Right Call on Medical Marijuana
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Right Call on Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on November 09, 2009 at 10:01:52 PT
Source: Post and Courier
South Carolina -- After years of misguided federal policy attacking the use of medical marijuana, the Obama administration has called off the dogs in states where it is legal. The decision is humane -- and practical. Marijuana has been shown to mitigate pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy and AIDS. It also is an effective treatment for glaucoma. Some studies show it is useful in treating spasticity, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, migraines, fibromyalgia, some mental disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, hypertension and post traumatic stress disorder.
Consequently, a significant and growing number of Americans rationally approve its use for medical purposes. As early as 2003, a Gallup poll found that 75 percent of Americans favored allowing marijuana to be prescribed by doctors. The shift in practice for the Department of Justice means that prosecutors won't focus federal resources on individuals whose actions are in "clear and unambiguous compliance with state laws" regarding the medical use of marijuana. Given this change and popular support for the use of medical marijuana, it is likely more states will make it legal. The subject tends to be an emotional one. People who have seen loved ones get relief from terrible suffering often advocate for its approval for medical purposes. To others, it connotes the tumultuous '60s when pot was a big part of the peace movement and was the drug of choice for many who opted to "drop out" of the establishment. Opponents cite studies that indicate that while marijuana isn't physically addictive like alcohol or nicotine, it can be psychological addictive. Long-term, sustained use can impair mental functions. But the administration's decision didn't say marijuana is good (or bad). It said that resources needed to pursue people using it for medical purposes could be better used in other ways. States like Rhode Island and New Mexico formally license medical marijuana providers as a way of balancing law enforcement and medical options. In California, laws are more lax. The administration's new tactic might encourage advocates for decriminalization of marijuana in general. They lament anti-marijuana laws and see potential economic and law enforcement benefits from making it legal. South Carolina is one of 36 states that do not allow medical marijuana, and, as reported by our David Quick, state legislators are reluctant even to talk about it. But we haven't heard any legislators complain about doctors being allowed to prescribe far more potent -- and addictive -- opiates, as needed for pain. Palmetto State lawmakers should adopt legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes. There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that it offers effective treatment for some dreadful diseases and mitigates the painful remedies that are sometimes required for the treatment of cancer. Source: Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC)Published: Monday, November 9, 2009Copyright: 2009 Evening Post Publishing Co.Website: letters postandcourier.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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