MMJ Bill Clears Hurdle in State Legislature

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  MMJ Bill Clears Hurdle in State Legislature

Posted by CN Staff on April 09, 2010 at 18:57:58 PT
By Laura Camper, Star Staff Writer 
Source: Anniston Star  

Alabama -- After six years, a bill legalizing medical marijuana that has never seen the light of day outside of the state House of Representatives committee, passed the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and can now be debated on the floor.“ We made history (Wednesday),” said Loretta Nall, executive director of Alabamians for Compassionate Care and long time advocate of medicinal marijuana. “It’s also really the first time there’s been a really open and honest debate.”
The legislation, House Bill 642, would allow patients with epilepsy, cancer, HIV/ AIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease or other debilitating diseases to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or grow up to six plants for medicinal use.Patients would be required to apply to the Department of Public Health for a registration card and that identification card would let law enforcement officers know the person was exempt from other marijuana possession laws.Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Jefferson and sponsor of the legislation, doesn’t expect the bill to become law this year, but she sees this as a victory.“In Alabama, it can take up to seven or eight years to get any bill passed,” Todd said. “Our goal this year is to get out of the judiciary committee and then begin earlier next year, but the reality is we still face an uphill battle in Alabama of people understanding the importance of this.”She believes reintroducing the bill year after year is forcing debate and educating people about the issue. The medical community has seen some evidence there are medicinal benefits of marijuana and fourteen other states have used that information to change their laws.Alabama residents who are educated about the debate will understand the importance of medical marijuana to patients, she said. In her work, she has come to see how much it can mean to them.“I have witnessed a lot of people with HIV who have suffered unnecessarily,” Todd said. “I have also had friends and family members who have been in extreme pain, and I tell you, I would have done anything in my power to alleviate that pain, even if it meant giving them an illegal drug.”However, legalizing marijuana, even if just for medicinal use, might open the door for more abuse, said Calhoun County Sheriff ’s Department Chief Deputy Matthew Wade.“Prescription medication is probably one of the biggest abused drugs in this nation,” Wade said.For that reason, making it legal could make it even harder to keep marijuana out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have it. It also creates a confusing situation when a person is using it legally around other people.Nall said she doesn’t believe that would be an issue. While she hasn’t seen any studies with adult users, studies show teen use isn’t any higher in states with legalized medical marijuana.Wade said he doesn’t have an opinion on the legislation and he’s not sure of the effects of marijuana. Some see the drug as a gateway drug, leading people to harder, more addictive drugs, but then people say that cigarettes are a gateway drug, Wade said.State legislators contacted for this story said they needed to know more about the bill to comment on it.Source: Anniston Star (AL)Author: Laura Camper, Star Staff WriterPublished: April 8, 2010Copyright: 2010 Consolidated PublishingContact: speakout annistonstar.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #31 posted by Hope on April 14, 2010 at 18:43:52 PT
Afterburner comment 26
When I first read about that, I wasn't extraordinarily surprised to hear about it. Maybe they won't get away with it. Especially, now that their little secret is out.
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Comment #30 posted by rchandar on April 14, 2010 at 18:21:43 PT:
Hooray For Alabama
Now, I'm not going to get out and wave the Confederate flag or anything, but......but it has been time for some sort of change in 'Bamy for a long, long time. Anyone who looks up their statutes on can see that it's a grossly unfair law that is out of sync with the notion of social policy justice.Good Luck.--rchandar
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on April 14, 2010 at 04:56:50 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
I agree with you. I have a strong faith but I don't want anything I might believe to be pushed on others. What I love about America is how different we are. I value these differences. PS: As slow as the news is as far as quality news CNews is growing bigger then it has been in a very long time. That means we are making a good deal of progress.
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Comment #28 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 14, 2010 at 01:19:22 PT
Paint with light
I know you aren't exaggerating.If Jesus came back at halftime.......well, perhaps that would be an exaggeration....perhaps......maybe..... but I really do think the stadium would still be full for the 2nd half."If that was really Jesus, he'd be watching the game!"
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Comment #27 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 14, 2010 at 00:46:14 PT
FoM - The South IS way too theocratic!
From alcohol to bingo to Playboys to sex toys to homosexuality, if someone ever thought it was sinful, there's been a law against it somewhere in Alabama.I grew up in a dry county (it's still dry, but the city I live(d) in was allowed to go wet on it's own after I grew up), was subjected to Bible readings every morning over the intercom of the public high school, and as an adult have seen my city go after sex magazines and the state ban sexual devices.Theocracy baaaaaad!
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Comment #26 posted by afterburner on April 13, 2010 at 23:12:21 PT
Hope - OT, but relevant to the North - South talk
What do you think about the events in the following link?The American Destruction of the Past | View Magazine Online Edition
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Comment #25 posted by Paint with light on April 13, 2010 at 20:03:17 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
The third rail of Alabama had occurred to me as I was writing but by the end I had forgot to mention it.Thanks for the reminder.I was at an art show in Birmingham once and I noticed all activity had stopped and everywhere in the park people were crowded around radios.I mean it was like everything froze in still motion.National disaster, nuclear alert, no just the end of the Alabama/Auburn football game.If you are ever at the Kentuck festival in Tuscaloosa in October, look me up and say howdy.Legal like alcohol and southerners.I'm not dead Mr. Buzzard, I'm just moving slow.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on April 13, 2010 at 16:23:02 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
I don't want to live in a Theocracy and that's what they want. I do fear them. People can be easily lead into anger and hatred and that is what the Taliban is like. 
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on April 13, 2010 at 12:51:28 PT

Federal Law
"The CSA does not distinguish between the medical and recreational use of marijuana. Under
federal statute, simple possession of marijuana for personal use, a misdemeanor, can bring up to
one year in federal prison and up to a $100,000 fine for a first offense.16 Growing marijuana is
considered manufacturing a controlled substance, a felony.17 A single plant can bring an
individual up to five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for a first offense.18"
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Comment #22 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 13, 2010 at 12:18:42 PT

"I don't want them to try to legislate morality and try to make us all the same."Me either!
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on April 13, 2010 at 08:25:53 PT

I am ok with people from all over but I do fear people with views that Paint with Light mentioned being in power in government. That's my only fear. They make cruel laws against personal liberty like our cause. If they live like they believe that's no problem with me but I don't want them to try to legislate morality and try to make us all the same.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on April 13, 2010 at 07:44:08 PT

Don't get me started on Pentecostals!Yes. I was frightened by a bunch of Pentecostals when I was a child. Really. It wasn't horrible. But it frightened me.They can scare me with or without snakes! That's a sect of Baptists though, isn't it? "Snake Handling Baptists".Don't get me started on Baptists, either!To each is own... and literal snakes in the festivities just isn't my cup of tea. At all. And when people jump around too much and behave very peculiarly I get a bit on edge.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on April 13, 2010 at 07:34:41 PT

That North and South thing. Really...Forgeddabout it!You worry about it more than any person I've ever known.Don't worry about it. It's not important. Really. Not to me. Not to anyone I know. We all have families far flung all over the world and everywhere. People travel. We've integrated!:0)And people from the south do like people from the north and lots of people on here are proof of that. I'm down here and I like you. A lot.So I'm blowing a big Bronx Raspberry at you and saying "Forgeddabout it".We like you. I like the United States. It's a little jiggly sometimes... in all sorts of ways, but I like it United.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on April 13, 2010 at 04:17:14 PT

