A Compassionate Solution

A Compassionate Solution
Posted by CN Staff on June 07, 2006 at 19:53:00 PT
By Nicholas P. Scutari
New Jersey -- I believe that we have a simple moral obligation to ensure that relief is available to those who are suffering. It was this belief that led me to sponsor Senate Bill 88, "The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act."S-88 establishes a clear policy for determining who is eligible to use medical marijuana. In order to obtain a medical marijuana registration card from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, the patient must have a debilitating disease or medical condition resulting in wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms. 
This includes people with symptoms common among persons with AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, or glaucoma. The patient would have to obtain written certification from a physician with whom he or she has a long-standing, bona fide relationship that alternate methods of treating the illness or disorder have been unsuccessful. Once registered, patients would be permitted to possess and grow small quantities of marijuana for medicinal purposes. They would then be protected from prosecution by the state and its local jurisdictions. While participants would still be subject to arrest and prosecution for violating federal law, it should be noted that roughly 99 percent of marijuana-related arrests are made by state and local law enforcement agencies. S-88 would be a fairly comprehensive shield. Flawed Opposition Opponents make two basic arguments against medical marijuana. The first is that medical marijuana is a stepping stone that leads inevitably to legalization. This assertion is preposterous: cocaine and morphine are both legally available for medical use, and yet no one suggests that this has created an air of permissiveness about these dangerous drugs. The second argument is that there is no need for medical marijuana due to the availability of marijuana-synthetics such as Marinol. This is untrue: many Marinol users complain that the drug is merely disorienting without bringing effective pain relief. Additionally, Marinol does little to relieve nausea or increase appetite, two applications at which marijuana excels.Medical marijuana will not be the first option for treatment, but an additional option available to chronically and terminally ill patients with a doctor's consent. By adopting S-88, New Jersey would join the growing group of diverse states from Maine to Montana that have put aside politics and put the needs of suffering citizens first. We owe it to our friends, our family and ourselves to establish a humane policy that places a premium on treatment and relief. Source: (NJ)Author: Nicholas P. ScutariPublished: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 Copyright: 2006 North Jersey Media Group Inc.Website: internet Related Articles & Web Sites:CMMNJ http://www.cmmnj.orgThe Cherylheart Foundation Montel Williams Joins Push for NJ MMJ Law It? N.J. Weighs Medicinal Marijuana
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 08, 2006 at 21:04:20 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Isn't that the truth.
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Comment #9 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 08, 2006 at 21:00:25 PT
Thanks FoM. It's like Charlie Brown and Lucy -
Everytime it looks like major change is happening, whether in the US, Canada, Mexico, or the UK, and we think we're finally gonna get to kick that old football, Lucy jerks it away again."Funny thing about this contract, Charlie Brown, it's not notarized."
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on June 08, 2006 at 10:26:58 PT
Cannabinoids - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia{Scientific American published an article in December of 2004, entitled "The Brain's Own Marijuana" discussing the endogenous cannabinoid system.{The current understanding recognizes the role that endocannabinoids play in almost every major life function in the human body. Cannabinoids act as a bioregulatory mechanism for most life processes, which reveals why medical cannabis has been cited as treatments for many diseases and ailments in anecdotal reports and scientific literature. Some of these ailments include: pain, arthritic conditions, migraine headaches, anxiety, epileptic seizures, insomnia, loss of appetite, GERD (chronic heartburn), nausea, glaucoma, AIDS wasting syndrome, depression, bipolar disorder (particularly depression-manic-normal), multiple sclerosis, menstrual cramps, Parkinson's, trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux), high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, and bladder incontinence.}
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Comment #7 posted by whig on June 08, 2006 at 10:12:51 PT
Well if they can create a synthetic cannabidiol they will undoubtedly try to sell it, but it's very very hard to synthesize such complex natural molecules, far easier (and safer) to just use the natural source. But that comes back to cannabis, which they don't want to authorize. So they're in a bind, and they'll approve Sativex under some lesser schedule (probably III) and try to keep whole cannabis prohibited.
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on June 08, 2006 at 09:58:01 PT
Seen, whig.Cannabidiol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia excerpt:"Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the hemp plant Cannabis sativa."CBD alone is not psychoactive, but it appears to reduce the euphoric effect of THC (which is an isomer of cannabidiol) and add a sedative quality. It may decrease the rate of THC clearance from the body, perhaps by interfering with the metabolism of THC in the liver. Medically, it appears to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea. CBD has a greater affinity for the CB2 receptor than for the CB1 receptor. It is perceived to have more effect on the body."Again, there is no CBD in Marinol!
