Medical-Marijuana Debate Continues 

Medical-Marijuana Debate Continues 
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2005 at 09:28:01 PT
By Joe Baker, Daily News Staff 
Source: Newport Daily News
Providence, R.I. -- When he was 10 years old, Irving Rosenfeld was diagnosed with multiple congenital cartilaginous exostosis, a long description for a condition that means painful tumors grow on his bones. The tumors cause severe muscle spasm and tears. Doctors told him he'd be lucky to make it through his teenage years.But on Wednesday, Rosenfeld, now 52 and a successful stockbroker, was in Rhode Island to share his success story. Testifying before the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, Rosenfeld held up a round aluminum tin containing the drug he claims has allowed him to lead a normal life.
"I think it's the fountain of youth as far as I'm concerned," Rosenfeld said as he displayed a plastic baggie containing 10 marijuana cigarettes.Despite the presence of a Rhode Island state trooper, Rosenfeld did not fear arrest for pot possession. One of six Americans in the federal government's medical marijuana program, Rosenfeld has been getting 300 marijuana cigarettes every month since 1982 from Uncle Sam. The marijuana is grown in a lab on the University of Mississippi campus.Then-President George H.W. Bush shut the program down in 1992, but those already in the program continue to receive their monthly dosages. Wednesday, Rosenfeld tried to convince legislators that Rhode Island should become the 11th state to approve its own medical marijuana legislation."This is a federal issue. It should not be a state issue," Rosenfeld said. "But guess what? The federal government isn't doing anything."Despite growing support from the medical community, the federal government has fought various state efforts to make marijuana available for those with debilitating diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS.The bill being debated Wednesday, sponsored by Rep. Thomas C. Slater, D-Providence, is identical to a Senate version sponsored by Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence, which is scheduled for a committee vote this afternoon.Supporters tried to convince committee members that they wouldn't be legalizing "reefer madness," just showing compassion for those with serious and painful diseases.Rep. Steven M. Costantino, D-Providence, chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee, told committee members that two years ago his brother, father of Salve Regina University baseball star Damien Costantino, died of cancer. Before his death, his brother went from 220 pounds to 90 pounds, Costantino said, because the illness stripped him of his appetite. Marijuana may have helped ease his suffering, and by extension, the suffering his family had to endure watching him waste away, Costantino said."This is about an end-of-life issue," Costantino said. "This allows someone to die with dignity."Kaelyn McGregor, director of administration and vice president of research at Brown University, said she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and doctors have told her she has no more than seven years to live. Her chemotherapy leaves her weak, nauseous and unable to eat and get a full night's sleep. But if she smokes as little as half a joint, she can eat, her nausea is controlled and she can sleep through the night, McGregor told the committee.The legislation would allow a patient with defined symptoms or diseases to get an identification card from the state Department of Health allowing him or her to grow up to 12 marijuana plants or possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana for medical use. The marijuana would have to be prescribed by a licensed physician.Some committee members, including Chairman Rep. Joseph M. McNamara, D-Warwick, were concerned that the bill did not establish any system for distribution of the marijuana, meaning patients would still have to depend on street dealers to get their stash."Our challenge is to develop some language so we can be confident that there is some control of regulation and distribution," McNamara said.Rhode Island State Police Lt. LeRoy Rose testified against the legislation. Rose said the bill as written would not allow police to charge someone for driving under the influence of marijuana if he or she had a legal prescription. David Tassoni, representing the Family Court, said he was concerned about increasing access of marijuana to children.Rep. John J. Loughlin II, R-Tiverton, the only local legislator on the committee, said his research indicated marijuana was not classified as a medicine and "it is impossible to determine what is an effective dosage."Steve Brown, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said it was inappropriate to kill the legislation because a few people might abuse the law to smoke marijuana recreationally. Lawmakers don't do that for regularly abused prescription drugs such as Valium, Brown said."To prohibit people who are dying (from using a helpful drug) on the theoretical possibility that there are some people out there who will use the drug and might get into an accident is really pitiful," Brown said.The committee did not take a vote on the bill Wednesday. Slater said he was confident the bill would be voted out of committee. He said if McNamara's committee refused to vote it out, he would seek to get it transferred to Costantino's House Finance Committee on the basis that the Department of Health might need money to implement the law. Source: Newport Daily News, The (RI)Author: Joe Baker, Daily News Staff Published: May 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 Newport Daily NewsContact: Editor NewportRI.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Medical Marijuana Information Links Lawmakers Consider Medical Marijuana Bill Bill Sparks Debate, Cons of Medical Marijuana Get Hearing
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Comment #37 posted by Hope on May 22, 2005 at 09:14:39 PT
Post 18: "To understand is to forgive..."
Loving Barthwell. Yes, I said in post 17,"I'm loving Andrea Barthwell, a human being. I'm really caring about her and I'm not hoping to change her mind or heart. Just that I care and feel love for her."...I didn't expect to "understand" what it was like to publicly humiliate myself with an ill conceived spree of vulgarity. I do now. What's next? I shudder to think. I'm too far into it to back out now. Is this stupid? Yes...according to the wisdom of men, and maybe even God's. Do I like it? NO! Am I quitting because I feel as though I've waded knee deep into a cess pit? No. I have to trust God that some good will come of it...even if I'm doing it wrong.The fear is so great that I feel a huge pressure on my chest and can barely breathe when I think of moving my focus to truly loving and caring about Mark Souder.Universal love is so much easier than focusing on a known foe.If anyone has ever read or attempted to read "House of Leaves", you've got an idea of where I feel like I am.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on May 21, 2005 at 19:07:30 PT
Really trying to care about and love
A. Barthwell is more difficult than I ever imagined it could be, and fraught with more pitfalls, deep and murky, than I ever could have imagined.I was very foolish to think it might not be especially difficult.It is.
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Comment #35 posted by afterburner on May 21, 2005 at 10:15:03 PT
RE "Word power for pot" letters
We have many fine writers here at Cannabis News. The Cannabis Culture letters are not necessary to them, except to remind them to be non-confrontational and to seek common ground. This is an extension of the "Love Project." For others who read this site, but have been reluctant to write letters to the editor or unable to put their thoughts into words, the samples may offer some insight. The comment in one of the sample letters about being registered voters is especially relevant: the more voters that express their lack of support for wrong-headed policies, the more the politicians *will* listen! The letters are, in the words of Baba Ram Dass, "Grist for the mill."
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on May 21, 2005 at 08:05:11 PT
You said: Legalize soft drugs and educate everyone about the harmfulness of hard drugs. We need to stop hard drugs because they DO destroy lives.That makes sense to me. If we take Cannabis out of the picture ( like alcohol ) people won't need to go to someone who sells hard drugs too. 
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Comment #33 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on May 20, 2005 at 23:24:29 PT
Comment #32 posted by afterburner
I read through most of the letters at suggesting an effective way to address politicians who are strongly for prohibition, and I didn't like any of them. They stated the same tired, old, and over used arguments that have been heard before. I think a man like Souder will never yield his stance on pot, but he might listen to new ideas because everybody knows the current drug war is an expensive flop. I think he might listen to an idea about how to more effectively address the problem, pointing out that imprisionment is a financial disaster and doesn't reduce the use. I also thought some of the letters where kind of forceful and passing fault. I think the most effective way to win over prohibitionist is to get them voted out of office. Legalize soft drugs and educate everyone about the harmfulness of hard drugs. We need to stop hard drugs because they DO destroy lives.
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Comment #32 posted by afterburner on May 20, 2005 at 21:28:41 PT
LTE Love Tips
Word power for pot Cannabis Culture magazine and website readers are asking for tips on how to write persuasive political letters and emails that help the cause of freedom. F U L L S T O R Y
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Comment #31 posted by Hope on May 20, 2005 at 09:19:54 PT
Afterburner, post 27
"If the alternative culture has forgotten these truths in the long years of persecution, we really have lost our way."It's pretty easy to forget when they are shackling your friends and neighbors and dragging them to cages and hauling off their property in black suvs. It's easy to forget when they are wearing masks and breaking down your doors and aiming guns at you and your children. It's easy to forget when they're saying you can't have a job to support yourself and your family if you don't pee in this cup or let us have some of your hair to check for metabolites to see what you've ingested, regardless of how talented or how good a worker you are.But, obviously, we haven't forgotten "the real thing", love, completely.
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Comment #30 posted by Hope on May 20, 2005 at 09:10:22 PT
Thank you, Afterburner
You often inspire and comfort me with your writings. I think you've got the power and the will to do it, that's why you were one of the first to come to my mind for focusing on Walters.GCW and GlobalWarming, among others, will likely give some of their time to this project, too.Jose,don't keep doing what you do best and using all the power you have, which is mighty, indeed. Consider us and this project as "backup". I am very grateful for what you do and do so well. The love project is just making use of some big artillery that perhaps we haven't used as well as we might have. We're just going to roll the big spiritual love gun into place and polish her up and oil her mechanism and see what we can do with this baby. I already got a blessing back with a really powerful dream I had last night. Another plus, that I realized after I had been at it for awhile, is that this feeling and how it effects you is one of the things that thoughtful marijuana use can facilitate. I had a "high" feeling that was quite comparable to the feeling that some of us find easier to access under the influence of cannabis. Loving and caring deeply. That's one of the reasons the establishment hated it in Jesus' days in the flesh, in the sixties, and now. That kind of love is powerful and can lead you to really care about things you might have overlooked before. It led us to really think. It opened our eyes to aspects we hadn't given much thought to before and made us care, even after the effects of the cannabis had passed. Some of us found treasures in our experience and brought them out with us, even after we'd left the "mountain top". That "Love" business was one of them and it has very much to do with the power spoken of by Christ. We're talking real love here. Not sexual. Not about possessing anything. Just loving and caring and in this case, strategically aimed.It's real, very real, spiritually real, and worth investigating and using the power of more deeply.
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on May 20, 2005 at 08:58:02 PT
You really do have it together. Thanks!
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Comment #28 posted by afterburner on May 20, 2005 at 05:41:33 PT
jose melendez 
Your post reminds me of Abby Hoffman's article "The Thorns of the Flower Children." We didn't ask for this war (War on Some Plants). "Remember kids, when you're out there smashing [prohibition], don't forget to
keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!" -- apologies to the Freak Brothers
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Comment #27 posted by afterburner on May 20, 2005 at 05:28:01 PT
Posts 14 & 15 - The Love Project
"Love your enemies. God is love. Make love not war." If the alternative culture has forgotten these truths in the long years of persecution, we really have lost our way.I wrote yesterday, "Pity Johnny P. surrounded by the attack dogs of reason." I'm already half-way to loving his God-given soul. "and pray[ing] for those who persecute you." Matthew 5:44 When I watch John Walters bluster and rant in news clips, it is difficult not to react with anger to the pompous lies he tells. He looks like a cornered bear fighting for his life. The great and powerful Wizard of Oz.I'll pray for him and for all who hound me or those I love. This looks like agape, a love that spreads out like the ripples in a pond. Imagine if we loved the oil-producers and they loved us back. "What a wonderful world it would be." Sam Cooke
sam cooke LYRICS -Wonderful World
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Comment #26 posted by jose melendez on May 20, 2005 at 05:08:29 PT
Loving the John: A Five Point Plan
Sigh. OK, I'll love John Walters then. I hope it' OK with everyone here that:1. I keep trying to find a battery of attorneys to love him all the way to court, and 2. help him see his way to prison, while 3. the companies his office does business with assist by paying hundreds of millions in settlements for which I 4. will humbly accept my rightful percentage under the whistleblower False Claims act - after which 5. my bankers will join me in loving Mr. Czar and extending him the best of luck living with the prison rape he knowingly supports for those who would trade in or self- medicate with cannabis.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 23:36:00 PT
FoM, Post 22
I'm thankful for the Internet, too. If it weren't for the Internet, we wouldn't know as much as we do about what's going on and that there are others that care like we do.Thank you for all the time and energy you devote to this site. It means a lot to a lot of people, including me.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 23:32:51 PT
I love the people who post here. They are all good people. I'm getting ready to call it a day but I wanted to say I've enjoyed our chit chat. 
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 23:30:34 PT
Love...the other power
Just wanted to let you know, before I sign off tonight, and I'm trying to love those who would mistreat and misuse us, that I truly feel a great deal of love for you and my other friends here at CNews. You guys are easy to love.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 23:27:26 PT
I believe as the world gets worse the more we will need to channel our anger. I'm glad we have the Internet to help us. 
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 23:22:54 PT
Channeling such a powerful thing into something useful is a good way to handle it. Anger is dangerous. It can get out of control in a hurry.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 22:54:50 PT
I believe in channeling anger. I try to take anger and the energy anger produces and do something that might make a difference. In a way that's what I do by doing CNews.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 22:51:17 PT
That is so good and true! I really believe it.Somewhere I read that "To understand is to forgive, and to forgive is to understand."
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 22:47:56 PT
FoM, Post 16
Indeed, you are the winner if you overcome hatred.I've hated. It didn't do me or anyone else any good. I still get angry and I have to fight sometimes, that righteous anger doesn't grow into unrighteous anger. It's a pretty much daily battle what with keeping up with the news and just living with people in general. I've gotten more understanding of others as I've grown older. Somewhere I read that "To understand is to forgive, and to forgive is to understand."
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 22:42:58 PT
FoM, Post 13
"Seriously I would feel the same and act the same if he needed help."Seriously, I know you would. You're that kind of person. I'm sure of that from all the years I've talked to you on an almost daily basis.I'm loving Andrea Barthwell, a human being. I'm really caring about her and I'm not hoping to change her mind or heart. Just that I care and feel love for her. 
 I'm just loving her and really caring about her and hoping that things, whatever they are (well not harming people or anything like that)just things in her life, go well for her and gently and that God would have mercy on her if he would. (His mercy is up to him, I'm just asking him, sincerely, to have mercy on her, if he would, according to his will, not mine, and that he would help me in letting go my unlove for her and that he would help me persevere in this project, if that would be his will.)
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 22:26:55 PT
Maybe afterburner will. I really hated my x-husband for years. It made me very upset to be that angry at him. I pity him now but don't hate him. I told his mother years back if he ever needed help I would help him and she appreciated what I said. He is almost totally blind. He hates me but I don't hate him. I feel I'm the winner.
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 22:20:29 PT
Maybe Afterburner would take John Walters!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 22:14:37 PT
One More Thing
Like I just said I don't hate anyone but I do pity people like Bush or Walters or Barthwell. They can't be happy and their life goes by at the same speed as our lives do. They are missing the best part of life by doing what they do and that makes me pity them.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 22:08:25 PT
OK I'll take Bush. Yuk! LOL! Seriously I would feel the same and act the same if he needed help. I don't hate anyone. Let's see how the hate meter goes when I mention John Walters! Oh no! What we do and how we pray or act or think is what matters and that can change things in my opinion.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 22:02:30 PT
I'll take Andrea Barthwell for my special love project and you take George Bush.:-)I really have a hard time with my feelings about that woman. I saw her picture over at Taylor's Blog
and when I saw it, well... lets just say it didn't give me a happy feeling. I'm going to concentrate on feeling love for her and trying to pray sincerely for her for a few days at least. For me, antis in general and Barthwell...and believe me, my physical self actually gets nauseous at the thought, but I'm going to work on it and concentrate on it.Of course, I know you would help anyone that needed help...even if you despised them, but I'm talking about something else here, something more. Something about the teachings, and seeing where they will lead. Delving, if you will, into the hard realities, if there are any, and I believe there are, of the power of love, the feeling, the emotion, the spiritual thing.You don't really have to concentrate on trying to direct love at George might be too hard on your blood pressure. But I'm going to do it. It can't hurt and it might really be something amazing. I want to do everything I can to make things improve and I've chosen changing present drug policy as one of the major things I want to concentrate my energy on and I haven't made full use of the power of love as spoken of in the scriptures as of yet. I'm going to work on it.Yes, I've prayed for them before and tried not to let my anger turn to hatred. But I'm going to really concentrate on it and exercise and increase my ability to do so.It does sound and seem foolish...and maybe I'm being silly, but maybe I'm not. I'm going for it anyway.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 19, 2005 at 21:36:52 PT
Pray for those who despitefully use you. I always liked that. I believe that loving a person who is hard to handle can be done. We don't need to accept being abused by them but we should show love which is compassion if we want to coexist along side them. This is an example. If I saw Andrea Barthwell in a car accident or being robbed etc. and she needed help I would try to help her. I wouldn't expect her to change her mind and be a friend or stop fighting us. That is unconditional love in my book. We see love at it's best when a disaster happens and people work together to help each other. Disasters are terrible but much is gained by people who must go thru one.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 21:10:29 PT
What I'm going to try to do.
