Debating The Use of Medical Marijuana

Debating The Use of Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 05, 2007 at 05:39:58 PT
Source: Burbank Leader 
Illinois -- Clergy in Illinois are supporting the legalization of medical marijuana, arguing that its use in treating pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments for cancer, the pain of multiple sclerosis and other conditions is moral. What do you think?I tend to side with the Illinois clergy.
True, some of them may be duped by those who want free pot anywhere and everywhere. But I think the relieving of suffering is of paramount importance. Also, part of me wants to say, "What's the big deal? We have legalized drugs now that we can purchase in our supermarkets." I am speaking, of course, of alcohol; we can buy as much as we want, and drink as much as we want. I think the same ought to be true for marijuana. Maybe there should be a prescription attached; I don't know. But why should there be no laws against alcohol consumption but stringent laws against marijuana consumption?The argument might be made that marijuana leads to the consumption of stronger drugs, but I'm not sure that assertion can be proven. Does the consumption of one drink lead to the consumption of 70? I doubt it. Look, an addict is an addict is an addict; I know, because I have addiction in my family. A law prohibiting the consumption of something will not stop the person determined to have it. Also, the war on drugs has not been particularly successful. What do you say we relax the anti-marijuana stance for a while in favor of allowing the sick and/or the terminally ill a little relief? That and a little chicken soup couldn't hurt.THE REV. C.L. "SKIP" LINDEMANCongregational Churchof the Lighted WindowUnited Church of ChristLa Caada FlintridgeThe use of mind-altering herbs and plants in order to experience religious visions is ancient. Native North Americans used many flowers, leaves and roots as part of religious ceremony.From the use of peyote in the Southwest to the Rastafarian use of Indian hemp in Jamaica, each has used, and still uses today, mind-altering herbs and plants for religious rituals.Scientologists do not practice any use of alcohol, drugs or herbs in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. In fact, Scientologists are aware that people today are living in a drug and chemical age wherein the use of medicinal, psychiatric and recreational drugs in society has reached epidemic proportions. Drugs interfere with perception, reduce learning rate, cloud thinking and generally make a person less able to cope with life and those around him.Our founder, L. Ron Hubbard, researched the harmful physical, mental and spiritual effects of drugs.He declared, "The planet has hit a barrier, which prevents any widespread social progress  drugs and other biochemical substances. These can put people into a condition, which not only prohibits and destroys physical health but which can prevent any stable advancement in mental or spiritual well-being."Since the 1970s, the Church of Scientology has offered a detoxification program, which rids a person of pollutants, drug residues and toxins in the body and has also supported effective drug rehab Narconon programs, which help a person recover fully from addictions by addressing the causes of addiction.Drug-free is the Scientology path to salvation.CATHERINE EMRANIVolunteer MinisterGlendale Church ofScientologyThough some will argue that making marijuana available for medical purposes is the first step down the slippery slope that will lead to the legalization of marijuana for all, the real issue here is relieving the suffering of individuals who have either chronic or terminal health situations. Doctors prescribe powerful drugs like morphine in hospice care and in other situations to address the pain of the dying or those recovering from serious illnesses. Morphine and other such drugs, though addictive, are dispensed when needed and face tough regulations by the Food and Drug Administration.I have heard the testimony of individuals who claim that medical marijuana provides relief to health conditions that other medication doesn't offer. A humane society should do all possible to address the pain and suffering of its members. The abuse of prescription medication by some people does not mean that the relief from pain should not be denied to those who benefit from its use. Those opposed to the use of medical marijuana might feel different when they themselves benefit from its use.THE REV. PAUL J. HRUBYPastorChurch of the IncarnationGlendaleThere is no logical reason for any human being to endure needless pain.Jewish teachings require us to explore and embrace medical innovation, including ways to alleviate pain. Judaism also compels us to follow the laws of the land  and since medicinal marijuana is legal in California, it is presumably all right to use for pain relief.However, I question the usefulness of marijuana for medicinal purposes, since I tend to believe that there are other pain-relief methods that can be equally effective and pose less of a threat to society. I suspect that in states where marijuana is legal, abuse becomes commonplace as people who aren't really suffering gain access to the drug under false pretenses. And for legitimate patients, there is a strong risk that even when the pain subsides, an addiction will remain. While this is true of any addictive substance, marijuana can be far easier to acquire and can therefore pose a greater challenge to a borderline addict.Religious teachings encourage us to improve ourselves by using our minds and tapping into the spiritual energy found within. This requires effort through meditation, concentrated study and refinement of thought. By contrast, mind-altering drugs effectively hold the mind hostage; they undermine our ability to think freely and clearly. Rather than promoting a substance like marijuana that can do more harm than good, the clergy should encourage those in pain to find a safer source of relief.RABBI SIMCHA BACKMANChabad Jewish CenterIt's no secret that my position on this weekly In Theory discussion panel is one of conservative Christianity. My readers expect from me evaluations from a Biblically Evangelical perspective. Today is no different, but eyebrows will raise with some of my constituency because this is one of those issues that has been summarily judged for non-discussion by many, and I take a risk just weighing in. Simply consider this particular article a matter of thinking aloud, and that thinking be allowed with regard to the subject.The controlled substance in question here has been trafficked, smuggled and even solicited to children. It's been charged with causing dependence, lethargy and stupor. Conversely, it's been hailed as a natural, pleasant and helpful herb, which doesn't necessitate the societal or physiological ills mentioned.God made vegetation for our nourishment and healing. We wouldn't smoke poison ivy, but we've developed aspirin from willow, salve from aloe and most of us awake with coffee. Medical morphine derives from poppies, and cocaine (which used to add wallop to colas, but is now used as surgical anesthetic) is made from coca leaves. Here is yet another vegetable that may have a helpful, albeit controversial, place in society's medicine cabinet.The moral difficulty, I believe, centers on recreational abuse and perceived negative side effects. Christians are quick to quote Titus 2:6 about being "sober-minded" and Ephesians 5:18, "be not drunk." Yet, taking medication is almost universally accepted as morally unquestionable, and Biblically speaking, alcohol, which may easily inebriate, is not forbidden within moderation, and is actually prescribed for medicinal purposes (see 1 Timothy 5:23). Look, nobody wants a dopey population, but do we want criminals made of friends and family who are legitimately seeking remedy from ailments, especially over some wildflower that God created perhaps for that very purpose?THE REV. BRYAN GRIEMSenior PastorMontroseCommunityChurch.orgEvery medication, whether derived naturally from the earth or formulated in a lab, has risks and benefits.One downside of the use of drugs to treat diseases and their symptoms is the possibility of physical or psychological addiction. In today's society, it is understandable that policy-makers, as well as the public, may feel uneasy about legitimizing marijuana, a drug that has an insidiously damaging effect on the lives of recreational users. But, like other mind-altering substances, such as opiates and sedatives, it may prove to be a valuable addition to pharmacopoeia when used to treat illness and address discomfort.Bah'u'llh has offered clear guidance that can be applied to this question. He unequivocally forbids the use of alcohol and drugs, which "derange the mind," but states that such drugs may be properly utilized when prescribed by a qualified physician as a part of medical treatment.In a letter of response to a physician requesting his guidance, Bah'u'llh advised him to treat illness by natural means, such as diet, whenever possible, but when medication is required, to use it judiciously. He wrote, "If you find what is required in a single herb, do not resort to a compound."The controlled use of marijuana in the legitimate treatment of disease and alleviation of suffering is as morally correct as the use of morphine. Both substances can be misused and can do harm. Both substances, in the hands of a compassionate and conscientious practitioner, can do good. Bah' teachings place great importance on civil obedience as a means of helping to creating a spiritual society. Changes in laws require careful consideration and take time. While this particular issue is being hotly debated in the courts and the public arena, the use of marijuana remains illegal in most areas. We encourage the continued investigation of the facts, and open dialogue toward responsible, compassionate and wise decisions.BARBARA CRAMERSecretaryLocal Spiritual Assemblyof the Bah'sGlendale Source: Burbank Leader (CA)Published: May 5, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Burbank LeaderContact: burbankleader latimes.comWebsite: Articles: Clergy Join Push To OK Medical Pot Clergy Support Medical Marijuana Bill Back Medical Marijuana in Illinois 
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Comment #22 posted by whig on May 06, 2007 at 15:57:50 PT
The DEA says cannabis is bad because it's their job, they are required by law to prohibit cannabis. For a legislator to say that he or she is against ending cannabis prohibition because the DEA says it is bad, it is dishonest.It is as if I paid you to lie to me, and then used your lies as a reliance to defend my policies. Kind of like how the Iraq war was done, too.