Sinsemilla Jones and Paint With Light
I do understand what you are saying. All I am saying is we should be allowed to be different and it should be ok. I have been in the south because of traveling for a few years with my husband. All I want is for people to believe what they want to believe but don't make others think they have to be just like them. I was Pentecostal for a number of years. None of the snake handling stuff but I understand what they believe. As far as Catholics go I questioned everything I was taught and left the church because it didn't make sense to me after years of trying to figure it out. The only thing I really liked about going to Catholic school was we were disciplined and taught to respect others, value jobs that helped others and we got to wear uniforms which made us meet kids in school on a different level because we didn't know who was rich or who was poor.
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Comment #17 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 13, 2010 at 00:45:40 PT

Thanks Paint with light
For a Yankee from way up north (Tennessee), you explained that pretty good, even though you didn't mention football.Duality can be both hard to explain and hard to understand.The Three Great Alabama Icons -'t sweat it FoM, even us Alabamians don't really understand Alabama.
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Comment #16 posted by Paint with light on April 12, 2010 at 22:38:24 PT

FoM re;Alabama
I don't know why the south seems so alien to some in the north.Actually I do.I will try in my own rambling way to bridge the regions.People are people everywhere.As a long time observer and frequent visitor to Alabama, let me give you some inside views.To understand some aspects of Alabama you need to set your clock back twenty or more years.All of your comments about Alabama could be made about Ohio or Pennsylvania by people from Alabama(I have heard them).As long as anybody looks at the differences it is difficult to see the similarities.A lot of southerners wish they were appreciated more for their positive aspects and hated less for there negative behaviors, traits, and laws.If you knew more people from the south or visited the south you might return home with a different opinion.Or maybe not.If you've never experienced southern hospitality, you need to.Imagine driving down roads where everyone speaks to you.If your vehicle breaks down, more people will try to help you than rob you.A lot of people never lock their doors.I had a friend this winter that kept me stocked in firewood, for free. We made three trips to the woods and harvested a dozen and a half trees. He and his son cut all the wood, loaded it into a trailer and hauled it to my house. They let me help a little.That is what friends do....North or South.We do have a wonderful country and it extends all the way to the gulf of Mexico.You will find that the over driving force for most people in the south(or anywhere) is the welfare and health of their family.This one core value makes the south and the north much more similar than you realize.A lot of southerners wrap themselves in fundamentalist strict religious beliefs. Even though family comes first with them, if you ask them, most will say their religion comes first.If you have never met snake handlers or holy rollers then it is more difficult to understand the larger middle where most southerners reside.Until you understand the role of religion in most southerners lives you will never understand the south.You may not remember but the south was really against Jack Kennedy.I know you were raised catholic but can you understand somebody looking at Catholics the same way you do the south?That is exactly how it was when I was experiencing the sixties.We had catholic churches but they were in the minority.A lot of the protestants couldn't understand how anyone could pray to a statue, confess to someone other than Jesus and believe in a woman(Mary) as anything more than a vessel for the baby Jesus.We knew they were going to hell because they didn't know Jesus like us.I don't know if this has helped any.Just please don't judge the south by what the politicians do or say.You should know by now that is not a good source of information.This really needs to be an explanation given one warm summer afternoon on a porch somewhere with zero attention paid to time or the pace of the world.There are a lot of creative, thoughtful, and talented people in the south.You can go here and see some.www.southernartistry.orgI am now listed on the site.I was nominated by my state arts agency,the nomination was accepted, and my profile page went up last week.There is not anything there(except for one image) that you haven't seen on my web site.I understand your frustrations with some of the aspects of the south.I get frustrated with aspects of it also.Thanks to growing up listening to WLS, KMOX, and KDKA, I was educated to different ways of thinking early on.Maybe it was also those four years I spent in California as a child.All I know is I am trying to change some of it in my own way.Equal with alcohol.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 12, 2010 at 17:56:54 PT

Sinsemilla Jones
I wanted to comment as to why I never comment on anything about Alabama. I don't understand the state. I don't understand their political views. Alabama is so different then where I live or back in eastern, Pa where I grew up that I am totally stumped. I wish some of the southern states started to appreciate us up here a little. I don't know why the north seems so alien to some in the south. We have a great country and it goes all the way up to the tip of Maine and all the way west to Washington State. I wish they liked us more I suppose.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on April 12, 2010 at 17:27:05 PT

