cannabisnews.com: Reasoned Debate Needed on Medical Marijuana





Reasoned Debate Needed on Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on February 16, 2009 at 10:23:04 PT
Editorial
Source: Eagle-Tribune
New Hampshire -- Passion in politics is generally a good thing. But the renewed debate in New Hampshire over whether to legalize marijuana for medical use would benefit from a little less passion and a bit more rational discussion.A new bill pending in the Legislature calling for legalization is similar to one that was narrowly rejected in 2007. But its chances may be better this time  it has new legislative sponsors, it has the leadership and organization of a nonprofit group called the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy and more patients seeking medical marijuana use who are willing to speak out.
The arguments over legalizing pot, for any reason, tend to generate plenty of sound and fury but not much reason. On one side are those who portray it as the gateway into an irreversible slide into heroin addiction. On the other are those who say there is no substantive difference between smoking a joint and drinking a glass of wine, since both are drugs that can alter consciousness.Those on both sides should be willing to admit that there are elements of truth to both. While most of those addicted to hard drugs did start with less harmful ones like marijuana, many marijuana smokers have not gone on to harder drugs. Those on the "they're both drugs" side should admit that smoke can affect lungs as well as consciousness, and that being under the influence of any drug is not a good thing.What should not be a matter of dispute is that there are already many drugs prescribed for pain that are more dangerous than marijuana and that are widely abused.The focus of the debate for legislators should first be about whether there is a real medical or palliative benefit to be gained from marijuana. There is considerable evidence that there is.Just as important is the issue of how to control it if it is legalized. Here, the experience of other states that have already passed such laws may be instructive, including neighboring Maine and Vermont. Do they want pharmacies to dispense it, or just let those with a prescription grow their own? There is clearly less control with the ad hoc method.They probably don't want to emulate California, where "prescriptions" for medical marijuana use are easy to acquire.Whatever the outcome of the debate, it will more likely yield what is best for New Hampshire if it is based on facts, not emotion and political agendas.Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)Published: February 16, 2009 Copyright: 2009 The Eagle-TribuneContact: letters eagletribune.comWebsite: http://www.eagletribune.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/oBqYDZflRelated Article & Web Site:NH Common Sensehttp://nhcommonsense.org/For Ailing, an Illicit Necessityhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread24474.shtml
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Comment #8 posted by observer on February 17, 2009 at 12:02:04 PT
What Balance and Proportion! 
Those on both sides should be willing to admit that there are elements of truth to both. After reading such a balanced, judicious, informative editorial, readers will still never know or be reminded about the ugly facts involved in JAILING GRANDMA FOR taking CANNABIS. But thanks, dear editor, for informing us about such forgotten and important "facts" such as "smoke can affect lungs". Yeah, scream "smoke can affect lungs" over and over, but fail to mention that little detail about JAIL and PRISON. That must be why grandma is rotting in the state pen: "smoke can affect lungs"! Why, I'd never considered that before.Great sense of perspective there, Dear Editor. Yeah, thanks for bringing a sense of fairness and proportion that was sadly lacking until you, the Dear Editorial Board of the New Hampshire Eagle-Tribune, enlightened us. In a pig's eye. 
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Comment #7 posted by Storm Crow on February 17, 2009 at 06:43:39 PT
Emulating California is a bad thing???
"They probably don't want to emulate California, where "prescriptions" for medical marijuana use are easy to acquire."Why not? Cannabis has a fatality rate far below that of aspirin! If I want to take a puff for a headache and get almost instantaneous relief, why shouldn't I be allowed to do that- rather than wait 30 minutes and acquire an upset stomach in the process? What other non-lethal herb do you need medical and governmental approval to use? "There is clearly less control with the ad hoc method." Again, WHY does their need to be control? All that does is maintain the artificially high prices! If cannabis were in a legal free market situation, you would quickly see the return of the $10 ounce, if not lower! My logic on the drop in price- Ginseng takes years to produce, produces only a few ounces dry weight, and ground ginseng sells for less than $30 a pound! Cannabis is an annual, can produce a pound per plant and so it should sell for about $10 a pound!$10 an ounce is actually outrageous pricing!  Cannabis has never been the direct cause of death in any case, as far back as anyone can remember. Why is it prohibited? Why must the use, even by adults, be controlled? In my eyes, it is our right to health that is being prohibited! It is our very lives that are being controlled! 
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on February 16, 2009 at 21:19:10 PT
thanks
My state is in the list. I will have to see who is in on it. Thanks Paul.
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Comment #5 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 16, 2009 at 19:11:01 PT
Things are definitely looking good for us this 
year. Our sacred cannabis has certainly been in the spotlight for the last few months. And with all these bills being considered, the marijuana talk has only just begun. I will definitely pass these links to all the sites that I visit.Thanks for your help Paul.
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Comment #4 posted by paul armentano on February 16, 2009 at 17:32:51 PT
fight_4_freedom
Yeah, that's why I wanted to promote the link: which is formatted a whole lot better. There's many, many bills pending. In fact, six separate states have decrim legislation measures in committee (CT, HI. MT, NH, WA, VT) and there's going to be some even broader reform bills floated down the road.This is definitely the year for folks to get active in their state -- and there's no time like the present!http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/
http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/
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Comment #3 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 16, 2009 at 13:59:36 PT
Holy Moly Paul
That's a ton of cannabis related reform. I didn't realize all of that was going on. Thanks for the update.We here in Michigan are surely taking advantage of the passing of our law.http://www.michiganmedicalmarijuana.com just got a new look.Check it out ya'll.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on February 16, 2009 at 13:14:34 PT
"being under the influence of any drug is not a go
od thing"Oh no? Why not? Or what if you are under the influence of coffee, is that bad too? Who are you to make these kinds or moral judgments? Who gave you that authority?
On a mission from God!
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Comment #1 posted by paul armentano on February 16, 2009 at 11:29:44 PT
Med-mj/decrim bills pending in 20+ states
Montana Senate to vote on medical marijuana expansion bill late this week/early next week; New Jersey Senate to vote on medical marijuana on Monday 2/23. Montana House to hear decrim measure (one ounce = $50 fine) on Wed, 2/28. Kentucky lawmakers trying to pass horrible DUI cannabis bill. Read more on these and other reform bills pending NOW here:http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/State Legislative:
   
