Patients Ask Lawmakers To Allow Pot Use

Patients Ask Lawmakers To Allow Pot Use
Posted by CN Staff on May 24, 2008 at 19:52:03 PT
By Amby Bob Groves, Staff Writer
Source: Bergen Record 
New Jersey -- Desperately ill patients who say they need marijuana to ease their suffering and opponents who fear the spread of drug abuse testified passionately Thursday before legislators considering a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use.The proposed legislation would allow patients with debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis, to smoke or eat marijuana to relieve pain, nausea and other symptoms. The bill would require a doctor's recommendation and would permit patients or their caregivers to possess six marijuana plants and a gram of pot.
Patients would be required to register with the state for a user's card, which would protect them from prosecution by law enforcement. A caregiver could be designated on that card.In their first hearing on the issue, however, members of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee said they were concerned that the measure does not provide patients with legal ways to obtain marijuana."We need a reliable source for people to go to," said Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley, D-Jersey City."You don't want them to grow it in their dining room or get it behind the local high school."California, one of 12 states to legalize medical marijuana use, has cooperatives where patients can purchase the drug, said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Trenton, lead sponsor of the bill."I'd be in favor of the state dispensing it, but the first step is to set up a legal defense for use," he said.Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Englewood, a co-sponsor of the bill, suggested marijuana should be sold like other prescription drugs."Retail pharmacy might be the answer, rather than a cooperative," Huttle said.Scott Ward, who was diagnosed with MS in 2006, told the committee that marijuana alleviates the symptoms of the disease and the side effects from the 12 prescription drugs — 40 pills a day — he takes.He said he smokes "less than a gram, less than one joint," a day.But the remedy has also stuck him in a predicament, said Ward, 25."Johns Hopkins recommended marijuana, but the government says you can't use it, because it's illegal," he said. "It's bad enough that you're sick. The risk is being arrested."Nancy Fedder of Hillsboro said MS affects her legs with spasms and stiffness. Prescription drugs relieve the symptoms, but they make her wobbly and sleepy.A very small amount of marijuana helps more, she said."I measure it in puffs, not joints," she said. "Two or three puffs relieve the spasticity and pain."Fedder said she buys her marijuana in New York City, even though that state has not legalized medical use of the drug.Other speakers, however, testified that legalizing marijuana for medicinal use could spur drug abuse.David Evans, executive director of the Drug-Free Schools Coalition, said the bill should be defeated because medical use of marijuana has not been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. He believes there are approved medications that work just as well.Evans, an Englewood native and Pittstown resident, is a survivor of ocular cancer. He questioned how dosage would be determined."How much do you take?" he said. "We do not know the dose for any of these medical conditions, or how it interacts with other medications."Evans said that the six marijuana plants the bill would permit each patient could produce "anywhere from 5,700 to 57,600 joints a year."Candice Singer of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence–New Jersey also warned of abuse."That will create more access and perceived availability," Singer testified. "When there's a perceived availability, children will use it more."This is the second time lawmakers have considered the issue.In June 2006, the state Senate health committee was discussing a similar bill and heard impassioned testimony from TV personality Montel Williams, who said he smokes marijuana daily to treat symptoms of muscular dystrophy. The measure did not pass.Source: Bergen Record (NJ)Author: Amby Bob Groves, Staff WriterPublished: May 23, 2008Copyright: 2008 Bergen Record Corp.Website: groves northjersey.comRelated Article:NJ Lawmakers To Debate Medical Marijuana Bill Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 07:04:41 PT
Editorial: Rx for Marijuana
Monday, June 02, 2008New Jersey -- Scott Ward uses marijuana, but he is a far cry from the stereotypical image of a "pothead."Instead, the clean-cut Rob binsville resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis represents those who have turned to marijuana to ease the pain and symptoms associated with such conditions as MS, cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, migraines, glaucoma and epilepsy.Ward testified earlier this month in support of a bill that would make New Jersey the 13th state to allow the medical use of marijuana. The bill, A804, sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Princeton Borough, appears to be stalled in committee, with no vote scheduled on the measure. A state Senate panel heard testi mony on a similar bill two years ago but never took action on it.Snipped: Complete Article:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 26, 2008 at 08:14:20 PT
Peace Love and Understanding
John Tyler thank you.Find The Cost Of Freedom. Gilmour, Crosby & Nash
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on May 26, 2008 at 07:49:49 PT
some thoughts
This article reveals that the NJ legislators are uninformed about cannabis, pharmacy, and the metric system. 1 gram is 0.0353 of an ounce. That’s small by any measure. At least they are trying. I hope they don’t give any creedance to the deluded prohibitionist voices.Last evening on 60 minutes Andy Rooney did his closing monologue about Memorial Day and all of the people who died in the wars etc. That was pretty standard stuff. Then he said something unusual. He said that he wished someone would invent a religion or something that would prevent future wars. I was thinking… Andy, you big dummy, the hippies reinvented it forty years ago, only, nobody but us listened. It was called peace, love and understanding.  (Jesus invented it too, but very few listened to him either. You know, the Prince of Peace, etc., etc.) So Andy, and others, “When the power of love over comes the love of power the world will know peace.” It’s starting to sound familiar now doesn’t it? Kind of like, “Make love, not war.”
If you get a chance check out this beautiful website
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on May 25, 2008 at 22:42:03 PT
Canadian Newspaper Defends Pro-Legalization View
Canada: Editorial: Barbara Kay Vs. Mary Jane, National Post, (23 May 2008)
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on May 25, 2008 at 20:11:18 PT
Why not?
"You don't want them to grow it in their dining room..." Why not? Would growing your own cut into big Pharma's profits too much? Is it bad to have a fun and interesting hobby that has a practical and useful end product? And what better way to assure the quality and freedom from pesticides of a plant than growing your own? With cloning, you soon learn the potency of each of your plants and can adjust dosages accordingly. Every California MMJ user I know, grows, and truely enjoys growing! Dispensaries are for those who have black thumbs, or are unwilling or unable to grow, or perhaps want to sample a new variety. If you are going to have dispensaries, ideally, they should also sell (at "tomato seed/ling prices") both seeds and clones. This would encourage physical activity and independence in many ailing people! There have been numerous studies about how house plants are good for the environment, make you feel better, etc. What if that plant was also your medicine? I know puttering around with my plants usually makes me feel better! OK, that's my 2 cents worth.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 25, 2008 at 09:34:09 PT
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Englewood, a co-sponsor of the bill, suggested marijuana should be sold like other prescription drugs."Retail pharmacy might be the answer, rather than a cooperative," Huttle said.No, actually it isn't the answer. Believe it or not, cannabis is merely one of hundreds of herbs that are used for medicine. Ask any user of herbal medicine or herbalist where to get the best and most potent herbal medicine and it ain't Walgreens! To my knowledge there's not a single corporate pharmacy in the USA that stocks tinctures, which are the gold standard for potency, freshness, and purity in herbal medicine: cannabis is best delivered through the inhaled route, which requires fresh plant material, which goes directly against the retail pharmaceutical distribution channel. Their products are standardized chemical extracts and synthetic chemicals. The best distribution model for cannabis is the same as it is for any fresh produce: looking the person in the eye who grew it as you hand them the cash! Farmer's markets. 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on May 24, 2008 at 21:45:24 PT
That's just weird. 
"... six marijuana plants and a gram of pot."I think there was some kind of misfire, on some level, with that statement. 
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Comment #1 posted by NikoKun on May 24, 2008 at 21:31:04 PT
Yeah right...
"six marijuana plants and a gram of pot"
You can get a lot more than a gram, from six plants...  _ 
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