Sinsemilla Jones
Those laws and punishments are very unjust. Very!I think Loretta Nall might have made a mighty fine governor. She still might be, some day.
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Comment #13 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 11, 2010 at 23:02:16 PT

But, on the other hand, Alabama...
It has come to my attention, and hopefully many others, who are paying attention, that Alabama is paroling people convicted of murder (and sentenced to life in prison) in as little as 10 years!Why would a law and order, tough on crime state like Alabama parole murderers after only ten (and I do mean just 10) years?Why, to make room in the prisons for people convicted of growing or selling cannabis, of course.According to NORML -Growing just a little is a MANDATORY Minimum Sentence of 3 years in AL!Grow or sell a little more and it's a MANDATORY Minimum Sentence of 5 years in AL!Grow or sell a lot and it's MANDATORY Minimum Sentence of 15 years in AL!And if you grow or sell a whole lot of the safest, most versatile medicinal, and most versatile, safest industrial, as well as one of the most nutritional and ecologically beneficial plants on the planet, you're rewarded with MANDATORY Minimum Sentence of LIFE IN PRISON in Alabama!And unlike murderers, there's no parole for pot growers., Alabama, and the many other states in the Union who have helped us along, by example, to this totally indefensible situation, isn't it time to reform these laws which allow the most violent criminals to serve less time in prison than people growing or selling a plant?Fines or taxes would make a lot more sense, as well as a lot more cents. And what politician wouldn't want to run on a record of increasing revenue by keeping violent criminals behind bars?
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Comment #12 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 11, 2010 at 21:34:15 PT

Hope 5 and 6 - Yes! Thank You Loretta!
They thought they'd keep her from writing LTEs by raiding her house, but instead they created their own worst nightmare - a determined cannabis activist who has brought the Heart of Dixie closer to legal MMJ quicker than anyone thought possible!MMJ passing the AL House Judiciary Committee is a major miracle! Everyone, everywhere should take heart, because this means it could happen anywhere, anytime! If Alabama is close to having MMJ, the whole world is close to having MMJ!And a big thanks should also go, if not to all the rest of the Union, at least to the first 14 MMJ states for helping us along by example!And of course, thanks to Cannabis News, NORML, MPP, Jack Herer, Lester Grinspoon, and everyone who has kept hope alive these many dark decades by spreading the light of truth! Because of all you who have kept talking and toking, and shouting and vaping, and writing and growing, and done time and taken the time, things are finally changing, and changing fast!Roll Tide and Roll Joints!War Eagle and Hemp Victory!Seeds Fell On Alabama!
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Comment #11 posted by Had Enough on April 10, 2010 at 07:32:18 PT

