Marijuana, a Valid Medical Option
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Marijuana, a Valid Medical Option
Posted by CN Staff on March 11, 2010 at 12:01:10 PT
By Patricia Harris
Source: BC Heights
USA -- For years, American culture has linked the use of marijuana with images of blazed-out stoners who seemingly spend their time either high or longing to be high. Though it would be comfortable and all-too-easy to continue to associate the drug with that sole image and other negative connotations, to do so would be doing not only the drug a disservice, but our society as well.  The medical benefits of marijuana are undeniable, and when a patient’s health is concerned, decisions based on which drug should be used should be made between the patient and the doctor, without Washington politicians in mind.
Marijuana has had a long history as a valued medicine. According to the Los Angeles Times, it has been used in medicinal teas in China, as a stress relief tool in India, and as a pain reliever in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Historically, marijuana has been used for its medicinal properties for over an estimated 12,000 years. It has been used to help ease nausea created by chemotherapy, restore appetites in AIDS patients, and as an effective pain-reliever for a variety of causes. Some recent studies also suggest that medical marijuana might be helpful in lifting depression or easing convulsions, like those caused by multiple sclerosis or Huntington’s disease.  The UC Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in San Diego found that marijuana is highly useful in helping patients with neuropathic pain, which is a syndrome where the patients experience chronic pain, and a simple touch can be unenduringly painful. Here, marijuana has succeeded where other medication has proven ineffective, and stronger opiates have the potential to be resisted. In this case, where treatment options are limited, having one more drug to have as a treatment option could be the difference between some pain management and none at all.  Additionally, the side effects of marijuana are much less serious than many other drugs that are recognized under the federal government. According to former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelen Elders, “Marijuana is less toxic than many of the other drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” A testament to this fact is that there are currently no cases of lung cancer or emphysema in the U.S. linked solely to marijuana smoking. The current system of leaving the decision up to the states is clearly not working, since laws concerning medical marijuana differ significantly from state to state. A doctor’s advice on a course of medical treatment should not depend on a person’s geographical location. Furthermore, the recent tussle between the DEA and medical marijuana dispenseries in Colorado, where it is legal, shows the confusion that arises when the federal government holds a different view of the drug than the state does.  After major raids on medical dispensaries, the DEA had to sheepishly back down after admitting that they may have crossed a line. However, the problem remains that even when medical marijuana is legal to distribute, it is illegal to grow. In order for a productive system to exist, the states and the federal government need to be working on the same page.    Part of the problem that would also be solved with the support of medical marijuana by the federal government is the worry that the source of the drug comes from the black market. There is no way to monitor harvesting or farming regulations, making the choice to use medical marijuana more dangerous than it has to be. In order to more effectively control and regulate the drug, the only rational option is for the federal government to rework its original opinion of marijuana, and acknowledge the drug’s benefits to patients.   If the fear then is that by advocating for medical marijuana, the drug will enter further into the mainstream culture, I would argue that this has already occurred. Walking into Newbury Comics, a person is virtually attacked by the familiar five-leafed plant decorating bumper stickers, hats, pins, jewelry, etc. Many states, including Massachusetts, have already decriminalized marijuana, making the penalty for possession significantly less than it was before.  Is medical marijuana the solution for every patient? Of course not. Like any drug, however, it has its own particular pros and cons. The vast majority of drugs that are widely prescribed are extremely dangerous to the patient unless taken with caution. Marijuana is no exception to that rule. However, I have enough faith in patients to make up their own minds about that, and any other potential drug treatment. The federal government should prove that they have such a belief as well.   On The Flip Side: Potential Harms Outweigh Benefits: BC Heights (US MA: Edu)Author: Patricia HarrisPublished: Thursday, March 11, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Heights, Inc.Contact: editor bcheights.comWebsite: http://www.bcheights.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by Paint with light on March 12, 2010 at 23:49:31 PT
storm crow