Alabama - Alabama Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Connecticut - Connecticut Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Connecticut - Connecticut Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
   
Hawaii - Hawaii Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
   
Illinois - Illinois Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Kentucky - Oppose Zero Tolerance 'Drugged' Driving Bill In Kentucky
   
Minnesota - Minnesota State Senate Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Minnesota - Minnesota State House Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Missouri - Missouri Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Montana - Montana Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
   
Montana - Montana Legislature Considers Expanding State's Medical Marijuana Program
   
Montana - Montana Legislature Rejects Barring Certain Patients Access To Medical Marijuana
   
New Hampshire - New Hampshire Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
   
New Hampshire - Oppose Zero Tolerance 'Drugged' Driving Legislation In New Hampshire
   
New Hampshire - New Hampshire Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
New Jersey - Senate To Vote On Medical Marijuana -- Governor Offers His Support
   
Rhode Island - Rhode Island Legislature Considers Licensing Compassion Centers
   
South Dakota - South Dakota Legislature Rejects Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Tennessee - Tennessee Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Texas - Texas Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
   
Virginia - Virginia Legislature Considers Marijuana Law Reform
   
Vermont - Vermont Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
   
Washington - Washington State Senate Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
   
Washington - Washington State House Considers Decriminalizing MarijuanaOther:
   
Oregon - Oregon Legislature Debates Employment Rights For Medical Marijuana Patients
http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=12591396
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