More ...animal/congress critters
It certainly wasn't ugly for the drug lobby which invested more than $10 million in campaign contributions during the last election and has been a source of lucrative employment opportunities for congressmen when they leave office. Former senators Dennis Deconcini, D-Ariz., and Steve Symms, R-Idaho, and former congressmen like Tom Downey, D-N.Y.; Vic Fazio, D-Calif.; Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., and former House Minority Leader Robert Michel, R-Ill., all registered as lobbyists for the drug industry and worked on the prescription drug bill."I can tell you that when the bill passed, there were better than 1,000 pharmaceutical lobbyists working on this," says Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.Dingell has been in Congress for 52 years and is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which shares jurisdiction over Medicare. He says the bill would not have passed without the efforts of the drug lobby. and...Scully was the administration's lead negotiator on the prescription drug bill, and at the time was also negotiating a job for himself with a high-powered Washington law firm, where he became a lobbyist with the pharmaceutical industry. "He was negotiating for his job at the same time that the Medicare legislation was being considered. He wound up taking this job 10 days after the president signed this legislation," says Pollack.and...In fairness to Tauzin and former Medicare chief Tom Scully, they weren't the only public officials involved with the prescription drug bill who later went to work for the pharmaceutical industry. Just before the vote, Tauzin cited the people who had been most helpful in getting it passed. Among them:· John McManus, the staff director of the Ways and Means subcommittee on Health. Within a few months, he left Congress and started his own lobbying firm. Among his new clients was PhRMA, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Merck.· Linda Fishman, from the majority side of the Finance Committee, left to become a lobbyist with the drug manufacturer Amgen.· Pat Morrisey, chief of staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee, took a job lobbying for drug companies Novartis and Hoffman-La Roche.· Jeremy Allen went to Johnson and Johnson.· Kathleen Weldon went to lobby for Biogen, a Bio-tech company.· Jim Barnette left to lobby for Hoffman-La Roche.In all, at least 15 congressional staffers, congressmen and federal officials left to go to work for the pharmaceutical industry, whose profits were increased by several billion dollars. More...very much more...;contentBody

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Comment #10 posted by runruff on April 10, 2010 at 07:06:42 PT

"It was ugly." -extortion is!
And the strong arm of these kill for profit creeps is Agent Sweetin Low and his band of thugs!
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Comment #9 posted by Had Enough on April 10, 2010 at 06:49:29 PT

More animals/congress critters
Under The InfluenceBy Michelle Singer 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft Reports On Drug Lobbyists' Role in Passing Bill That Keeps Drug Prices High(CBS) This segment was originally broadcast on April 1, 2007. It was updated on July 23, 2007.If you have ever wondered why the cost of prescription drugs in the United States are the highest in the world or why it's illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico, you need look no further than the pharmaceutical lobby and its influence in Washington, D.C.According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, congressmen are outnumbered two to one by lobbyists for an industry that spends roughly $100 million a year in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses to protect its profits. One reason those profits have exceeded Wall Street expectations is the Medicare prescription drug bill. It was passed more than three-and-a-half years ago, but as 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft reports, its effects are still reverberating through the halls of Congress, providing a window into how the lobby works. The unorthodox roll call on one of the most expensive bills ever placed before the House of Representatives began in the middle of the night, long after most people in Washington had switched off C-SPAN and gone to sleep. The only witnesses were congressional staffers, hundreds of lobbyists, and U.S. representatives, like Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Walter Jones, R-N.C."The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill," says Jones. "The bill was over 1,000 pages. And it got to the members of the House that morning, and we voted for it at about 3 a.m. in the morning," remembers Jones.Why did the vote finally take place at 3 a.m.?"Well, I think a lot of the shenanigans that were going on that night, they didn't want on national television in primetime," according to Burton."I've been in politics for 22 years," says Jones, "and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years."The legislation was the cornerstone of Republican's domestic agenda and would extend limited prescription drugs coverage under Medicare to 41 million Americans, including 13 million who had never been covered before. At an estimated cost of just under $400 billion over 10 years, it was the largest entitlement program in more than 40 years, and the debate broke down along party lines. But when it came time to cast ballots, the Republican leadership discovered that a number of key Republican congressmen had defected and joined the Democrats, arguing that the bill was too expensive and a sellout to the drug companies. Burton and Jones were among them."They're suppose to have 15 minutes to leave the voting machines open and it was open for almost three hours," Burton explains. "The votes were there to defeat the bill for two hours and 45 minutes and we had leaders going around and gathering around individuals, trying to twist their arms to get them to change their votes."Jones says the arm-twisting was horrible."We had a good friend from Michigan, Nick Smith, and they threatened to work against his son who wanted to run for his seat when he retired," he recalls. "I saw a woman, a member of the House, a lady, crying when they came around her, trying to get her to change her votes. It was ugly."More...;segmentTitle

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Comment #8 posted by runruff on April 10, 2010 at 06:32:59 PT

The poster child for the FDA is flipper!
It is the job of low life bottom feeders like DEA Agent Sweetin Low to make sure Vets only get to choose treatment from the poison Pharm industry where their profits and influence support the best job this thug and his minions could ever hope to get!Officer Sweetin Low's 75,000 dollar a year job with 6 weeks paid bonus vacations to anyplace in the world, 100% dental, New Gov. vehicle [and brand new asset forfeiture cars for his wife and college age kid, and full pay retirement after 20 years, is a plum of a job. He knows his alternative is a dull beat somewhere breaking up drunken domestic fights and bar brawls. This phony make work program [WoD] has given him and others like him a big head and a false sense of importance. 
 You are a people hunter Mr. Sweetin Low. the lowest of low life's [bottom feeders]. You could not argue that if our founding fathers were alive today you and yours would be out to shoot and or cage them. These animals.....
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 10, 2010 at 06:02:34 PT

PTSD drug cocktails
Still reading that Nieman's Watchdog piece. As you read it, you can't help but feel that these particular government approved drug dealers and their supporters, might be purposely trying to kill some people. Is this drug cocktail that wonderful when it helps... if it helps, and it helps so many people, so much? Is it such a valuable drug, or drug combination, that lives lost don't matter? They're worth it, because it's so wonderful somehow?
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on April 10, 2010 at 05:30:34 PT

And jump, and jump, and jump...
until she stomps you into just a little greasy spot on the floor.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 10, 2010 at 05:26:13 PT

Loretta Nall. Thank you!
You have been a stalwart, powerhouse, Loretta Nall.Don't jump on Loretta. She'll jump back.

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Comment #4 posted by Hope on April 10, 2010 at 05:20:06 PT

Comment 1
After reading that and being horrified and dismayed, I was thinking about the people that cook up those soups of pharmaceuticals and the dealing and deals that go with them. The money. One night many of us heard a government scientist testify to the legislators in Alaska that "marijuana is a dirty, dirty drug". His voice dripping with disdain. We KNOW that some of the ingredients in our so called "Pure", and "FDA Approved", and "Safe", clean, clean, clean, super wonderful, modern, amazing high-powered medicines of today are cooked up in a filthy crockery pot in a hell hole in the back of China somewhere. We know they can kill. Suddenly and terribly, or slowly and terribly.How dare they? I then think of all they do and how shady they are to sell these wonder drugs. If they're really wonder drugs they don't have to be promoted at all.Part of what they do, I suspect, is work to keep cannabis from the people that could, maybe, benefit from it.How could they? For money, I know. But how could they do that to other people? Then I realized how they could. They have no conscience.I see that as a problem. So many people among and around us seem to assume that it's ok, even desirable, somehow.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 10, 2010 at 05:12:18 PT

I agree with you. The VA has been very helpful to my husband but as long as cannabis is a Schedule I drug their hands are tied.
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Comment #2 posted by ezrydn on April 10, 2010 at 04:34:35 PT:

The VA and PTSD
I learned a long time ago that the VA is good for some things but as far as PTSD is concerned, stay away! The treatment is worse than the malady. I was in Vietnam thru 65-66 so I've contended with this problem for a hellova long time. Not this short interval the Iraqi/Afgan vets are experiencing. I saw that the VA didn't care to take the time to see how you reacted to meds. No, they'd just give you a 30-60 count Rx and send you on your way. That is what I walked away from!I always make sure my attending doctor knows, without actually coming out and telling him point blank. It goes like:
Q: Are you taking anything for your PTSD?
A: Yes, but I can't tell you what it is.
Q: Why?
A: Because this isn't a compassionate state nor is this a compassionate agency. Plus, I don't live in this country!Then, the doctor makes his own estimation of my meaning. Whatever he puts in the record are HIS words, not mine. I've brought that to other doctors attention so they're careful what they write down.We have to remember, the VA is a FEDERAL agency. They'll never consider medical cannabis until the CSA is overturned or rewritten. A lot of you just don't seem to have a grasp on that fact! Asking the VA for medical cannabis is like asking Biden where you can score a bag. Ain't a gonna happen!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on April 09, 2010 at 23:25:10 PT

