Medical Dope

Medical Dope
Posted by CN Staff on May 10, 2007 at 14:17:00 PT
By Tom Neuville, Sen. Neuville State Senator
Source: Shakopee Valley News 
Minnesota -- What do you feel about the medical marijuana bill that just passed the state Senate? How about marijuna legislation in general? Read below why a local senator opposed the bill, but not for the reasons you may think. A bill to legalize marijuana for medical purposes has now been around the Legislature for the past three years. This year, the State Senate finally approved the bill. I voted against the bill, even though I have much sympathy and compassion for many individuals who believe that smoking marijuana helps alleviate their pain.
I want my constituents to understand why this bill is bad policy, even if it would help some people.The bill, as finally passed by the State Senate, would be a law enforcement nightmare. First, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance (most regulated) under federal law. Legalizing marijuana under state law would not make it legal under federal law. The federal government could legally bust and prosecute anyone who grew or possessed marijuana Ė even if it were legal under state law.Second, doctors cannot legally prescribe marijuana, nor can pharmacists dispense it. Therefore, the bill had to establish an informal distribution system. Doctors would "recommend" marijuana. Registered "non-profit organizations" could grow up to 12 marijuana plants per "qualifying patient." Primary "care givers" would be allowed to sell and deliver marijuana to five patients, and make money on the transaction. "Qualifying patients" could obtain a registration card if a doctor recommended marijuana for "intractable pain."Basically, anyone could create a registered organization or become a primary care giver. There are no limits to the number of organizations that could legally grow marijuana. Therefore, literally thousands of non-profit corporations could be established throughout the state to grow marijuana. Third, registered organizations, which grow marijuana, could be located anywhere as long as they were 500 feet away from a church or school. Main street store fronts could be established to recruit "qualified patients" to sell marijuana to. This sends a confusing and mixed message to our teenagers.Fourth, there is no quality control required for medical marijuana. Some marijuana might contain 5% of active ingredients (THC); other marijuana could contain 15% of active ingredients. How would doctors be able to properly "recommend" marijuana for their patients when the dosage is unknown?Fifth, organizations and patients having registration cards would be entitled to confidentiality and immunity from arrest or criminal prosecution. Police could not search the growers or users of medical marijuana without reasonable notice. Again, this makes law enforcement nearly impossible.Sixth, senior citizens or vulnerable adults with cancer or other intractable pain would become ripe-targets, when others seek to steal their medical marijuana. Seventh, in other states that have approved medical marijuana, the demand greatly exceeded the expectation. For example, in the State of Oregon, estimates were that 500 persons would ask for medical marijuana cards. Within a few years, over 14, 000 individuals were registered. I believe that the same number of people would register in Minnesota.Finally, marijuana remains a gateway drug to other drugs. The ready-accessibility of medical marijuana would send a message that marijuana is also appropriate to use recreationally. The cultural impact of legalizing a drug, which is still illegal under the federal law, cannot be underestimated. Perhaps, someday the federal government will change its laws and allow doctors to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense. Advocates for medicinal marijuana should lobby Congress to change federal law first. Until then, adopting a medical marijuana law is a prescription for confusion and greater drug use in Minnesota. State Senator Tom Neuville is serving his sixth term in the Minnesota Senate. He encourages and appreciates constituent input, and can be reached at (651)296-1279, by mail at 123 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155, or via email at:  sen.tom.neuville senate.mnSource: Shakopee Valley News (MN)Author: Tom Neuville, Sen. Neuville State Senator, District 25Published: May 10, 2007Copyright: 2007 Southwest Newspapers Website: sen.tom.neuville senate.mnRelated Articles: Itís Time To Pass Medical Marijuana Senate Gives Marijuana Tentative OK Passes Bill To Permit Marijuana Use
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 10, 2007 at 20:08:48 PT
Glad to see you, too, Shishaldin.
It made me happy to see that moniker. Good to know you're still with us.
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Comment #9 posted by John Tyler on May 10, 2007 at 20:07:17 PT
legalize it them
The Senator is right. The new regs would be confusing. Just make it legal. Everything will be clear and there will be no nightmares for the police either.  People could grow and sell per resonable regulations. If the Feds donít like it let them enforce the Fed law. The local cops arenít obligated to help them. Without state and local assistance the Fed could do very little. 
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 10, 2007 at 18:12:51 PT
You are so right about the Patriot Act. It's good to see you!
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Comment #7 posted by Shishaldin on May 10, 2007 at 18:10:20 PT
The Patriot Act
...rendered the 4th Amendment null and void, at least to the fascist plutocracy known as our Federal Government.Death to fascists!Peace and Strength to all...except fascists.
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Comment #6 posted by whig on May 10, 2007 at 17:17:50 PT
Fourth Amendment much?
"Fifth, organizations and patients having registration cards would be entitled to confidentiality and immunity from arrest or criminal prosecution. Police could not search the growers or users of medical marijuana without reasonable notice. Again, this makes law enforcement nearly impossible."
This is the text of the fourth amendment:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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Comment #5 posted by potpal on May 10, 2007 at 15:47:28 PT
Medical Dope
Tom Neuville, Sen. Neuville State Senator and Prohibitionist 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 10, 2007 at 14:38:24 PT
" enforcement nightmare."
There it is again!Aaargh! A nightmare is worse than letting some people have their cannabis and lo...not being able to persecute or prosecute them for it. A nightmare is something worse than being kind and compassionate. A nightmare is not what they're talking about. A nightmare, apparently, to them, is not getting to "bust heads".If that's his idea of a "nightmare"....I'd say he was a bit cowardly, delusional, and fearful to be allowed on the streets with a gun and a car.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 10, 2007 at 14:29:14 PT
Ganja Guru Back in Court Today
Oakland's Ed Rosenthal wants fed's anti-pot case tossed out of court.Staff ReportMay 10, 2007SAN FRANCISCO -- Ed Rosenthal, the Oakland marijuana advocate, will be back in federal court this afternoon trying to convince a judge that the government's relentless pursuit of a conviction was pointless and the case should be dismissed.Rosenthal, dubbed the "guru of ganja," is scheduled to go on trial next week before District Judge Charles Bryer on charges connected to growing marijuana in Oakland and selling it at a San Francisco medical dispensary. Both Oakland and San Francisco have laws allowing growing and selling pot for medical purposes. But it remains a federal crime.This is a retrial. Rosenthal was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to a token one day in jail, but an appeals court tossed the conviction. The federal government, backed apparently by the full zeal of the Bush administration, is trying again, although a federal prosecutor told Judge Bryer they are seeking only a one-day sentence.Rosenthal also intends to argue today that federal court decisions and laws have changed, so that evidence about the medical value of marijuana can be admitted in the new trial.Copyright: 2007 ANG Newspapers
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on May 10, 2007 at 14:27:31 PT
opposes, not for the reasons I may think???
Hmmm....I think he used pretty much every misguided, propagandistic, baseless excuse I would have expected.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 10, 2007 at 14:25:04 PT
Becoming a Criminal
Jail is a very harsh and real alternative to what the Senator is saying. 
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