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Comment #21 posted by Dankhank on May 06, 2007 at 14:09:34 PT
listening ...
all the politicians listen, whether they learn is another matter ...I went to Tom Cole's meeting once and asked him why Cannabis is illegal having killed NO One and aspirin was on the 7/11 shelves and responsible for thousands of deaths annually.His response?The DEA says Cannabis is bad.
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Comment #20 posted by Dankhank on May 06, 2007 at 14:06:15 PT
his actions since that time should tell the tale.He smiled while I talked, and took the CRL when I offered it to him.He tried to cut me off, but I zinged one more comment before quitting. Said I had had a lot of time to talk.Don't really know for sure.Perhaps ...a reporter from the Washington Times was there, he got a CRL, too.
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Comment #19 posted by whig on May 06, 2007 at 13:56:33 PT
Did he seem receptive? It's good that he was willing to listen.
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Comment #18 posted by Dankhank on May 06, 2007 at 12:22:52 PT
Edwards learned alot he apparently didn't know when I talked at his town meeting in 2003.He learned about the failed drug war and it's effect on Education. I told him when he called on me that I would stick to education since we were at OSU in OKC.topics presented:Goose Creek High schoolLoan Denying Fed Education LawDARElack of teaching of "compassion" and concomitant compassion for the cannabis clubs and the need for medicine that works.and he received a copy of the CRL that day, too. A bitter stroke of fate saw his wife diagnosed with Cancer not too long after ...
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Comment #17 posted by whig on May 06, 2007 at 10:32:10 PT
She was in federal prison
I'm sure there wasn't much he could do.
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Comment #16 posted by whig on May 06, 2007 at 10:30:55 PT
Maybe not so good
Is that it?Senator John Edwards's office called the prison warden and advised them that they were watching after my health. I began receiving Ensure (which had been prescribed for me by my physician at home) after Senator Edward's call.Just -- Ensure?
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Comment #15 posted by whig on May 06, 2007 at 10:26:32 PT
John Edwards
From the article:Jean Marlowe is a medical marijuana patient who has paid the federal price by spending months of incarceration in a federal facility. While she was in prison and denied her prescription Marinol by federal officials, (now Democratic presidential candidate) Senator John Edwards(D-NC) and Congressman Charles Taylor(R-NC) attempted to and got Jean some help in the face of the real cruel hoax. The one that sends real, "regular people", the people that John Edwards is said to want to reach, to prison for using a natural medical botanical.
I didn't know about that, and it raises my opinion of him. Maybe he will openly support medical marijuana soon.
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Comment #14 posted by whig on May 06, 2007 at 10:24:33 PT
Jean Marlowe
Here is an article I found about her.Democrats and Medical Marijuana: It's Time
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Comment #13 posted by The GCW on May 06, 2007 at 09:31:46 PT
US NC: PUB LTE: Victory for Cannabis MedicinePubdate: Thu, 03 May 2007Source: Tryon Daily Bulletin, The (NC)To the Editor, I have an update on Jean Marlowe and her effort to have her right to use Cannabis/marijuana for medicine. I know a lot of people are aware of Jean's battle. In 1997, Superior Court Judge Ray Warren ruled in a state case that Jean "had no choice due to her medical condition" and had at least two doctors monitoring her condition. That left the Federal government, who says "no" for marijuana use. On Feb.13 of this year, Jean was ticketed at a routine traffic check in the Great Smokies National Forest with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. On April 18th, Jean went to U.S. District Court in Bryson City, NC. She was very nervous going into court, but she carried with her the Federal guidelines for "necessity", which she has met; a recommendation from a doctor in California; two letters from her internal medicine specialist from Asheville; and a pocket copy of the Constitution of the United States. When the prosecutor spotted Jean in the courtroom, he came over, asked her name and said, "We have no interest in pursuing this case and are taking a dismissal. You have the right to a trial and to try to prove medical necessity, but we will just dismiss the case." The Federal government has essentially recognized Jean's right and accepted the Cannabis was for medicine. It was a long and hard journey, but after 10 years she has accomplished what she set out to do. This is an indication that our govenment is taking a different stand where Cannabis medicine is concerned. Steve Marlowe
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Comment #12 posted by John Tyler on May 06, 2007 at 07:02:12 PT
Where's the Rastafarian?
It would have been interesting to see what a Rastafarian clergyman would have to say about religion and the use of cannabis.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 05, 2007 at 18:06:17 PT
GMM News from KGET
Marchers Show Support for Marijuana May 5, 2007   
Hundreds of people marched through Bakersfield on Saturday with signs that read "...the need for weed." The local chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws organized the March. They walked from Beach Park to the Liberty Bell on Truxtun Avenue. Members of the group carried signs showing support for marijuana reform, and bashed the DEA for raiding a local medical marijuana dispensary on Tuesday. "People are out here for a great reason supporting something that needs to be changed, showing our legislators and our city and community members that we care about change, and marijuana legislation," said Jeoff Taylor, medicinal marijuana user. "The DEA is acting like thieves and thugs, I really think they were, it's like un-American what they're doing, I think that they chose Nature's Medicinal because it's a very successful operation," said Douglas McAfee, NORML local chapter president. No one was arrested in connection with Tuesday's medical marijuana raid. Federal officials confiscated 50 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $150,000. Copyright: 2007 Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc
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Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on May 05, 2007 at 15:55:37 PT
Battlefield Earth ...
is a crappy book, about three times longer than needed.I read it many years ago, it was a decent read, but worth it only once.I'm concerned that Romney likes it so much ... there are an infinite number of Sci-Fi stories that are better.Mitt has aimed low, and shown how shallow he is.---------------GMM was good, many had some new information to digest.
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Comment #9 posted by whig on May 05, 2007 at 15:02:41 PT
Mitt Romney says Battlefield Earth is his favorite book.
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Comment #8 posted by BGreen on May 05, 2007 at 13:16:24 PT
L Ron Hubbard has been dead for 20+ years
I seriously doubt if that loony tune understood anything concerning cannabis, and anybody who follows the teachings of this fool is an even bigger fool.Scientology is neither science nor religion. It is a cult of fools.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #7 posted by Taylor121 on May 05, 2007 at 11:33:39 PT
How about that? Can you imagine someone wasting away from aids and a scientologist takes away the joint and gives the patient Dianetics? I'm sure that's exactly what they need. *rolls eyes*
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Comment #6 posted by Yanxor on May 05, 2007 at 11:30:19 PT
Rabbi Simcha does not represent the avg. I remember reading some federal statistics that show that over 60% of jews support legalization, as opposed to 30 somethin % for other major religions.
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Comment #5 posted by whig on May 05, 2007 at 10:59:53 PT
A single herb...the tree of life
"If you find what is required in a single herb, do not resort to a compound."
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 05, 2007 at 07:14:31 PT
Have a great day! 
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Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on May 05, 2007 at 07:12:47 PT
Happy GMM ...
off to educate the masses ...peace ...
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 05, 2007 at 06:27:16 PT
Oregon: Medical Marijuana Doctor Tells All
Medical Marijuana Doctor Tells All: Q&A Part 1 (VIDEO)
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on May 05, 2007 at 06:17:34 PT
THC = The Healing Cannabis
It is not "moral" to cage humans for using a plant.A God-given plant.For sick citizens or people wishing to use cannabis like beer, wine or whiskey or in place of donuts.It takes a special person to support caging sick humans for using cannabis, the tree of life. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations; as told on the very last page of the Bible.Cannabis is for healing. Healing the sick, healing warmonger nations, healing. Healing by way of the tree of life cuts into profits of those who make money by not healing. Bush Inc. don't want any healing. They don't even want trace %s amounts of THC in foods available to people, including the sick.THCOne reason to re-legalize cannabis for sick citizens that doesnt get mentioned is because its Biblically correct since Christ God Our Father (The Ecologician) indicates He created all the seed-bearing plants, saying they are all good, on literally the very first page. The only Biblical restriction placed on cannabis is that it is to be accepted with thankfulness (see 1 Timothy 4:1-5). And, "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (see: 1 John 3:17). The devil thinks it is ok to cage sick humans for using cannabis; why wouldn't Bush et al.?THC = The Healing CannabisThe Green Collar Worker 
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