Let me tell you about it....darlin'The meeting mostly consisted of Bernie Ellis(google Bernie Ellis to see his story, he needs a list) giving a power point presentation on the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act that is currently making its way through the legislative hoops and jumps. The only other person who spent any time talking was a local state lobbyist for the cause. I watched her work the room. She seems good at what she is supposed to do.It was difficult to sit there and only hear about one third of the issue.I did come up with another way of looking at the interrelations of the three main factions working for changing the laws.I am a photographer and photographers have principally two tools to help them take steadier pictures.One is a monopod and the other is a tripod.The cannabis issue is mainly divided among cannabis as medicine, cannabis as industrial product, and cannabis as a safer alternative to alcohol.It should just be about "freedom", but right now it is not.Right now the movement is steadier because the medical part is gaining almost unanimous acceptance.But it is still just a monopod.When we get the medical, the hemp, and the recreational factions to work together...we have the steadiest, strongest, rock solid base from which to rest our arguments.A tripod.I felt sitting there tonight what it must have felt like in California ten or more years ago.It is progress but it is slow progress.I will add more about tonight in some later posts.I did mention your site to several people and was surprised how few were aware of it.I felt real educated for a few moments.I gave out about 25 business cards with on the back and with "paint with light" underneath.Hopefully some will come to visit and stay for awhile.I watched the group while I was waiting to introduce myself to some people.The ones who stayed the longest were the ones I approached.I would like to design a business card that has at the top and underneath I want to list some of our more outstanding contributors........Like yourself and others who put a link to their web site in support of our cause......Like Leap.I sure want to thank all the people I have learned from here over the last several years.(more to state congressional representative told one of the attendees tonight that marijuana is equal to Heroin and he would never vote for it. This rep is a doctor[maybe he is a vet].....and he wasn't talking just scheduling equal)Legal like alcohol. 
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Comment #8 posted by Storm Crow on March 12, 2010 at 11:47:03 PT
Paint with light
Hon- could you tell folks at the meeting they can get a copy of my list at i.wantgrannyslist(at) -and it's absolutely free? I'd love to arm the whole group with my list! Nothing like having the medical facts to beat down the old prohibitionist lies! I agree- cannabis is the exception! Even aspirin kills. And to call it's use "extremely dangerous"? We all know that is ridiculous! However, some discretion IS needed- eating a half dozen high potency "edibles" can result in a very unpleasant, yet totally non-fatal, experience. (Remember the 911 "dying" cop and his brownies?) To that extent, I must agree that some caution is advisable. 
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Comment #7 posted by Paint with light on March 11, 2010 at 23:35:36 PT
NORML Tennessee is having a meeting tomorrow night in Nashville.I am going to attend.I think I have posted about my on and off, each decade, involvement in NORML. I was a member first, in the seventies.It is time to get more public in my support.We have a medical bill in the state legislature now.I may ask for some help from my friends here if we run into something we can't figure out, or are having trouble with.If you have some positive energy left at the end of the day send some our way.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #6 posted by Paint with light on March 11, 2010 at 23:13:04 PT
article was good until....
"The vast majority of drugs that are widely prescribed are extremely dangerous to the patient unless taken with caution. Marijuana is no exception to that rule."I disagree.Cannabis is the exception to the rule.The only exception.That is the main reason the current laws are so insane and based on lies.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 11, 2010 at 17:13:04 PT
WA Legislature Allows More To OK Medical Marijuana
Thursday, March 11, 2010Olympia, Wash -- More medical professionals will be allowed to authorize the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients under a measure approved by the Washington state Legislature.On a 34-13 vote Thursday, the Senate approved the measure after concurring with some changes made in the House. The bill now heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.It adds physician assistants, naturopaths, advanced registered nurse practitioners and others to the list of those who can officially recommend marijuana for patients under the state's medical marijuana law. Washington state Legislature
Under current law, only physicians are allowed to write the recommendation.---The medical marijuana measure is Senate Bill 5798. Copyright: 2010 The Associated Press URL:
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Comment #4 posted by the GCW on March 11, 2010 at 14:19:39 PT
US CO: Pot and booze bound for the ballot
 Webpage: 11 Mar 2010Source: Denver Post (CO)Two ballot initiatives filed late Wednesday would change the way booze and pot – and not the medicinal kind – are sold in Colorado.The first, Initiative 47, lauds the benefits of legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana in its preamble. “The link between marijuana and other illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine will be broken so that teens who attempt to purchase marijuana will not be exposed to these more dangerous substances,” it reads. “Legitimate, taxpaying businesspeople in the state will benefit from the sales of marijuana, not criminal gangs and cartels.”Backers of the proposed Constitutional amendment – Mason Tvert and Eva Enns – could not be immediately reached for comment. A phone call placed to their listed phone number was answered by a recorded message from pro-marijuana group SAFER.
