Pennsylvania Should Move Now on Medical Marijuana
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Pennsylvania Should Move Now on Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on October 25, 2009 at 06:01:36 PT
Source: Pocono Record
Stroudsburg -- Pennsylvania legislators should take notice that the Obama administration has decided to rein in federal law enforcement officials from pursuing users of medicinal marijuana.That's good news in California and the dozen or so other states that allow the use of medical marijuana. It also should empower lawmakers here in the Keystone State to legalize medicinal marijuana, which can ease the symptems and suffering of many patients afflicted with cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia introduced H.B. 1393 to allow the use of medical marijuana under certain restrictions. Marijuana would be dispensed from approved "compassion centers" that non-profits or possibly a state agency would run. But the measure has gained only a handful of co-sponsors. Now the Obama administration has announced that federal drug agents will not pursue medical marijuana users or their suppliers in states where medicinal marijuana is legal. That's a reversal of the Bush administration's aggressive prosecution of medicinal marijuana users. And it should encourage Pennsylvania legislators to provide at long last legal recognition of marijuana's palliative possibilities. Pennsylvanians in pain should not have to leave the state for treatment — or buy the drug from criminals.For some patients whom traditional medicine has not helped, medical marijuana offers hope for relief from pain, nausea, loss of appetite and wasting. A 1999 Institute of Medicine study confirmed the effectiveness of medical marijuana in relieving such symptoms. But lawmakers have been reluctant to legalize its use, fearful of appearing "soft on drugs." That's silly. Professional groups from the American Academy of Family Physicians to the American Nurses Association have recommended allowing patients to use medical marijuana. Many polls indicate that overwhelmingly, the public supports medical marijuana.Sick people who can obtain a doctor's prescription for marijuana should be able to use it legally. Why prosecute someone suffering from multiple sclerosis if marijuana works better than many a traditional prescription drug? Police have more important duties than chasing down sick people. With the feds backing off, there's no better time for Pennsylvania to pass a medical marijuana bill.Source: Pocono Record, The (Stroudsburg, PA)Published: October 25, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Pocono RecordContact: letters Website: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on October 25, 2009 at 08:07:41 PT
I just now sent Mark Souder an e-mail.
I thanked him for the dog and pony show on the congressional floor. I told him I thought the "Smoke Bubble" act was one of the funniest I have have ever seen and would he please do some more Vaudeville for us seeing as how most presentations are not half as entertaining.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on October 25, 2009 at 07:36:06 PT
US CO: Marijuana's double standardWebpage: 25 Oct 2009Source: Summit Daily News (CO)Author: David Sirota Sirota: Marijuana's double standard /
Phelps, Armstrong incidents tell the taleFor better or worse, our American Idiocracy has come to rely on athletes as national pedagogues. Michael Jordan educated the country about commitment and just doing it. A.C. Green lectured us about sexual caution. Serena Williams and John McEnroe taught us what sportsmanship is — and is not. And Charles Barkley outlined how society should define role models.So when a single week like this one sees both the Justice Department back states' medical marijuana laws, and a Gallup poll show record-level support for pot legalization, we can look to two superjocks — Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps — for the key lesson about our absurd drug policy.This Tale of Two Supermen began in February when Phelps, the gold-medal swimmer, was plastered all over national newspapers in a photo that showed him hitting a marijuana bong. Though he was smoking in private, the image ignited a public firestorm. USA Swimming suspended Phelps, Kellogg pulled its endorsement deal and the Associated Press sensationalized the incident as a national decision about whether heroes should “be perfect or flawed.”The alleged imperfection was Phelps' decision to quietly consume a substance that “poses a much less serious public health problem than is currently posed by alcohol,” as a redacted World Health Organization report admits. That's a finding confirmed by almost every objective science-based analysis, including a landmark University of California study in 2006 showing “no association at all” between marijuana use and cancer.Alcohol, by contrast, causes roughly 1 in 30 of the world's cancer cases, according to the International Journal of Cancer. And a new report by Cancer Epidemiology journal shows that even beer, seemingly the least potent drink, may increase the odds of developing tumors.Which brings us to Armstrong. This month, the Tour de France champion who beat cancer inked a contract to hawk Anheuser-Busch's alcohol. That's right, less than a year after Phelps was crucified for merely smoking weed in private, few noticed or protested the planet's most famous cancer survivor becoming the public face of a possible carcinogen. 
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