Decriminalize Marijuana for Medical Use
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Decriminalize Marijuana for Medical Use
Posted by CN Staff on September 06, 2009 at 12:47:02 PT
Globe Gazette Editorial
Source: Globe-Gazette
Mason City -- Iowa’s lawmakers must do the compassionate thing and legalize marijuana for medical use. This drug is no cure-all, but there has been enough tested research detailing its benefits to convince us that it has positive health benefits and a legitimate place in a patient’s spectrum of care.What ultimately sold us was the testimony of those who spoke Wednesday at the medical marijuana hearing sponsored by the Iowa Pharmacy Board.
The folks who stood up weren’t looking for a loophole to legitimize their habit. These were multiple sclerosis patients who had found symptom relief and sufferers of chronic nausea who finally had a way to enjoy a meal like other people. These were real people who had found real solutions to health problems which in some cases had dogged them for years.What makes marijuana so attractive as a remedy? The presence of THC, a substance which appears to have a palliative effect on the symptoms of many illnesses and medical conditions. The drug is used to reduce pain and muscle spasms, relieve nausea and increase appetite. It’s won converts from the ranks of cancer patients and those who suffer from HIV/AIDS.There are legal drugs which do what pot does. What none of these drugs can offer is one-size-fits-all relief. Medical marijuana is simply another choice. By giving people this choice we strengthen the cause of letting individuals direct their own health care.Let us be clear: We are not advocating a reefer free-for-all. Medical marijuana should be available by doctor’s recommendation only. Possession otherwise should be a criminal offense. Impaired driving laws should still apply as well.Smoked marijuana need not be the only choice. It works well in edible form, too (don’t pretend you didn’t know that). Some places in California — where medical marijuana is legal — even sell product mixed with salad dressing.Medical marijuana’s detractors have to realize that the arc of public opinion has changed. Thirteen states offer varying forms of legal protection for medical marijuana users. Another 13 state legislatures (including those of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota) have discussed the matter within the last year. Petition drives in Florida and South Dakota are focused on putting legalization to a vote. This is happening, whether we want it to or not.Set aside for a moment the considerations of medicinal value and patients’ rights to think of the potential positive benefits legalization would bring to our farmers, businesses and research institutions. Should Iowa try to position itself in the vanguard of a new agricultural trend? If we feed the nation, can’t we also try to provide comfort for those who seek it? We believe the answer to both questions is yes.We realize that legalization would take an act of tremendous political courage by our lawmakers. We suspect that Iowa’s 2010 election campaign will be a a cut-and-thrust affair. Fights over the economy and same-sex marriage will leave little room or energy for a debate about the partial decriminalization of marijuana.But for us it still goes back to those people who shared their stories on Wednesday. They seek nothing more than to improve the quality of their lives. Marijuana offers them a way to do that. Who are we to say no?We’ve had our say. Now, what’s your opinion? Write the Editor’s Inbox at:  news or by regular mail at Globe Gazette, Opinion Page, Box 271, Mason City, IA 50402-0271. Want to comment immediately? Go to the end of this editorial under Opinion at Source: Globe-Gazette (IA)Published: Sunday, September 6, 2009Copyright: 2009 Globe-GazetteContact: news globegazette.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on September 09, 2009 at 20:46:30 PT
Actually it wouldn't be odd at all...
after all the hell you all have raised and the very positive attention you've gotten.
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Comment #13 posted by RevRayGreen on September 09, 2009 at 20:04:22 PT
Of course not
wouldn't it be odd for Iowa to be next?
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 09, 2009 at 18:43:35 PT
"CN love"
Just because you're leaving Iowa, Ray... that doesn't mean you won't be checking in here, I hope. Does it?
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 09, 2009 at 15:48:21 PT
Love Love Love All we need is love.
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Comment #10 posted by RevRayGreen on September 09, 2009 at 15:32:03 PT
When this is over
I will probably be moving from Iowa......unless something changes by next year...... I set next spring as my timeline to get out...thanks for all the CN love.