CONT.That's all the article states about the cannabis issue. I'm sure We'll see a better story about this soon.GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MAAAAASON!
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Comment #3 posted by Canis420 on March 11, 2010 at 14:11:00 PT:
This sounds like a precedent setting lawsuit that may crumble the wall
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 11, 2010 at 12:41:48 PT
Here we are in a federal case!
ARGUMENT: Marijuana's illegal placement in an incorrect schedule renders its status as a controlled substance a nullity.The State alleges that marijuana is a "controlled substance" when in fact marijuana's illegal placement in an incorrect schedule renders its status as a controlled substance a nullity. Based upon marijuana's current "accepted medical use in the United States", marijuana can no longer be in Schedule I. To be placed, or to remain, in Schedule 1, a substance must meet ALL of the following : the substance "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States", "has a high potential for abuse," and has "a lack of accepted safety for use . . . under medical supervision." United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, 532 U.S. 483, 492 (2001). Since 1996 when California AND ARIZONA, recognized "accepted medical use", 14 States and The District of Columbia , have made the same determination that marijuana has "accepted medical use". 15 States currently have laws in place recognizing "accepted medical use" of marijuana and accept the safety of marijuana for medical use. Twelve states allows medical users to cultivate marijuana at home. See: Alaska: Alaska Stat. § 17.37.070(8) (2008); California: Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11362.5 (2008); Colorado: Colo. Const. Art. XVIII, Section 14(b) (2007); Hawaii: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 329-121(3)(paragraph 3) (2008); Maine: 22 Maine Rev. Stat. §2383-B(5) (2008); Montana: Mont. Code Anno., § 50-46-102(5) (2007); Nevada: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 453A.120 (2007); New Mexico: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 26-2B-2 (2008); Oregon: Ore. Rev. Stat. § 475.302(8) (2007); Rhode Island: R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-28.6-3(4) (2008); Vermont: 18 Vermont Stat. Ann. §4472(10) (2007); Washington: Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 69.51A.010(2) (2008). The fact is, Marijuana does not belong in ANY of the federal or state schedules. The only other substances one can manufacture at home are alcohol and tobacco, which are both specifically exempted from the act. Even back in 1970, marijuana was the only controlled substances which Congress expressed any doubt about including in the Controlled Substances Act. Additionally, in 1972, the "National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse" recommended that personal use and sharing of marijuana should not be criminalized. EXHIBIT A.Furthermore, the findings of a DEA ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, authorized under the Controlled Substances Act to make findings of fact, found that "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." See EXHIBIT C. Because marijuana's placement as a Schedule 1 controlled substance is a legal nullity and the state has not acted in accordance with provisions of the Controlled Substances Act to move marijuana into any other schedule, marijuana cannot be legally considered to be a "controlled substance" for purposes of any state or federal laws or ordinances against it. The points made above are not and should not be construed simply as an argument that marijuana has "accepted medical use in the United States". Rather, they are offered to support the argument that marijuana is incorrectly and illegally placed as a controlled substance. Because marijuana has not been "moved" to an legally enforceable schedule within the CSA, its present scheduling results in a jurisdictional defect for the present case. Accordingly, the complaints and charges against the defendant should be dismissed. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 11, 2010 at 12:39:22 PT
A Video We All Should Watch
Really Bad Hair Days--Hospital Video Diary Day 5 & 6 ( I think :) 4:48 URL:
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