Lawmakers Ponder Medical Marijuana
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Lawmakers Ponder Medical Marijuana');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Lawmakers Ponder Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on December 03, 2009 at 05:20:41 PT
By John L. Micek, Call Harrisburg Bureau
Source: Morning Call
Pennsylvania -- A state House committee waded into the national debate over the legalization of marijuana as it took up a bill Wednesday that would allow some people to buy the drug for medicinal use.''The cultural wars of the 1960s have long since been over,'' Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, the bill's sponsor, told his colleagues during the House's first-ever hearing on the topic. ''This bill is about sick people getting healed.''
Attendees packed a large meeting room on the Capitol's first floor and sometimes broke into applause when witnesses finished presenting testimony on behalf of authorizing medical marijuana.But legalization faces long odds in Pennsylvania. Senate leaders have no plans to take up the issue even if the House passes it.More than a dozen states, including California and New Mexico, have legalized medical marijuana. And officials in New York and New Jersey are considering similar legislation, backers told lawmakers.Wednesday's debate proved a microcosm of the nation's. In pot, supporters see relief from symptoms ranging from pain to nausea and claim it's less toxic than many prescription drugs. Foes say there's no proven medical benefit and legalizing another mind-altering substance will only ruin lives.Cohen's bill would allow people who suffer from such illnesses as glaucoma, HIV and cancer to buy small amounts of marijuana to treat chronic pain and nausea brought on by their illnesses or the treatments they undergo.The bill would set up state-regulated distribution sites known as ''compassion centers.'' The centers would be state-owned or operated by nonprofits.Cohen said the centers would generate roughly $25 million annually in state sales tax on the marijuana they sell and that money could be used for addiction services.Medical marijuana users would have to register with the state Department of Health, pay a $50 registration fee, carry a state-issued identification card and obtain ''written certification'' from a doctor stating they suffer from a ''debilitating medical condition'' that requires them to use the drug.Patients with that card and no more than six marijuana plants or no more than an ounce of ''usable'' marijuana could not be arrested for violating state and federal drugs laws.The tone of Wednesday's hearing rarely rose above the polite, but supporters of Cohen's plan found themselves answering pointed questions from lawmakers who feared that decriminalizing marijuana is a prelude to legalizing other drugs.''I feel like it's the foot in the door for the legalization of drugs,'' said Rep. Katie True, R-Lancaster, who earlier in the day charged that arguments on behalf of medical marijuana's health benefits are ''bogus.''''It isn't medicine,'' she said. ''It's burning leaves.''But backers said they believe the national attitude toward the drug is softening, pointing to a recent U.S. Justice Department memo revealing that federal prosecutors would not go after medical marijuana users in states where it is legal.''Marijuana is medicine by any standard and used as medicine above ground and underground by many Americans,'' Chris Goldstein of Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana told the committee. ''The most detrimental side effect of medical cannabis is running afoul of prohibition laws. We want to stop arresting patients for choosing a medical therapy that works.''Among the most aggressive questioners was Rep. Matt Baker, R-Tioga, who read a list of what he said were the adverse health effects of marijuana use. Those included, he said, a tar and ammonia level higher than regular cigarettes.Supporters sought to ease those concerns, arguing that other drugs are far more addictive and carry greater health risks than marijuana, which they said has proven medical benefits for HIV patients and chemotherapy treatments.''Use of a drug with addiction potential does not make one a drug addict,'' Edward Pane, president and CEO of a Hazleton-based treatment center called Serento Gardens, told lawmakers. He said pot is less addictive than alcohol or caffeine.Howard J. Swidler, an emergency room physician from the Lehigh Valley and former head of the emergency department at Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, told lawmakers marijuana is non-addicting.''There is no physical dependence or physical withdrawal associated with its use,'' Swidler said. ''It is, from a practical standpoint, nontoxic.''Attorney General Tom Corbett sent lawmakers a letter opposing the bill, saying that even though he has the ''deepest compassion for those who suffer from chronic illness and pain … the more readily available these substances become, the more lives stand to be ruined.''Note: Legalization is unlikely. State Senate has no plans to take up issue even if House passes it.The Associated Press contributed to this story.Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)Author: John L. Micek, Call Harrisburg BureauPublished: December 3, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Morning Call Inc.Contact: letters mcall.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #7 posted by runruff on December 03, 2009 at 09:38:37 PT
I am not above "going for the giggle" It is the way my mind works. I can be juvenile sometimes, I'm aware but if it seems amusing at the time I'll go for it!I'm referring to me making fun of MR. Wiener's [Oscar's nephew]name. I can tell you, I fell so disattached from someone like this, it is as if anything goes; NO KID GLOVES FOR YOU!I am too appalled by this human being to even think of him as one!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on December 03, 2009 at 09:33:35 PT:
Penn and Teller said it best
Pen and Teller Bullsh*t who should show up at 3:50? Uh-huh. Yeah.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on December 03, 2009 at 09:26:23 PT:
Weiner as (professional) Whiner
Normally, I do not make fun of other people's names, having one that caused me much trouble with my peers as a child. But after watching every single available interview conducted with Mr. Weiner, I come away from the experience with the itching desire to back-hand him across the mouth for both his lies and his earnestness in telling them. The man is contemptible, a career self-promoter who, apparently, was so despised by his own peers that he was passed over again and again for similar positions to what he held before. He's tried to climb back onto the Gub'mint gravy train with every new Administration, and none would have him. It's said that "thieves have no honor". Perhaps not, but they do have standards...and even amongst such as professional DrugWarriors (whom I deem as the lowest of the low on the evolutionary ladder), Mr. Weiner is not welcome.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by runruff on December 03, 2009 at 09:18:15 PT
No one but the Oscar Meyer Weener....
....seems to have witnessed the horrible effects he claims is the result of using cannabis. He is one of many modern day Henry Anslinger's.Don't we know that if all the alarmist language were true that everyone would plainly see it everywhere? This is what amazes me about the believers! What are they seeing that no one else does?His main concern , it seems, is that people are getting cannabis with which to recreate instead of medicate?He is mad because people are having fun under false pretences! They have done an end run around his influence and he is soooo... miffed! He stands as naked as the Emperor!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Hope on December 03, 2009 at 08:35:51 PT
Comment 1 Weiner
All of his contentions are false. Completely false.He's a professional hysteric and prohibitionist. He ought to be ashamed. He and his kind have done so much harm to so many people. He's even caused outright death. Checkout the short list of Drug War Victims if you don't believe in the deadliness of his hysteria mongering and prohibition promoting. I say it's "short", because there are so many more victims of prohibition that aren't listed on that page.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by ekim on December 03, 2009 at 07:59:39 PT
Hash Bash April 3rd   High Noon.
Cheech and Chong are  7pm MI Theater
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 03, 2009 at 07:45:29 PT
Medical Marijuana: Be Careful
Medical Marijuana: “Be Careful,” Ex-White House Drug Spokesman Bob Weiner Tells DOJDecember 3, 2009Washington, DC and New York City – “Be careful about the new lax enforcement policy for medical marijuana,” former White House Drug Policy Spokesman Bob Weiner is telling the Department of Justice and the Obama Administration.“You may get way more than you bargained for,” Weiner cautions of the new policy barring states attorneys from busting and prosecuting users and caregivers of so-called “medical” marijuana who act “in accordance with state law.”“Prescription marijuana use may explode for healthy people.”URL:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment