Case Made Again for Prescription Pot 

Case Made Again for Prescription Pot 
Posted by CN Staff on February 16, 2005 at 08:59:14 PT
By Gregory B. Hladky
Source: Bristol Press
Hartford -- The doctor-widow of a cancer victim, the head of Hartford Hospital’s cancer center and a patient suffering from paralysis and spasms all called on Connecticut lawmakers Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana. "At a time when we were most vulnerable, I had to choose between my livelihood and the welfare of my husband," Dr. Nancy Sheehan of the University of Connecticut said about her efforts to buy marijuana for her cancer-victim husband.
Sheehan said that, until he died in 2002, marijuana helped her husband Jim deal much more easily with the pain, loss of appetite and energy brought on by his colon cancer. "His quality of life was dramatically improved," she recalled.Dr. Andrew Salner, director of Hartford Hospital’s Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center also spoke in support of allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. He said that "a select group of patients clearly are helped by marijuana during their cancer experience."And Mark Braunstein, who was paralyzed below the waist by a severe accident in 1990, described how marijuana has helped ease the spasms and pain that have accompanied his injury.Although a medical marijuana bill won state House approval last year, its opponents managed to kill it through the General Assembly committee process before it ever reached the Senate for a final vote.A bipartisan group of lawmakers supporting the measure say they believe this will be the year that Connecticut joins the 11 other states that have approved medical marijuana laws to help victims of cancer, glaucoma and other diseases.The new bill would allow a doctor to prescribe marijuana and allow a patient to grow up to five marijuana plants for medical use without fear of arrest or prosecution.But critics such as state Sen. George L. ‘Doc’ Gunther, R-Stratford, said he doesn’t think the bill will survive a Senate vote. "I doubt it," said Gunther, the longest-serving member of the General Assembly."I don’t think there is any justification for it," Gunther said. "Oncologists, if they’re honest, will tell you that we don’t need it, that we have much better, more effective medications available."Gunther also said he and other critics fear that allowing patients to grow marijuana for personal medical use will eventually result in abuses. "It’s going to find its way into the illegal market," Gunther warned.The bill’s co-sponsors, state Reps. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, and Melissa Olson, D-Norwich, rejected Gunther’s arguments."More than 300 Connecticut doctors have signed on in writing that they support this bill," said Bacchiochi."Illegal use of marijuana is going to go on whether we pass this bill or not," Olson said.State Sen. Toni N. Harp, D-New Haven, is another supporter of the bill who believes that it may stand a better chance of passage in the General Assembly this year."I think the fact that it passed the House last year will give it more momentum," Harp said. "There’s a lot more energy around the issue this year than in the past."Harp said that the Senate’s reluctance to take up the medical marijuana bill last year appeared to be related to the fact that 2004 was a legislative election year. She said legislative leaders may have worried that the issue could cause problems for some Democrats involve in close reelection races. Source: Bristol Press (CT)Author: Gregory B. Hladky, Journal Register News ServicePublished: February 16, 2005Copyright: 2005 Bristol PressContact: editor bristolpress.comWebsite: http://www.bristolpress.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Marijuana Bill Returns Reintroduce Medical Marijuana Bill
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on February 16, 2005 at 19:15:23 PT
I thought so too. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 16, 2005 at 19:13:15 PT
News Article from The Scotsman UK
'Chronic Pain Should Be Defence for Cannabis Users' By Mike Taylor, PA February 16, 2005People who use cannabis to relieve chronic pain should not be deemed to be breaking the law, three appeal judges were told today.Conduct that would otherwise be unlawful is “excused or justified by the need to avoid a greater evil”, said Edward Fitzgerald QC, for two convicted men afflicted by serious, chronic conditions.Cannabis was more effective than conventional forms of pain relief and did not have the potentially serious and life-threatening side effects of alternative treatments, he told the Court of Appeal in London.The defence of “necessity” should be available to anyone who used cannabis to remove or alleviate the greater evil of chronic pain, he said.The three judges are being asked to rule that victims of severe and chronic pain who use cannabis to relieve their suffering are not breaking the law.Mr Fitzgerald was appearing for Barry Quayle and Reay Wales in their appeals against convictions of possessing cannabis.Lord Justice Mance, Mr Justice Newman and Mr Justice Fulford heard that Mr Quayle had both legs amputated below the knee and suffered pain from damaged tissue and “phantom limb” sensation.Mr Wales had serious bone and pancreas conditions.Both men found that prescription drugs were ineffective and caused serious side effects with the risk of addiction.The judge at Mr Quayle’s trial had ruled that a defence of necessity was not available because he had to show that the cultivation of cannabis was necessary to save life or prevent serious injury.Serious injury did not extend to the relief of pain or even serious and unpleasant pain, he held.In Mr Wales’s case, the issue of necessity was left to the jury, but jurors were warned the defence was only available to someone who committed an unlawful act in the belief that otherwise he would soon be killed or seriously injured.Tomorrow counsel for Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC will set out the current attitude of the Crown Prosecution Service in such cases.Copyright: 2005
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 16, 2005 at 19:06:17 PT
Media, artificial political balance 
The Pahrump Valley piece is thought provoking.Thanks, FoM
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 16, 2005 at 18:33:55 PT
News For Ohio from The AP
Senate Passes Bill To Set Standards for Proving Offense of Driving While DruggedFebruary 16, 2005COLUMBUS, Ohio - Police and courts would have standard rules under which to charge and convict someone of driving under the influence of illegal drugs under a bill that passed the Ohio Senate on Wednesday.Ohio already outlaws driving under the influence of a "drug of abuse" under its drunk driving statute, but the law only defines evidence for measuring alcohol in a driver's blood or breath.The Senate on a 30-1 vote passed a measure by Sen. Steve Austria, a Beavercreek Republican, that sets blood limits for a variety of substances including cocaine, heroine, marijuana and methamphetamine.The bill, which heads to the House, allows an exception for people who are properly taking prescribed medication that contains one of the substances. 
