Ferndale Ballot Seeks Approval of Medicinal Pot

Ferndale Ballot Seeks Approval of Medicinal Pot
Posted by CN Staff on August 24, 2005 at 18:09:59 PT
By Christy Strawser, Daily Tribune Staff Writer
Source: Daily Tribune
Ferndale, Michigan -- Legalizing medical marijuana is officially on the city's November ballot, which means residents have 12 weeks to decide whether to become the third Michigan city where smoking pot could ease serious illness.Ferndale's city clerk certified petitions submitted by 19-year-old resident Donal O'Leary III last week and Ferndale City Council took no action at its Monday meeting which effectively puts the issue on the ballot.
No matter which way the scale tips, Ferndale Police Chief Michael Kitchen vowed to disregard the measure that would rank Ferndale with Detroit and Ann Arbor, which both approved similar measures last year."It's always illegal," said Kitchen, adding that no matter what a city ordinance says, state and federal laws make it illegal to smoke marijuana. "If the ordinance passes and we get a case, we would just charge under state law."Anyone caught with a marijuana cigarette under state law faces 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.But the real importance of the ballot issue, according to Kitchen, is the support marijuana legalization activists could garner by the vote. The chief said that medical marijuana isn't about helping cancer patients, it's a thinly veiled way to open the door to full legalization.For that reason, he plans to get the word out against the ballot initiative."The dope today really is addictive and dangerous; it's not like the '70s," Kitchen said. "This is some real powerful stuff. It's dangerous; inhaling smoke of any kind is not a good thing. Medical marijuana is a myth."The medical effects of smoking marijuana vs. taking it in a pill are not known, said Dr. Decker, the chief of hematology and oncology at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.Decker said he prescribes the legal marijuana pill Maritol to people in the last stages of cancer who need it to build up an appetite and battle nausea. Maritol can make a terminal patient's last days easier and more peaceful, Decker said."Marijuana does two things: it does prevent nausea and vomiting and stimulates appetite," said Decker, adding that there are other drugs that can do the same thing and do not contain marijuana.Decker said he usually starts patients on a different anti-nausea or appetite stimulant drug, but if nothing else works, he prescribes Maritol."There are other drugs that usually work better, but for some patients, a small number, marijuana works best," the doctor said.Loss of appetite and nausea are serious side effect of advanced cancer, Decker said. In fact, many times people die from the side effects of wasting away.Some people, especially older patients, won't take Maritol because they don't like the "funny feeling" they get from it, the doctor said.The New England Journal of Medicine and the American Nurses Association support legalizing marijuana for medical use.O'Leary, a University of Michigan student, has worked with Tim Beck, who successfully passed a medical marijuana initiative in Detroit last year. O'Leary is chairman of the Ferndale Coalition for Compassionate Care.O'Leary has argued that a local medical marijuana ordinance would allow police to ignore medical marijuana users even though state law prohibits any marijuana use.Kitchen said he has no plans to turn a blind eye to any marijuana use, even if city ordinance allows it."It's a thinly veiled canard to the legalization effort," Kitchen said. "If they think they're kidding anyone, they're crazy. It preys on people's kindness and compassion to open the door for decriminalization." Source: Daily Tribune, The (MI)Author: Christy Strawser, Daily Tribune Staff WriterPublished: August 24, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Daily TribuneContact: editor dailytribune.comWebsite: Article & Web Site:MMJ Information & News Debate Heats Up in Ferndale Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #4 posted by runderwo on August 25, 2005 at 08:22:02 PT
In what way is it the Supreme Court's *duty* to VALIDATE federal power? They are supposed to be a CHECK on federal power, not a bunch of yes-men whose job it is to find any reading of the Constitution - no matter how tenuous - that justifies federal power grabs.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by dongenero on August 25, 2005 at 07:14:38 PT
Ferndale Police Chief Kitchen
"The round earth theory is addictive and dangerous; it's not like the '1470s," Kitchen said. "This is some real powerful stuff. It's dangerous; round earth thinking of any kind is not a good thing. Round earth theory is a myth."
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Hope on August 24, 2005 at 18:23:30 PT
"pellucidly clear"
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 24, 2005 at 18:21:56 PT
NYT: Justice Weighs Desire v. Duty (Duty Prevails)
Excerpt from article: August 25, 2005Justice Stevens said he also regretted having to rule in favor of the federal government's ability to enforce its narcotics laws and thus trump California's medical marijuana initiative. "I have no hesitation in telling you that I agree with the policy choice made by the millions of California voters," he said. But given the broader stakes for the power of Congress to regulate commerce, he added, "our duty to uphold the application of the federal statute was pellucidly clear."Complete Article:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment