Pros and Cons of MMJ Debated at Laconia Forum

Pros and Cons of MMJ Debated at Laconia Forum
Posted by CN Staff on March 17, 2009 at 12:07:59 PT
By Gail Ober
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat
New Hampshire -- Sandra Drew has multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed in 1991, she worked as a registered nurse for 10 years before her illness forced her to retire. When she can, she smokes some marijuana before sleeping. Drew said so far it's the only thing she's found that eases the "Charlie horse" leg cramps that ruin her sleep and make her unable to relax.Richard Crate is the Enfield Police Chief and has spent his working career in law enforcement. To him, marijuana is not a medicine but a dangerous drug. Every day he sees younger and younger people becoming involved in drugs and he is a perennial witness to the perils and consequences of drug abuse.
Dr. James Pilliod is a Belmont state representative and a retired physician who specializes in pediatrics. While he can't prescribe it, he has told a few of his terminally ill "friends" that marijuana has been known to provide some relief from their chronic pain.These three people, each with a personal stake and interest in House Bill 648  a measure that, if passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, would legalize medical marijuana in the state  joined other professionals Monday in a lunch-time forum at the Lakes Region Community College to discuss the pros and cons of medical marijuana.Moderated by Dr. Mark Edelstein, the college's president, about 40 people participated in the lively, back-and-forth panel discussion where nobody's mind appeared to be changed but everyone learned something about medical marijuana, the law and what some in New Hampshire hope to achieve.We need to be sure that "these patients are not on the battlefield," said Matt Simon of the N.H. Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy, saying HB 648 protects people from arrest if their doctors recommend marijuana. Among its provisions, HB 648 would allow for personal possession of up to six ounces of marijuana and for the cultivation of not more than 12 marijuana plants for each qualifying patient.Karin Eckel, a lawyer with the N.H. Attorney General's Office, said the possession and cultivation of marijuana would still be a federal crime and this law would not protect state residents from federal arrest or prosecution."The state, [and, by extension, law enforcement] will take on an enormous burden...," said Eckel. "The state doesn't have the resources to regulate it." In addition, Eckel said, some people are confusing "good intentions" with "good medicine. Pot has yet to be tested."For Gilford radio personality Skip Murphy, the issue is one of gateway. "I've seen a lot of good potential go by the wayside," said Murphy in referring to high school classmates whose marijuana use escalated to other drugs. "It also doesn't make for good public policy."The research done so far on the medicinal benefits on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, indicates some medical usage for pain and nausea relief and a tablet form is available by prescription  but the pill is expensive and, according to one man who walked with a cane and who is prescribed the drug, Marinol, or dronbinol, is beyond the financial reach of most people sick enough for a prescription. He also said most insurance companies will not pay for it."What gives you guys the right to affect the quality of my life?" he asked, his questions directed toward Crate and Eckel. "Don't take away this for the people who need it, not enjoy it.""Eight of 10 of the states where medical marijuana is legal have the highest incidents of drug abuse," said Crates, who added that his real problem with HB 648 is its potential for abuse, showing the audience two bags filled with fake marijuana cigarettes, or joints, and telling them that those bags represent only two ounces.As to its medical uses in the smoked form, Crate asked Pilliod directly how he would go about prescribing it when its strength and delivery systems are so varied and unconventional."I can't prescribe it," said Pilliod explaining his problem is that because it's illegal, not enough studies have been done on any level.Common Sense representative Simon agreed, adding that many major pharmaceutical companies and university research centers are prohibited from possessing the drug by federal, and in most cases, state law, so the ability to test it in its smoked form is limited by the very nature of what they're testing.As to the California medical marijuana laws, Simon said they have been "a policy disaster. I would never wish that law on New Hampshire.""This law allows them to grow their own," said Simon, citing Maine and Vermont as states with similar laws as HB 648.As for criminalizing sick people who do smoke, cultivate and/or possess small quantities of marijuana, Crate asked the audience when any of them had ever heard of a sick person being arrested, charged and prosecuted by state or local law enforcement for marijuana infractions.When asked if he would arrest someone "smoking a joint in a wheelchair alone in the woods," Crate allowed that he probably wouldn't, citing jury nullification or a too sympathetic jury or judge that would overlook the law and deny a conviction."But if I saw that person smoking a joint on Main Street, I certainly would," he said.The New Hampshire House schedule said it plans to report HB 648 out of committee by March 19. No decisions have been made but the public hearing has been held. A favorable vote in the house sends the bill to the Senate for additional revisions and considerations. Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)Author: Gail OberPublished: Tuesday, March 17, 2009Copyright: 2009 Geo. J. Foster Co.Website: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 18, 2009 at 14:28:50 PT
N.H.: House To Vote on Medicinal Marijuana
March 18, 2009URL:
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on March 18, 2009 at 09:22:26 PT
Welcome. And everyone else that has recently joined us, too. I can't keep up anymore! Well, Cheeb and E-Dubs, and others. It's a hard lesson you guys have had to learn to get to this point... but now, at least, you know. You really know. We're fighting ignorance and stupidity. Fight for freedom, people!
