the law. This new proposal would create those rules, while leaving many hurdles for patients. They'd have to consult with their doctor, who could recommend they be allowed a state card. That card would permit them to possess up to seven cannabis plants and two ounces of "usable" marijuana.There absolutely must be controls in place. Illinois doesn't need a system like California had when it instituted its medical marijuana program, replete with poorly regulated clinics and dispensaries springing up that many critics said catered to the sick and the not-so-sick.Marijuana is not the ideal solution, and isn't likely to be everyone's first choice. Make no mistake, it is still a narcotic, still addictive. But so are other drugs that doctors legally prescribe for the treatment of chronic pain. It's difficult to envision physicians uniformly turning to it in every circumstance. But they are the experts and know the science and their patients best, certainly well enough to prescribe cannabis when needed and to say no when it's not appropriate.Meanwhile, data touted by proponents from the Marijuana Policy Project suggests that nearly all the states that have permitted medical use have seen no increase among young people. The companion Senate measure to this state House legislation is being pushed by state Sen. Bill Haine of Alton, a former state's attorney who has worked to ensure law enforcement's concerns are taken into account.Is there a risk that this opens one more avenue for people to get hold of pot who shouldn't? Yes. Just as there's a chance that someone will opt to forge a doctor's prescription to illegally obtain a registry card giving them permission to have something they could have bought on the street with less effort. But it seems more likely this will protect and permit those truly using the drug for health purposes to do so legally rather than enable a whole new generation of junkies. Nor is it easy to imagine legions of folks in crippling pain turning into drug dealers on the side.If the latter happens, then overturn the law.For now, we think putting this pain-relief decision in the hands of the doctor and the patient is worth a try.Source: Peoria Journal Star (IL)Published: March 7, 2009Copyright: 2009 Peoria Journal StarContact: forum pjstar.comWebsite: Articles:Ill. House Committee OKs Use of Med Marijuana Legalization Measure Passes Committee
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on March 09, 2009 at 00:04:21 PT
Misinformed Author
"Marijuana ... still a narcotic" Not!"still addictive" Not!"whole new generation of junkies" Not!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 08, 2009 at 17:13:35 PT
NH House Considers Medical Marijuana Bill
 Associated Press - March 8, 2009 CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire residents suffering from certain debilitating conditions would be allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes under a bill before a House committee.The House Health and Human Services committee will hold a hearing Monday on a bill that would make possession of up to six ounces of marijuana legal if it was prescribed by a doctor.The bill is similar to laws passed in about a dozen states and would apply to those suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS and other conditions. Last week, the House killed a broader bill that would have decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for anyone.Copyright 2009 The Associated Press
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