Copyright: 2005 Associated Press
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 16, 2005 at 17:52:07 PT
Two Articles To Check Out 
Media, Artificial Political Balance February 16, 2005
 During political campaigns there is often a problem that plagues news coverage.In some race, candidate Jones will run television spots using an ad hominem attack on candidate Smith - calling him "soft on crime," say, without any specificity. At the same time, candidate Smith runs spots that say, accurately, that Jones failed to vote in the legislature 40 percent of the time.A journalist will do a report on the unfair Jones spots and then, to make the report appear balanced, will then bring the Smith spots in to make the point that both candidates are "mudslinging."Thus is created an artificial balance both in coverage of political campaigns and of governing and policy. Artificially balanced reports are becoming far too common.Sometimes this takes the form described above, of a moral equivalence between two very different practices. Sometimes it takes the form of providing "the other side" of an issue that doesn't really have two sides. And still other times, it takes the form of using "experts" who have no expertise in the subject under scrutiny just in order to have an opposing view.During the various Nevada ballot campaigns over medical marijuana, for instance, health care professionals were often used for interviews on the plant, and they usually described the characteristics of marijuana in ways that supported the arguments of supporters of health care uses. Complete Article:***Medical Marijuana Case May CollapseDonna GrayFebruary 16, 2005GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Defendants in a medical marijuana case could be off the hook thanks to destroyed evidence and a loophole in the law.Jennifer Ryan, ex-husband Gene Brownlee, Brownlee's nephew, Justin Brownlee, and another man, Drew Gillespie, are charged with various counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Ryan's attorney Kris Hammond has requested sanctions against prosecutors, alleging officers from the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team officers destroyed the marijuana plants growing in the Brownlee and Ryan apartment, contrary to the law.Complete Article:
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on February 16, 2005 at 11:33:22 PT
 Votes: 1
Pubdate: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 
Source: Chicago Reader (IL) 
Copyright: 2005 Chicago Reader 
Contact: letters 
Author: Stephen Young 
Cited: Illinois Drug Education and Legislative Reform 
Cited: The Illinois Medical Cannabis Act (HB 407) 
Cited: Illinois NORML 
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project 
Cited: Lester Grinspoon 
Cited: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies 
Cited: National Multiple Sclerosis Society 
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal) 
SHOULD THIS WOMAN BE ARRESTED? For MS Sufferer Julie Falco, marijuana is a miracle drug. This week she'll try to get state legislators to see it that way. Julie Falco's breaking the law, and she doesn't care who knows it. Every morning, Falco isn't ashamed to say, she eats a small marijuana brownie to deal with the effects of multiple sclerosis. Every couple of weeks she bakes a new pan of brownies, each pan containing about 14 grams ( half an ounce ) of marijuana. According to Illinois law, possessing 10 to 30 grams of pot is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The law doesn't make any distinctions for medical marijuana use. So far Falco hasn't been in any trouble with the law, but she thinks medical users should be protected from sanctions. To that end, she now serves as a board member of Illinois Drug Education and Legislative Reform, which is helping to promote a medical marijuana bill in the Illinois legislature. Falco plans to testify before the state's Human Services Comittee at a hearing for the proposed bill on February 17 in Springfield. House Bill 407, called the Medical Cannabis Act, would allow seriously ill people to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants and possess 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. If patients are physically unable to grow the plants, a caregiver would be authorized to do so for them.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 16, 2005 at 10:41:57 PT
Just a Comment
I really hope for the sake of those in Connecticut that this Bill makes it thru and becomes law.
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on February 16, 2005 at 09:14:47 PT
A challenge...ot..kinda...
Would like to have some fun with this...Lil' help to write a parody to John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance...substituting, of course, Pot for Peace...Here are the lyrics to Lennon's song...Ev'rybody's talkin' 'boutBagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, TagismThis-ism, that-ism, ism ism ismAll we are saying is give peace a chance(C'mon)Ev'rybody's talkin' 'boutMinister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byesAll we are saying is give peace a chance(Let me tell you now)Ev'rybody's talkin' 'boutRevolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, 
Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulationsAll we are saying is give peace a chanceEv'rybody's talkin' 'boutJohn and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary,Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper,Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare KrishnaHare Hare KrishnaAll we are saying is give peace a chanceOught to be a peace of cake...;-)
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