Marijuana is Not An Accepted Remedy

Marijuana is Not An Accepted Remedy
Posted by CN Staff on April 26, 2008 at 21:37:57 PT
By James C. Backstrom, Duluth News Tribune
Source: News-Tribune
M.N. -- While Minnesota’s law enforcement leaders have compassion and sympathy for persons suffering from serious diseases and afflictions, we strongly oppose the adoption of a law legalizing marijuana for medical purposes for many reasons.First, marijuana is not an accepted medicine. Marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which is illegal to possess or sell under federal and state law. Schedule I includes substances that have a high potential for abuse and the lack of any accepted medical use.
Additionally, the use of smoked marijuana has been rejected by the American Medical Association and, perhaps even more importantly, by the major medical organizations representing the groups of patients proponents say need it the most, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Cancer Society.What the proponents of this ill-advised proposal don’t want the public to know is that there are many medical substitutes that have gone through the necessary and rigorous testing procedures of the Food and Drug Administration to ensure safety for patients suffering from cancer and other serious debilitating diseases. In fact, there already exists a legalized form of “medical marijuana” in America. It’s called Marinol, and it can deliver accurate and safe dosages of THC (the most active ingredient of marijuana) to patients in the form of a pill. (It also is currently being studied for suitability by other delivery methods, such as an inhaler or patch, for those too nauseous from illness to take pills.)More than 20 other FDA-approved medications exist for persons suffering from cancer (including the side effects of chemotherapy), glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and other serious ailments. Unlike other FDA-approved drugs, the potency or THC strength of marijuana (which has increased significantly in recent decades) cannot be regulated or monitored. No drug in America, by the way, is approved for delivery to a person through smoking, for obvious health-related reasons.Because marijuana will remain illegal to possess under federal law, legalizing it for medical purposes will place Minnesota law enforcement officers in an untenable position when attempting to enforce the criminal law.Testimony last year by the bill’s authors and supporters referred to it as a “tightly crafted” proposal that would impact only 150-200 sick and dying persons in Minnesota. Nothing could be further from the truth. This proposal would allow “registered organizations” to grow 12 marijuana plants for an unlimited number of “patients.” Each plant can produce 1-2 pounds of marijuana, and many plants can produce four yields a year. One ounce of marijuana can produce up to 23 joints; one pound could produce 448 joints; and 8 pounds could produce 3,600 joints. If this proposal becomes law, these “registered organizations” will be producing large quantities of “medical” marijuana which will make them easy and likely targets for theft.As to the number of patients likely to use marijuana under this proposal, one need only check the statistics of the state of Oregon, which enacted a virtually identical law to that proposed in Minnesota. As of April 1, 16,635 persons have been issued medical marijuana cards in Oregon, 14,599 of whom were authorized to use it for “severe pain.” This is hardly a small number of seriously ill and dying persons.For all these reasons, Minnesota’s law enforcement leaders strongly oppose the adoption of a law legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.James C. Backstrom is the Dakota County Attorney and president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.Complete Title: Marijuana is Not An Accepted Remedy, and There Are SubstitutesSource: Duluth News-Tribune (MN)Author: James C. Backstrom, Duluth News TribunePublished: Sunday, April 27, 2008Copyright: 2008 Duluth News-TribuneContact: letters duluthnews.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on April 27, 2008 at 10:13:43 PT
accepted medicine until 1937
“First, marijuana is not an accepted medicine. Marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.” Some people say this now thinking that others will not remember that before 1937 cannabis was a widely accepted and distributed medicine all across the country. Well known pharmaceutical companies processed it, packaged it and distributed it. Unfortunately, powerful narrow economic interest needed to get rid of hemp (the industrial name for cannabis) as a commercial enterprise in order to advance their own interest. They embarked on a blatant racist campaign to do this. They called cannabis a new foreign sounding name, marijuana, and associated it with African Americans, Mexicans and other so called degenerate people. They further said that it caused all manner of atrocious behaviors. Thus the reasoning for making cannabis illegal was based on lies. There was no science, no surveys, and very little hearing about it. A stupid, gullible Congress was fooled again. (Nothing new there however.) So, at one time it was an accepted medicine and then arbitrarily and capriciously it was banned. The cannabis did not change the law did. 
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Comment #3 posted by charmed quark on April 27, 2008 at 09:09:00 PT
approved medications
And even more medications are approved for migraine and neuropathic pain, not even counting the ones used "off label" by doctors. And guess what? I tried them all and none of them worked. And some had very, very nasty side effects.Only cannabinoids have worked for me. Oh well, it's better that I get nothing. Otherwise, I might smoke it! Horrors! What could be worst? Certainly not severe chronic pain.Of course, I COULD vaporize or use tinctures or edibles. But let's not talk about that. And poor LEO - they wouldn't know what to do with me - throw me in jail for using an herb or leave me alone? What a quandary for those poor folk.
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Comment #2 posted by Storm Crow on April 27, 2008 at 08:31:23 PT
I would like them to explain....
Just how a chemotherapy patient who is vomiting whenever ANYTHING gets into their stomach, is supposed to take a pill? And although the strength of cannabis varies, the speed of onset makes it possible for a patient control dosage easily- unlike a pill that may take 30 minutes to an hour to take effect. Judging from these articles from the News-Tribune, the editor of the N-T, David Taylor and Jeanette McDougal are some rather mean-spirited, uncompassionate individuals. This isn't very nice of me, but may they walk in OUR shoes for a mile or two, to regain their perspective and gain some compassion! 
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Comment #1 posted by NikoKun on April 26, 2008 at 23:43:05 PT
They don't see what they don't want too.
What works for some, doesn't work for all... Every medical option should be available, for those who need it, regardless of what some people may think of it.Nevermind that the federal government just has things wrong... And the only option left for justice, is for the states to form their own medical marijuana policies, and slowly force the federal to accept it.
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