Medical Pot 

Medical Pot 
Posted by CN Staff on July 09, 2006 at 22:53:35 PT
By Kenneth Michael White
Source: Frontiers of Freedom
USA -- There is a legal difference between a legitimate medical marijuana patient and a “pot smoker.” The former is a person with a serious illness who uses marijuana for medical purposes under the supervision of a physician. The latter is a person who does not have a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana for medical purposes. Under the law this difference is one of kind, but in the real world it is merely one of degree.
Under the law, the non-medical use of marijuana is generally viewed as a crime. In theory, this means that the collective finger of society—in the form of the police and a prosecutor, and in the venue of a court—gets pointed directly at an individual “pot smoker.” In practice, this theoretical “finger” imposes real punishment, i.e., fines or imprisonment for those who possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana for non-medical purposes. “Pot smokers” beware!Life is not much better for a legitimate medical marijuana patient. While some States have passed laws that decriminalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, to date the Federal Government has not shown any comity towards this experiment. The possession or manufacture of small amounts of marijuana for private, non-commercial medical use has never been the basis of a Federal drug charge (yet), but under current law Federal prosecutors may file such a case at any time if they wanted. Medical marijuana patients beware!On the one hand, legitimate medical marijuana patients and “pot smokers” are viewed differently under the law in various parts of this country. On the other hand, there is little real-world difference in the way the police in practically all parts of the country view both medical marijuana patients and “pot smokers.” Considering that the police in this country have been trained for at least 69-years to view all marijuana as contraband, it is not too surprising to learn that even in States that have passed medical marijuana laws there are officers who have (unlawfully) been resisting medical marijuana on the basis of a conflict with Federal law. Old habits (like old-school police training) are hard to break.Of course, if the local police were aware of the history of Federal medical marijuana prohibition, then things might be different. The police are decent human beings before they’re officers of the law, and no decent human being wants to enforce a policy that started in 1937 by the 75th Congress on the basis of blatant racism directed towards Spanish-speaking immigrants in the Southwest. Unfortunately, not too many people are aware of the racial animus behind the beginning of Federal medical marijuana prohibition, which is, in part, why there is still even a debate about medical marijuana in this country. If the truth were widely known, then we’d all be free to focus on other fights. Until then....Beyond de jure and de facto racial discrimination, another obstacle to the end of medical marijuana prohibition is the association between “pot smokers” and the 1960s counter-culture movement. The assumption is that today’s legitimate medical marijuana patient is merely yesterday’s dropout looking for a free ride from society in order to pursue a life of pleasure and sloth. This explains why the Office of National Drug Control Policy spends millions of Federal tax dollars on advertising designed to encourage Baby Boomers to be a “hypocrite” when it comes to marijuana “for the sake of the children.” The message? Don’t let your children be hippies like you were.The present circumstances speak for themselves in terms of whether hypocrisy makes for sound public policy. America needs to come to terms with the reality of medical marijuana and the fact that many people currently labeled as “pot smokers” are actually legitimate medical marijuana patients in disguise. It is likely that a significant number of people taking advantage of the various States’ medical marijuana laws were self-medicating before those laws were passed. It is reasonable to believe that more “pot smokers” might become medical marijuana patients if they had the choice. Remember, before the 75th Congress criminalized marijuana, the American Medical Association considered the plant to be medicine. Old habits (like using nature to heal the body) are hard to break.Who is the Federal government to tell people with a serious illness that they cannot grow a plant to ease their pain? More States ought to allow their doctors to handle the use of medical marijuana. Congress will eventually (hopefully) catch up with common sense. Granted, the abuse of marijuana—in this sense, defined as the use of marijuana that causes tangible and verifiable harm to the un-consenting and un-informed—will always be a matter for the police. But the police cannot protect fully informed adults from themselves, no matter how unpopular “pot smokers” may be in any particular community. It is time to realize that the habitual “pot smoker” might just be a doctor’s point-of-view away from being a legitimate medical marijuana patient. Think about it.Kenneth Michael White is an attorney and the author of “The Beginning of Today: The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937” and “Buck” (both by PublishAmerica 2004). For more information please visit: Source: Frontiers of Freedom (VA)Author: Kenneth Michael White Published: July 10, 2006Copyright: 2006 Frontiers of Freedom Contact: opeds Website: Articles: The Freedom To Use Medical Marijuana From the Patient’s Point of View OKs Medical Pot Prosecutions
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 12, 2006 at 10:50:53 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
Groups Stand Up for Patients in California***Wednesday, July 12, 2006Several medical marijuana dispensaries were raided by federal and local officials in San Diego last week. Against this backdrop of fear and intimidation, drug policy reform groups have taken action to stand up for patients.The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a motion on July 7 to intervene in San Diego's lawsuit against the state, which seeks to overturn California's medical marijuana law, Proposition 215.Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, explained, "Our motion to intervene will allow the court to recognize the harm done to patients by the county's frivolous lawsuit." Patients are already in a state of fear and uncertainty about access to their medicine, and will be further hurt if Proposition 215 is overturned. The lawsuit, initiated by San Diego and joined later by San Bernardino and Merced counties, argues that federal laws prohibiting marijuana use invalidate state laws that permit qualified patients to use medical marijuana. The suit challenges California's laws permitting patients to use, and doctors to recommend, medical marijuana. It also challenges a law requiring the implementation of an identification card program to help protect legitimate patients from prosecution by local and state officials.Abrahamson said, "We are confident the court will require the state's medical marijuana program to be implemented in San Diego, as required by law. Renegade politicians in San Diego are simply postponing the inevitable, while thousands of sick people suffer."The groups that filed the motion maintain that states are free to implement medical marijuana policies of their own design, even though the federal government is free to enforce its own prohibition on medical marijuana. The California attorney general's office has taken the same stance on this issue.The state attorney general will defend California's medical marijuana statutes, while the groups are intervening to assure adequate representation of those most directly impacted: medical marijuana patients, and their caregivers and doctors.
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Comment #15 posted by Wayne on July 11, 2006 at 07:10:04 PT
re: FoM, MikeC
It appears that the judge only took into consideration 1 ounce as opposed to four, because apparently the ACLU didn't specify an amount in its arguments. Methinks that the judge was torn, she wanted to uphold the state Constitution and still give the government what they want.I think what we need to rejoice about is not the specifics, per se, but the message that the ruling sends... the 'Spirit of the Law', if you will. The judge basically said this: The Constitution is law, it has already been determined, and any underhanded attempt by a right-wing fascist governor to subvert it will be promptly smacked down and exposed for what it is...a senseless, wasteful heap of BS!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:28:59 PT
I don't know. I am kind of stunned that they could do that. That means to me that there is no such thing as an absolute ruling and we have no guarantee that a law or ruling will stand. That is scary to me.
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Comment #13 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:24:15 PT
That's what I am wondering. How can they toss it out but make changes to the original ruling by the Supreme Court of Alaska?
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:21:18 PT
It looks like they changed the amount. How did they do that?
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:18:33 PT
I believe it still is 4 ounces with this ruling.Excerpt: Ravin is the law in this state. 
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Comment #10 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:18:19 PT
Thank you FoM...
I'm always happy to deliver good news!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 19:16:38 PT
Thank You MikeC
It's posted now.
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Comment #8 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:16:07 PT
On second glance...
Does the ruling by the judge only allow for an ounce or less? Wasn't it four ounces before?   
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Comment #7 posted by MikeC on July 10, 2006 at 19:10:22 PT
Judge rules against Alaska marijuana law!!! news!!!!!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 10, 2006 at 17:01:12 PT
Thank you. I haven't found anything on Alaska either. We should have at least an AP article soon I hope. I hope it's good news.
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on July 10, 2006 at 16:57:51 PT
More Misc.
Major public support for medicinal cannabis (NZ): still can't find anything regarding the news we're waiting for from Alaska but I did find some good news...Patient wins suit to halt drugging - STATE SUPREME COURT: Ruling limits force-feeding of psychiatric medicines:
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on July 10, 2006 at 16:08:22 PT
Hemp & Silk Lingerie!
Hemp Finds Its Way Into Ladies Underthings: seems that a mother who found her son's weed wants drug dogs to scour his school, where he supposedly obtained it. What if he got it at someones house? Would his mother want drug dogs going door to door sniffing everyones house?Parent pushes district to allow drug dog to search Hudson school: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Provost Review clears Barrett to teach class on Islam: denounces critics of his 9/11 teachings - 
'Inside job' theory draws calls for firing, UW probe: Le Monde Diplo official translation: Models, Renderings, and Animations:
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Comment #3 posted by lombar on July 10, 2006 at 11:03:10 PT
Let me see..
When I popped out of the womb, my mother signed up saying I had no right to decide for myself what I can and cannot consume... err.. where's that document? When I was the age of majority, I was offered to sign a paper ceding my rights to a doctor over my disposition, over the government to decide for me, and society to also make my choice.. err I can't seem to find that either.... I guess I never believed that a doctor was anyone more than someone I see when I am sick, not the absolute ruler of what I may consume. The underlying paternalism is bogus.Government is not my parents and kids DO grow up... 
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Comment #2 posted by Truth on July 10, 2006 at 08:27:11 PT
Folks smoke cannabis because it makes them feel better.All cannabis use is medical.A health problem doesn't have to be "serious" for a person to seek relief. We take things like tylenol, which can damage our liver, for little aches and pains, minor headaches.No where in prop 215 does it say the medical need has to be serious. It states that cannabis can be used for any illness that cannabis can bring relief for. I'd rather take cannabis for my aching joints then a liver damaging product from the petro-chemical industry anyday.
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on July 10, 2006 at 04:42:53 PT
'Marijuana-Logues,' 68-year-old comedian will light up theater: candidate espouses marijuana legalization:
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