Devote a few minutes each day to concentrating on and devoting myself for a few minutes on loving the antis. I know it's hard. Many of us have very good reason to hate them.We need everything we have going for us...Norml, MMP, DrugSense, CNew, letters, speeches, phone calls, donations, vigils, all of it and love. Pure, humble, sweet, strong love.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:52:03 PT
About that Love Project
You don't have to be a Christian to love. Anyone can love.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:50:06 PT
Vitale and his committee
The bill passed out of the House Committee today to go before the full Senate for a vote. something good happened with the Senate Bill...and I thought they were talking about the one Vitale is chairman of. It is going before the full Senate now.But the article that Richard posted does say "Senate"...and if that's right...then Vitale may actually have voted for it and not against it...because he wasn't listed as a dissenting vote.So, while the Senate Committee passed it on to the full Senate...the House Committee has not yet.Ok. Here's what it says at Norml Bulletin,"Meanwhile, the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee is currently considering the House version of the bill. With nearly two thirds of the House signed on as co-sponsors, it looks almost certain that House Bill 6052 will pass through the House of Representatives." sure looks like Vitale posted and maybe even voted for it. Yeah! Praise God! 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:27:57 PT
I've worked on this love business before and did see amazing things happen. Just the feeling, the emotion and sincere prayer that God would have mercy on them. You don't have to do anything else. Just feel love and direct it at the antis and let it flow forth freely and find it in yourself to really want God to have mercy on he sees is his will.Any other believers out there that will work with me on this heart and love and compassion for the antis, I'd appreciate it. We have spoken here before about people who claim to be Christians not following the teachings of Christ. This is one of them. "Love those who hate you."Love...look deep in your heart and find that compassion and let it swell...towards them. Love, NO RESERVATIONS (probably the most difficult part). Love those who hate us and pray for them. Really concentrate on it and ask God for help and ask him to have mercy on them. It's not easy.If you're not with me on're just not with me. :-)
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 20:13:29 PT
Apparently Vitale did it!
That's wonderful. Did they threaten him...or did the love really help? I'll choose to think the love helped.Thankfully!
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 11:46:32 PT
Struggling to follow The Way
My first thought on reading Richard's post was that the backers of the bill ought to go together to Joseph Vitale's office and set him astride a fence rail and carry him to post the bill in person. Recovering from my indignation, I found a place in my heart to have compassion on his ignorance and hard heartedness and asked my God to have mercy on Vitale. Mercy from God, in my experience, can have a profound effect on a person's thinking.
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on May 19, 2005 at 11:23:01 PT
anyone in CO. please support Howard and Misty
Amen Hope. i wonder where Freedom Fighter is.TUESDAY May 17, 2005
8:38am MST
Howard and Misty have officially made it into Colorado. They entered the state on Sunday and are currently traveling on I-25 between Trinidad and Walsenburg. They've been sticking close to their schedule and expect to be in Pueblo by May 20.Misty has been freshly shod with new horseshoes after hobbling through the last few days on one shoe, a pair of Easy Boots and one Old Mac boot. Misty is her old self again after putting up with the boots and not being able to run for the last 500 miles, she now has brand new shoes and can run like the wind.
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Comment #3 posted by Richard Zuckerman on May 19, 2005 at 10:55:49 PT:
New Jersey State Senate Health Committee Chairman Joseph Vitale, located in Woodbridge, New Jersey, has refused to post the Medical Marijuana Bill for a vote. Senate Bill 2200 would legalize medical Marijuana in New Jersey. I have spoken to the Vice-Chair of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Ellen Karcher; Senator Barbara Buono, another member of the Senate Health Committee; Senator Bob Smith; but they all tell me nothing can be done unless Health Committee Chairman Senator Joseph Vitale posts the Bill for a vote! Whenever you people hear the located "Woodbridge, New Jersey," think of CORRUPTION, in capital letters! This is where ousted Governor McGreevey is from, too. New Jersey is the most corrupt State in this country; the 3rd most indebted State in this country; with much environmental contamination; and the New Jersey State Assembly voted the other day to hold a Constitutional Convention to solve the problem of among the highest property taxes in this country. Instead of decriminalizing "Marijuana" and voting against the five State Assembly Bills which would require every New Jersey child to undergo a psychiatric evaluation [which, of course, would require millions of dollars spent], they want a Constitutional Convention in The State of New Jersey! By the way, you people should read the article written by Reverend Damuzi in this issue of Cannabis Culture Magazine, about the Bush Family ties to the American eugenics movement!! I only vote for Ralph Nader, Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates, though I voted for Dennis Perrone [Democrat] back when he ran for California Governor, and I would vote for any candidate who is a member of the United States House of Representatives "Liberty Caucus," whom want to extricate this country from the United Nations, which, of course, would break off the International Narcotics treaties and International small arms treaty, which would ease the way towards Marijuana decriminalization and ending these completely useless gun control laws.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on May 19, 2005 at 10:39:23 PT
Anybody even trying to shut down that program should be tried for attempted murder and torture. Closing it off to people who need it was a crime in itself, in that it forced people to suffer or break an unjust law and be labeled a criminal.Creating a crime and then forcing people into the position of being forced to commit that crime, or suffer, is a crime against humanity, whether it's on the books or not.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on May 19, 2005 at 10:08:48 PT
now his kid wants to finnish the job
Then-President George H.W. Bush shut the program down in 1992, but those already in the program continue to receive their monthly dosages
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