Let The Sick Decide If Marijuana Is Medicine
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Let The Sick Decide If Marijuana Is Medicine
Posted by CN Staff on March 28, 2010 at 05:47:51 PT
Source: Times Union
Albany, N.Y. -- Pain can saturate one's entire being. This hit home recently when my mother endured bouts of chemotherapy for stomach cancer. Drugs to relieve her relentless nausea offered little benefit. As with countless other patients, her medicine made matters worse. For patients in intractable pain, time is not on their side. Therefore, for supporters, New York's pending legalization of the medical provision and use of marijuana is timely. Meanwhile, the debate continues.
Good ethics requires good facts, as in accurate, relevant and evidence-based. Clearly, cannabis' history of illegal use and association with lethal drugs has overshadowed its supposed therapeutic value in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea, reducing glaucoma's intraocular pressure, mitigating AIDS symptoms and relieving chronic pain. Furthermore, its psychoactive component spawns fears of dependency and abuse, although authorized stimulants, antidepressants and analgesics also produce highs and lows. While critics allege medical marijuana to be addictive, a so-called gateway to lethal drugs and without medical benefit, they also reject it as valid medicine. So, is medical marijuana "real medicine" or an oxymoron? This deep-seated question is unsettling. Why? Because it unearths an unhealthy tension among politics, power and science. In his "Social Transformation of American Medicine," sociologist Paul Starr chronicles this tension by describing how U.S. mainstream medicine, through licensing and certification requirements, assumed a purportedly more "scientific" medical paradigm that marginalized alternative, including herbal, therapies. Wedded politics and science then enabled federal agencies' virtual embargo on serious research into marijuana's therapeutic efficacy. To illustrate, the National Institute on Drug Abuse plantation at the University of Mississippi is the only place where researchers can legally obtain marijuana. Yet, with pressure from the Drug Enforcement Agency, NIDA's ongoing denial of research on the plant's medical benefits has blocked important clinical studies.As Madelon Lubin Finkel, clinical public health professor at Cornell's Weill Medical College asserts, "reasons for this prohibition are clearly politically ideological."  Snipped   Complete Article: Times Union (Albany, NY)Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010 Copyright: 2010 Capital NewspapersContact: tuletters timesunion.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on March 28, 2010 at 07:33:08 PT
off topic
If you get a chance, watch “Men Who Stare at Goats”. George Clooney and Jeff Bridges are in it. They are in an Army program to develop soldiers with psychic powers and change them into warrior monks. It is pretty funny and it is based on a true story. It has a pretty good sound track too.
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