For C-News readers interested in what cannabis competes with when treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) this is quite the eye opener.It shows insight to how screwed up the FDA is.How veterans are not treated right.It shows an example of how much money is involved and how money is used and misused in the PHARM industry. -Buying doctors etc.It shows an example of a drug that is shown to be extremely harmful with lots of red flags and lawsuits and then is allowed to be used on children.What the ----A MUST READ-0-FDA, VA approve drug despite its link to soldiers’ deathsASK THIS | April 09, 2010 Seroquel is a widely-prescribed medication, with almost $5 billion in sales last year. But survivors of dead servicemen, torn and angry, question its use as part of a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.By Martha Rosenberg
martharosenberg sbcglobal.netQ. Is Seroquel in PTSD cocktails causing sudden death in veterans? 
Sgt. Eric Layne's death was not pretty.
A few months after being prescribed a drug cocktail with the antidepressant Paxil, the mood stabilizer Klonopin and AstraZeneca's controversial antipsychotic drug Seroquel, the Iraq war veteran was "suffering from incontinence, severe depression [and] continuous headaches," according to his widow, Janette Layne, at FDA hearings for new Seroquel approvals last year.
Soon he had tremors. " … [H]is breathing was labored [and] he had developed sleep apnea," said Janette Layne, who served in the National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom along with her husband. On the last day of his life, she testified, Eric stayed in the bathroom nearly all night battling acute urinary retention. He died while his family slept.
Sgt. Layne had just returned from a seven-week inpatient program at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati where he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A video shot during that time, played by his wife at the FDA hearings, shows a dangerously sedated figure barely able to talk.
Sgt. Layne was not the first healthy veteran to die after being prescribed medical cocktails including Seroquel for PTSD.
In the last two years, Pfc. Derek Johnson, 22, of Hurricane, West Virginia; Cpl. Andrew White, 23, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, of Roundrock, Texas; Cpl. Nicholas Endicott, 24, of Pecks Mill, West Virginia; and Spc. Ken Jacobs, 21, of Walworth, New York, have all died suddenly while taking Seroquel cocktails.
Death certificates and other records collected by veteran family members suggest more than 100 similar deaths among Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets and other military personnel, many on PTSD cocktails with Seroquel and other antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sleep inducers and pain and seizure medications.
Since the 2008 publication of "The Battle Within," the Denver Post's expose of a "pharmaco-battlefield" in Iraq, in which troops were found to be routinely propped up on antidepressants, the Department of Defense has sought to curb the deployment of troops with mental health problems to combat zones. The DOD has also stepped up monitoring of soldiers who have been medicated, according to the Hartford Courant. Thirty-four percent of the 935 active-duty soldiers who made suicide attempts in 2007 were on psychoactive drugs.
But the U.S. Army's Warrior Care and Transition Office reports that soldiers are dying after coming home, many in Warrior Transition Units that were established in 2007 to prepare wounded soldiers for a return to duty or civilian life. According to the Army Times, between June 2007 and October 2008, 68 such veteran deaths were recorded – nine were ruled suicides, six are pending investigation and six were from "combined lethal drug toxicity." Thirty-five were termed "natural causes."
Although not been approved for PTSD, Pentagon purchases of Seroquel nearly doubled between 2003 and 2007. Elspeth Ritchie, medical director of the Army's Strategic Communications Office told theDenver Post the drug is "increasingly utilized as an adjunct for PTSD." The Seroquel Scandals 
It would be hard to find a drug with a more suspect fraud footprint than Seroquel – at least one that's still on the market.CONT."When six people die from peanut butter we shut the factories down"
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