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Comment #9 posted by juztbudz on September 09, 2009 at 15:22:44 PT:
We have found
relief here in Michigan and I pray that our friends in Iowa are allowed to do the same. I have been a compassion club leader for about 6 months now and have seen some pretty amazing results from cannabis therapies. My favorite story is of an MS patient, writhing in his hospital bed, from pain. The hospital administration deemed him a "drug seeker" because he begged for relief from his agony. Within 10 minutes of his eating a bit of "medibles" he was asleep for the first time in days, the only relief he got was from the kindness of others. I pray that you are able to see this for yourselves, in Iowa.
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Comment #8 posted by Brandon Perera on September 08, 2009 at 20:36:04 PT
Does not mean we can grow 
I will be happy when the state I live in (Iowa) is able to grow! :( Im gonna go get drunk at this party and drive home later
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Comment #7 posted by RevRayGreen on September 07, 2009 at 10:35:49 PT
Medical Marijuana’s Great (And Odd) Midwest Test 
with of parade of wheelchairs, canes, lucky SOB's* like me still on our feet telling our story in FOUR CITIES, FOUR MONTHS...
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 07, 2009 at 09:42:53 PT
Bro. Ray...
I'm glad to hear that you're not that angry. It's usually not that productive a thing to focus on as so many people do. Anger takes energy from me. Some people seem to thrive on it, though.
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Comment #5 posted by RevRayGreen on September 07, 2009 at 08:09:23 PT
Thanks as always Hope
 I'm really not that angry once you get to know me :)
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on September 07, 2009 at 05:47:15 PT
Who is this "Layers" guy?
First off, I believe his name is "Lakers".*sigh*It would be nice if they bothered to get the names right.Still... outstanding work, Mr. Lakers. I know you don't feel that good, Rev. I know you are resisting a terrible disease that makes it hard to get out of bed in the morning, much less to all these conferences and meetings. You are a brave and powerful man, Ray, in spite of your illness. Dare I say... Mr. Lakers is an angry man, a patient, who is going to do all he possibly can to correct the unjust situation where the herb that helps him so much is concerned.That's quite a motto on that nicely done state flag of Iowa. It would be nice if it really meant something to Iowans."OUR LIBERTIES WE PRIZE AND OUR RIGHTS WE WILL MAINTAIN".How about the liberty and right to the herbs, grasses, oils, flowers and leaves of their choice for medicine or nourishment of various kinds for the body and soul, or animal bedding... if that's what they want to use it for.
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Comment #3 posted by RevRayGreen on September 06, 2009 at 20:29:16 PT
Thanx as always Hope... check on
whose this Ray Layers guy ? he like an onion? Marijuana’s Great (And Odd) Midwest Test: Iowa
September 6th, 2009 By: Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on September 06, 2009 at 18:40:28 PT
Wonderful, Ray!
Obviously you and others made a good impression on this editorial board. Thank you!Getting out there and getting in amongst them. Doing good!These editors or editor did their homework too. Well done.Now to see what kind of scheme the pharmaceutical board dreams up to get past this, if any. They may come up honest and merciful and right. I suppose it could happen since the story has had good news coverage. It'll certainly be harder for them to cut and run with the usual political shenanigans most commonly brought to bear in these sorts of situations.
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Comment #1 posted by RevRayGreen on September 06, 2009 at 15:04:29 PT
We had over 30+ speak in support and 2 detractors
We had over 30+ speak in support and 2 detractors who had a different point of view afterwords. The first accoutn of 8 was based on # of speakers at lunch per registration #. I was #13 at 1:45 pm. Five people pre-registered for times also. Medical Marijuana be Legal in Iowa
(ABC 6 NEWS) — Should marijuana be legal for use to relieve the pain from some medical conditions?That’s the center of a debate-taking place right now in Iowa today.“There’s a lot of people suffering from chronic pain,” said Chris Young who is in a wheelchair.“It’s a constant pain in the right side of my body,” says Ray Lakers.Lakers and Young both suffer from pain. Lakers has Multiple Sclerosis and Young broke his back in a diving accident.They’re just two of more than a dozen who shared their medical marijuana success stories with the Iowa Pharmacy Board on Wednesday.Both Lakers and Young say marijuana works better than pharmaceutical drugs.“The relief it provided me was nowhere in comparison to relief and the benefit from using marijuana,” says Lakers.“To tell you the truth, marijuana is far more effective and has far less side effects than those medications,” says Young.
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