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Comment #5 posted by whig on June 08, 2006 at 09:40:22 PT
"The therapeutic properties of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa have been known since antiquity but the recreational use of its euphoric and other psychoactive effects has restricted for a long time research on its possible pharmaceutical application."Consider this: If cannabis had the same beneficial effects on cancer and other conditions, but had otherwise unpleasant "side-effects" that made it undesirable for "recreation" and if it carried none of its mind-expanding benefits -- it would be legal.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on June 08, 2006 at 09:26:00 PT
Opponents, Get the Latest Facts before You Decide
Anti-tumor activity of plant cannabinoids with
emphasis on the effect of cannabidiol on human breast carcinoma"The therapeutic properties of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa have been known since antiquity but
the recreational use of its euphoric and other psychoactive effects has restricted for a long time
research on its possible pharmaceutical application. The isolation of Ä9–tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC), the main psychoactive component of Cannabis (Gaoni and Mechoulam, 1964), opened the
way to further investigations. After the discovery of the two specific receptor types for THC, CB1
and CB2 (see Pertwee, 1997, for review), it became clear that most of the effects of marijuana in the
brain and peripheral tissues were due to activation of these two G-protein-coupled cannabinoid
receptors. However, evidence is also accumulating that some pharmacological effects of marijuana
are due to Cannabis components different from THC. Indeed, Cannabis sativa contains at least 400
chemical components of which 66 have been identified to belong to the class of the cannabinoids
(Pertwee, 1997)."To date, cannabinoids have been successfully used in the treatment of nausea and vomiting
(see Robson 2005 for review), two common side effects that accompany chemotherapy in cancer
patients."Cannabidiol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"Medicinal use"In April 2005, Canadian authorities approved the marketing of Sativex, a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis to alleviate pain. Sativex contains tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] together with cannabidiol. It is marketed in Canada by GW Pharmaceuticals, being the first cannabis-based prescription drug in the world."Marinol is synthetic THC. Marinol contains no other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in organic cannabis and known to relieve pain and nausea. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 08, 2006 at 07:34:57 PT
Sinsemilla Jones 
It's good to see you. I didn't know they were trying to change the laws on Cannabis possession in the UK. I thought that was over and done.
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on June 08, 2006 at 03:28:02 PT
Well, actually,
..."to stress both the harm and the illegal status of the drug."The HARM of the drug, IS the ILLEGAL STATUS.Toke.
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Comment #1 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 08, 2006 at 01:26:13 PT
Britain to allow 14g of Meth, but only 5g of Pot!
Hey CN Gang! Ran into this interesting article linked on another site and noticed it wasn't posted over here -Revealed: how 10 joints could lead to 14 years for dealingProsecutions to soar under plan to slash limits for drug possessionAlan Travis, home affairs editor
Wednesday June 7, 2006
The GuardianDrug users caught with as few as five ecstasy tablets or five grams of cannabis - enough for about 10 joints - will be prosecuted as dealers under regulations drawn up by the Home Office, the Guardian has learned. The plan to slash the limit for cannabis possession for personal use would mean that anyone found with more could face a prison sentence of up to 14 years.The Home Office has written to the government's experts, the Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs, telling them that ministers are also minded to set the threshold for possession for heroin and cocaine at two grams.Although home secretary John Reid has yet to take a final decision, draft regulations seen by the Guardian - to be introduced into parliament shortly under last year's drugs act - will mean that those found with more than these specified amounts would be charged with possession with intent to supply. Under the act, dealers of cocaine and heroin face a maximum of life imprisonment. The plan for a 5g cannabis threshold marks a sharp reversal from David Blunkett's decision 18 months ago to ensure that cannabis possession was normally to be dealt with by confiscation and an informal warning.The proposed thresholds are so low that the advisory committee, which discussed the issue on May 25, is believed to have warned the Home Office that they would cause policing problems. The committee suggested the cannabis threshold should be set at 28g, or 1oz. The experts also told ministers that the five tablet limit for ecstasy was low - given that they can be bought for 50p each in some areas, and some users take up to 10 in one session.The Home Office letter to the ACMD, seen by the Guardian, says that ministers are setting thresholds at this stage only for the drugs which cause the most harm or which are most prevalent - heroin, crack, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, and cannabis. It adds that the proposed levels for all the drugs - except amphetamines - are considerably lower than those originally proposed, because most respondents to a consultation on the proposals considered the limits excessive.The government now proposes the following thresholds:CannabisMinisters propose 5g, or less than 1/5th of ounce - enough for 10-20 joints. This compares with the original proposal of 4ozs or 133g of resin, and 500g or 20 bags of grass. The ACMD has replied that the limit should be set at 28g.EcstasyMinisters propose 1.5g (equal to 5 tablets, costing £15), compared with an original proposal for 10 tablets. The Home Office says it would be more straightforward to do it by weight than number of tablets, as the drug also comes in powder form. The ACMD said the limit should be 2g or 20 tablets, as that was two days' supply.AmphetaminesMinisters have kept the proposed threshold at 14g but dropped an alternative of 10 x 1g wraps, saying dealers would simply change the size of deals to avoid going above the threshold. The ACMD said the threshold should be 10g, and questioned the rationale for a threshold higher than other drugs.Heroin, cocaine and crack cocaineMinisters are "minded to set" a threshold of 2g for possession, compared with the original proposal of 7g. The proposed number of individual wraps - a maximum of 10 in each case - has also been dropped for these class A drugs.When the ACMD's technical committee considered the issue in April, it was pointed out that even Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, had misunderstood the proposals: "Many people still think that the provisions are about setting levels that are reasonable for personal us,e and that if they are caught with amounts below the thresholds they will not be arrested for possession with intent to supply. The reality is contrary to this." Martin Barnes, chief executive of Drugscope, an information charity, said this confusion had made ministers far more cautious. "We are concerned at the amounts being considered. The rationale for some thresholds remains unclear, and it is uncertain how many more people may be prosecuted with the more serious charge of intent to supply."Paul Flynn, a Labour MP and drugs campaigner, said he hoped the ACMD would "give the proposals the attention they deserve, given that they come from a department in chaos. Let's hope they throw them out. I am sure that many people will throw up their hands in horror at this."In January, Mr Reid's predecessor at the Home Office, Charles Clarke, confirmed Mr Blunkett's decision to downgrade cannabis from class B to class C. Mr Clarke conceded that the move had created confusion over the drug's legal status, but said it was based in part on the fact that the reclassification had not led to an increase in use among young adults, contrary to his expectations.At the same time, Mr Clarke announced a crackdown on British cannabis farms and a public education campaign to stress both the harm and the illegal status of the drug.
Revealed: how 10 joints could lead to 14 years for dealing
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