Time for Conversation About Medical Marijuana
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Time for Conversation About Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on August 02, 2009 at 14:12:12 PT
Source: Statesman Journal
Des Moines -- Iowa is about to explore whether sick residents should be allowed to use marijuana to treat health problems, including pain and nausea. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy, which regulates pharmacy practices and the distribution of prescription drugs, has voted unanimously to hold public hearings around the state.Though the Iowa Legislature would have to approve any changes to the law regarding the medical use of marijuana, the pharmacy board deserves credit for initiating a statewide conversation.
Iowans should pay attention and get involved. The meetings are this state's opportunity to examine the scientific research and opinions. This matters because at the end of the day, the use of marijuana for medical purposes isn't about being "soft on drugs" or catering to those who think it's their "right" to smoke marijuana.It's a medical issue.The federal government treated marijuana use as a medical issue in 1978 when it established a program to allow people with certain medical conditions to use it. In 1992 it closed the program to new applicants, but Iowan George McMahon is one of the few remaining Americans still participating.McMahon is afflicted with Nail Patella Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes abnormalities of joints, kidneys and bones. For nearly 20 years, McMahon has been using marijuana daily to control pain, spasms and nausea. He told the Register no prescription drug worked as well as marijuana.Iowans should hear from him and others who use the drug as treatment.The pharmacy board should also invite people from outside the state to add to the conversation. Iowa doesn't have to reinvent the wheel on this issue when 13 other states have legalized marijuana for medical use. This state should find out more about their experiences, including what medical conditions the drug is used for and whether decriminalization increased illegal use.People with objections should also come forward. Opponents to the legalization of marijuana say it could open the door for more recreational use of the drug.And the board should examine the plethora of studies ó including information from the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization ó on medical use of the drug.Lawmakers should attend. Responsible for any changes in the law regarding the drug, they should become educated, and listen to their constituents. In the end, though, the decision can't be a popularity contest. It should be based on whether the medical benefit outweighs the potential problems with making marijuana available as a prescription drug.Last legislative session, state Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) heard from Iowans when he proposed legislation calling for the creation of "compassion centers." The nonprofit organizations would cultivate and distribute the drug to approved patients. The bill died due to lack of support, but several Iowans shared their stories in a subcommittee hearing. Bolkcom said some wanted to try the drug for pain relief, but were afraid of getting in trouble. Others expressed concerns about where legalization could lead.Now a broader conversation can ensue in communities around the state. Not mired down in the politics of the Statehouse. Not dominated by a narrow constituency. A conversation focused on medical treatment and science and the societal impact of legalizing a drug that may alleviate pain and discomfort for sick Iowans.That's a conversation worth having.ó Gannett Content OneDes Moines Register, Iowa, July 27, 2009Source: Statesman Journal (OR)Published: August 2, 2009Copyright: 2009 Statesman JournalContact: letters statesmanjournal.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #14 posted by Paint with light on August 04, 2009 at 00:38:15 PT
what to tax
Maybe they could tax smiles.The more relief the more the tax.No relief, no tax.Warning....the above was said in jest and in no way proposes an actual tax on smiles.I have suggested zero tax on medical use, a small tax on recreational use, and collect a tax on products at the point of sale.For example.......When I produce my photographs, I do not pay tax on my paper, my ink(pigments actually), or my framing materials.I do collect tax when I sell my work at art shows or through my gallery.I do not collect tax on internet sales.So if hemp is used in the door panel of a car the tax would come in the form of the sales tax on the car.The tax here is 9.75%.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #13 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 03, 2009 at 22:56:24 PT
Declare the pennies on your eyes.
In my state, they tax my vitamins, my herbal supplements, and my food!I think they tax the OTC medicines, too, but maybe not the scripts.All at 8.5%.
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Comment #12 posted by greenmed on August 03, 2009 at 22:04:40 PT
on taxation
After reading your posting, John, I tried to look at the taxation situation in a different light. The responsible dispensaries pay their employees well, provide them with benefits as any other business does, and are eager to pay their taxes, all of which is commendable. The growers supplying the dispensaries are no doubt as civic-minded as well, yet they are unable to pay taxes as it remains impossible to do so either to the state or certainly the federal government.A tax at 18% seems excessive as a sales tax for the consumer, and I remain steadfast in my belief that medicine should not be taxed. For some reason the term 'excise tax' came to mind -- I looked it up in a dictionary: an internal tax levied on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of a commodity ( This might be a viable alternative to a point-of-sale tax. The tax could be shouldered by both components of the dispensary system: the brick-and-mortar business and the cannabis suppliers. If done equitably, the cost of medicine to the client need not change.Demonstrating that medical cannabists are good tax-paying citizens relects well on the entire cannabis community - hemp and free-cannabis activists alike.There are still problems to work through. Benefits for the growers/suppliers is a major one. Suppliers' tax contributions, proxied through the dispensaries, would remain unacknowledged by the system - not a good permanent option. Federal rescheduling would solve this by allowing commercial medical cannabis producers to pay taxes on their yields. Come to think of it, descheduling would solve a lot of problems.
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Comment #11 posted by Had Enough on August 03, 2009 at 20:24:32 PT
Trick Question on the DEA Job Application?
Trick Question on the DEA Job Application?Posted in Chronicle Blog by Scott Morgan on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 3:09pm Anyone applying for a job at the Drug Enforcement Administration must answer this question:QUESTION #2 Ė HAVE YOU EVER USED MARIJUANA THAT HAS BEEN LEGALLY PRESCRIBED TO YOU BY A DULY LICENSED PHYSICIAN? (please check) YES ( ) NO ( )That's funny, I thought there was no such thing as "legally prescribed" marijuana under federal law. Either this is an idiot test for prospective applicants, or we've come so far that the DEA is beginning to lose track of its own ideology.
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on August 03, 2009 at 18:46:51 PT
on taxation
There is something wrong with the concept of taxing medicine. Yet, with cannabis, which has so many wonderful uses, Iím afraid that proponents have found the tax angel the best way, maybe even the only way, to get the politicians and officials attention. If bundles of cash are the only things that will make them go in the correct, and positive direction, I guess that is what we have to do now, until things can be adjusted later.
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Comment #9 posted by greenmed on August 03, 2009 at 11:58:54 PT
I have the same concern - medicine should not be taxed. When I pay for my meds (at a commercial pharmacy) I pay $4 for a month's supply. No tax is added to my purchase, although the pharmacy probably does pay tax on the transaction as they are run for-profit. So it could be said that the consumer pays a hidden tax that doesn't show on the receipt, but is passed along, included in slightly higher medication cost.Taxing medical cannabis at what, 18% or so, directly to the patients seems a slap in the face to the entire medical cannabis movement. Imposing what amounts to a sin tax onto the consumer is inconsistent with corporate/pharmaceutical sales and sends the message that cannabis is not real medicine and undermines its deserved legitimacy. The people of Oakland, including dispensary management, seem to be okay with a tax, so who am I to argue with that. I just hope that it is a moderate hidden tax paid by the dispensaries and not passed along directly to the clients.
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Comment #8 posted by Mydnytmover on August 03, 2009 at 09:02:14 PT
Wisconsin Next?
"If it comes to my desk, I'm fine with it." - WI Gov. Jim Doyle 
responding to a question last week from the Crawford County Independent 
about signing a medical marijuana bill. " I guess a bill will be introduced in Oct. Damn I hope it pass's
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Comment #7 posted by Dankhank on August 03, 2009 at 08:43:27 PT
medicine taxed?
Is that a fact?I get most medicine at military pharm, so haven't noticed.taxing medicine seems wrong ...
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 03, 2009 at 04:15:32 PT
Dr. Joycelyn Elders on Medical Marijuana
August 3, 2008Excerpt: Youíre also a vocal proponent of medical marijuana. Why?I have been speaking out about it for a long time. Iím a member of the board of advisors of a medical marijuana group. To me, itís not nearly as toxic for our bodies as tobacco or alcohol. It should be legalized. As far as we know, it doesnít cause lung cancer, it doesnít cause people to go out and drive drunk and commit crimes. If it helps reduce the nausea and vomiting and reduce leg cramps, make patients feel better, whatís wrong with that? We should make it available to people who need it. I feel if people want marijuana, they could get a prescription. Then we can tax it and know who is getting it. I donít think it is a drug that is doing harm to this country. By arresting people, putting them in jail for crimes related to marijuana, weíre spending millions on drug enforcement and it causes more problems. Young people are convicted of a crime, they canít get money to go to school, we have over 2 million prisoners a years and many related to drug useóit is a vicious cycle and one we created.
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on August 02, 2009 at 20:16:48 PT
Fom and every one reading made it happen
will try to relay info of expo == i wish i could have the skills of writers here but will try to do my best - seems times are here
and maken me think how long its been going onanyone remember back when Paul P was talking about omega for the animal feed and how he had approched the farmaid folks when they were inthe big windy and how their response hurt Paul. He was ahead of most / treated like a ghostsolar greenhouses and more organics taught and grown in schools Similarly, organic food has 11.3 per cent more zinc, 38.4 per cent more flavonoids and 12.7 per cent more proteins.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 02, 2009 at 19:45:09 PT
You're welcome. I wish you all the best.
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Comment #3 posted by RevRayGreen on August 02, 2009 at 19:31:57 PT
Thanks FOM
for posting the is some good stuff...Last of 4 Iowa Medical Marijuana Hearings at Council Bluffs Casino ???
Clip from 8/1/09 cannabis corner
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 02, 2009 at 19:12:43 PT
That is great! Way to go!
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on August 02, 2009 at 18:53:59 PT
Medical marijuana billboards a first in Michigan!
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