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on March 18, 2009 at 09:13:33 PT
bag of fake joints
In reference to the recent Michigan shooting of a college student.....Police Chief Crate is lucky no one shot him in the chest as he brandished that bag of joints.
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Comment #7 posted by knightshade on March 18, 2009 at 06:30:27 PT:
'bag of fake joints'
i guess at the police academy, mr. crate was absent the day they tought the recruits that manufacturing, possessing, or selling dummy narcotics is a crime, just like possessing real dope. if i was there, id have had him arrested. 
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on March 18, 2009 at 05:57:21 PT
My 82 year old Mom cannot smoke so I found an old recipe from 1840.Remove all stems.Bake on a cookie sheet in an oven for about 15 minutes at about 300 degrees.With your fingers or a small coffee grinder, powder up the baked herb.Pack 0 or 00 gel caps with the powder.Dosage will depend on how strong the herb is, How hard you pack the powder and which size gel cap you use.For medication you will find this is most effective and the effects will stay with you for hours.Good Luck!
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Comment #5 posted by Paint with light on March 17, 2009 at 23:03:08 PT
I hope you continue to find relief for your pain with cannabis.I can't imagine what it must feel like to cough.Does cooking with cannabis seem to provide the same relief?It would be a good way to avoid the pain of inhaling and exhaling.Welcome to the community.Everyone knows equal with alcohol is all I keep asking.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 17, 2009 at 19:28:57 PT
Cheebs 1 
Welcome to CNews. 
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on March 17, 2009 at 19:18:39 PT
Hey. Glad you joined in.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 17, 2009 at 16:51:43 PT
Hello Cheebs 1 !
Welcome, hope you feel better!
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Comment #1 posted by Cheebs1 on March 17, 2009 at 15:58:20 PT:
Hello All,
      I am a long time reader and first time poster. I have been a fan of this site for a long time. I was injured on March 20, 2006. A ladder broke that I was on and I fell. I broke all of my ribs on my left side, punctured and collapsed my left lung, tore the the labrum in my right shoulder, and put my head through a wall. Three years later I have three ribs that are "non-union" and all the specialists say that they will never heal and I will go through the rest of my life with my broken ribs causing me constant pain. The doctors say that all I can hope to do is keep sliding up the narcotic painkiller scale and that it may be possible to keep switching narcotics as I develop a tolerance to them. I am on painkillers, muscle relaxers, and anti inflammatory "meds". I tried to do things the way the "experts" wanted me to do them. I was a zombie all day long and did not experience much relief with what I was prescribed. Having been an occasional user when I was younger I decided to try using marijuana in conjunction with the opiates that I take every day. I have experienced more relief than just from the opiates. Nothing makes the pain totally "disappear", but then again I can't see how that would be possible due to the fact that as I inhale and exhale the non union ribs slide along each other until at theend of my inhalation where they "click" into normal place. The pain as they click into place and broken bones mesh is indescribable. Then the process reverses itself as I exhale. I don't get much sleep with this condition because I can't lie down. The pressure of my body on my broken ribs is unbearable while lying down. I sleep in a reclining chair with pillows piled around me to stop me from trying to roll over in my sleep. I am not looking for sympathy here. I am just trying to introduce myself so that folks know I am a true believer in the relief that this substance offers people. I am glad that I finally took the step to join this wonderful community. Peace, Love , and Pot :)
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