ACLU Provides Forum on Pain and Marijuana

ACLU Provides Forum on Pain and Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on March 02, 2008 at 05:47:54 PT
By Lori Grannis of the Missoulian
Source: Missoulian
Montana -- A previously unidentified Dillon man, whose trailer was raided by Drug Enforcement Administration agents last month, spoke on behalf of medical marijuana Saturday at the Double Tree Hotel as part of the American Civil Liberties Union Montana chapter's annual conference.The seminar, called “Pain as a Civil Liberties Issue,” aimed to raise awareness among patients, physicians and the Missoula community about the fear and legal issues doctors and patients face when considering the use of marijuana to manage pain.
Scott Day, who is terminally ill, was front and center at the conference just one month after the DEA's Southwest Montana Drug Task Force raided his home and reported they confiscated 96 marijuana plants. Day has not been charged in the incident.For the last 12 years, Day said, he has managed unthinkable chronic pain - the result of a degenerative congenital condition called mucopolysaccharidosis - with marijuana.“It's debilitating,” Day said. “It hurts so much and right now I'm without access to pain management that was working,” he said.The 34-year-old Day said he suffers arthritis, muscle spasms, joint inflammation and pain, disintegrated spinal discs, cataracts and glaucoma as a result of the disease that often proves fatal in childhood.“Without marijuana my muscles hurt. Everything hurts,” Day said of the weeks he's spent without marijuana since the bust.Tom Daubert, founder and director of Patients & Families United, said the group was invited to put on the seminar by the ACLU.Patients & Families United helped draft legislation that became Montana's Medical Marijuana Act back in 2004. Voters approved by a wide margin the law that allows people to use marijuana to relieve the pain of qualifying medical conditions.Daubert said there are about 634 Montanans in 34 counties in Montana who are registered medical marijuana patients, based on recommendations from 145 physicians statewide.However, Scott Day said he never registered out of fear of persecution.Current Montana law doesn't require a medical marijuana user to register with the state, but paves a smoother road for those who do, Daubert said.Daubert said he thinks Day will be protected under the law if he is charged with a crime, because of the way the law is written. “With a legal problem, all you need is for a doctor to agree that your condition existed prior to any arrest, and that the benefits outweigh the risks,” he said.However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that even in states that had legalized the use of medical marijuana, drug agents could arrest sick people. About a year ago, DEA agents seized less than a half-ounce of marijuana sent by a registered Flathead County caregiver to Robin Prosser of Missoula. Prosser was never charged in the case.Prosser killed herself in October, saying she couldn't tolerate the pain of her immunosuppressive disorder.“These are the only patients required to break federal law every day and make their own medicine. They need to be left alone,” Daubert said.People can successfully argue that the amounts they possess are the amounts they need, despite the law allowing users possession of just six marijuana plants and one ounce of harvested product, Daubert said. People don't realize that there are “infinite varieties” of marijuana plants that treat different symptoms, he said.Scott Day said what frustrates him is that all his plants represented 12 years of research, growing and cultivating strains of cannabis that addressed individual symptoms of his particular disease. Now, they're gone.“Contrary to what they believed,” Day said, “I wasn't producing a cash crop, I was producing a medicinal crop.” Source: Missoulian (MT) Author: Lori Grannis of the MissoulianPublished: March 2, 2008Copyright: 2008 Missoulian Contact: oped missoulian.comWebsite ACLU Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #2 posted by Paint with light on March 02, 2008 at 19:34:27 PT
I first bookmarked this site on a win 3.1 computer so that was a long time ago. I just started to post recently.The closest I came to posting before, was when Robin died. Although no one knew it, I was here, and had been here a long time. I felt like I knew her.I empathized with the community, but I didn't say anything.So let me say a belated 'peace' to Robin and my condolences to all who knew her.Robin lives on.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on March 02, 2008 at 08:11:16 PT
ot news from Jamaica
Just noticed in the paper today a little article on the very back page of the front section, which said that some legislative committee in Jamaica had recommended that cannabis be legalized. (There is a huge Rastafarian population there and cannabis is their sacramental plant, and the fact that cannabis is widely rooted in Jamaica culture. It’s just not right to keep it illegal. You just can’t put the whole island in jail.) They had recommended the same thing in 2003, for small amounts, but the legislative body did not act on it out of fear that the Bush administration would retaliate against them. Now that the Bushies are soon going to be history the Jamaicans are trying again, but this time with full legalization not with just some small amount. With the administration confusion over the war and a change in administrations in general, (maybe even a more favorable administration) it could be their chance to make history. It has the potential for large scale economic growth in agriculture, tourism and the arts.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment