Political Action Committee Pushes for MMJ in FLA

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  Political Action Committee Pushes for MMJ in FLA

Posted by CN Staff on April 05, 2009 at 15:52:17 PT
By Liz Freeman 
Source: Naples Daily News  

FLA -- Florida residents with debilitating illnesses may have the option of treating their pain and symptoms with marijuana if Florida becomes the next state to allow its use for medicinal purposes.A petition is circulating now for signatures to potentially place a constitutional amendment on the November 2010 ballot posing the issue of allowing the seriously ill to use marijuana for medical treatment.
The Florida Division of Elections last week approved the petition for the political action committee proposing the amendment, People United for Medical Marijuana, to start collecting voters’ signatures.“Our first threshold is to get close to 68,000 signatures to give to the (Florida) Supreme Court for their approval,” said Kim Russell, founder and chairwoman of the committee. “By Feb. 1, we must have 700,000 signatures.”Russell, a stay-at-home mother who lives in Orlando became involved in the cause because of her father’s diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. Marijuana can stop the further degeneration associated with the illness.She is confident enough registered Florida voters will sign the petition necessary to get the amendment question on the ballot. The group also hopes to raise $5 million to promote the cause.The petition language says nobody would be deprived or penalized for the cultivation, purchase, use or possession of marijuana in connection with the treatment of diseases or illnesses when recommended by a physician.Supporters tried in 1998 to get a medical marijuana question on the ballot but it didn’t make it. At that time, Florida Police Chiefs Association and other groups said campaigns are couched as a compassionate plea for the sick and dying but is really designed to be a foothold for a bigger objective of full blown legalization of marijuana.The police chief’s association has not addressed the latest petition and will not revisit it now, according to Amy Mercer, a spokeswoman for the association. If it does become a legislative issue, then the group will take it up again.Meanwhile, the association’s 1998 position against medical marijuana still stands, she said.Russell says misconceptions about marijuana for medicinal purposes can be blamed on the federal government labeling it decades ago as a Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal value. Instead, it was lumped together with other drugs such as LSD and cocaine.“It’s been proven time and time again to have lots of medicinal uses,” she said.According to the political action committee, there are 1.7 million seriously ill people in Florida who could benefit from marijuana to provide relief from pain, stop the spread of breast cancer, treat arthritis, glaucoma and other conditions. In Parkinson’s patients, it stops tremors and prevents further deterioration.The American Medical Association last December at a House of Delegates meeting in Orlando “referred for study” proposed action to support reclassifying of marijuana and urge law enforcement agencies to stop prosecuting doctors and patients in medical marijuana states.The Florida Medical Association in 1997 endorsed medical marijuana when the issue was in California and recanted the position shortly afterward, Russell said. A spokesman for the FMA on Friday could not say what the association’s current position is on medical marijuana.Thirteen states have passed medical marijuana laws; most recently in Michigan last November where a two-thirds majority of voters approved a ballot proposition to allow people with serious or terminal illnesses to use marijuana if certified by a doctor. If the issue gets on the Florida ballot and passed by voters, Russell said she would like to see the law modeled after Oregon which has experienced a low abuse rate.The Medical Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., says the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Association are among groups that support marijuana for medicinal purposes.The PAC’s Web site is -- -- and the petition can be downloaded, printed and mailed back to the group.Complete Title: Poll: Political Action Committee Pushes for Medical Marijuana Use in FloridaSource: Naples Daily News (FL)Author: Liz FreemanPublished: Sunday, April 5, 2009Copyright: 2009 Naples Daily NewsContact: letters naplesnews.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 06, 2009 at 10:40:42 PT
Had Enough
I was wondering how you could be alive if that was right! LOL!
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Comment #14 posted by Had Enough on April 06, 2009 at 10:34:29 PT
Yes FoM I got them backwards…It’s not the first time I’ve done that…I’m no Doctor…good thing…LOL************John Mayer+John Scofield-I Don't Need No Doctor************
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 06, 2009 at 10:19:39 PT

Had Enough
That is terrible. Are you sure the blood pressure readings you posted aren't the opposite? The higher number is usually, as far as I know, on the top.The drugs my husband is taking makes him seem like he is high without the fun part of being high if that makes sense.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 06, 2009 at 10:09:02 PT

Have a wonderful time. I didn't know Neil was doing anything in the states this year. I ordered Fork in the Road and it was shipped but I got the wrong one. I wanted the one with the DVD not just the CD. I guess I will ultimately order the one with the DVD and give the CD to a friend.
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Comment #11 posted by Had Enough on April 06, 2009 at 10:06:10 PT

Blood Pressure…
Bride is 50/70 sometimes 50/90…She takes pharmaceuticals…too many…I don’t like them…they sometimes put here out in la-la-land… but…I’ve even spoken to her doctor about them and he has made some adjustments…but…He can’t give her what she needs because of other ailments.She received blood products during a medical procedure back in the late 1980’s that were contaminated with Hep C…We discovered the virus in 1999, ten years later. She also contracted a rare spin-off disease called Cryoglobulinemia that some Hep C carriers contract.That is the reason why she can’t take the drugs she really needs, and the doctor is doing the best he can, with what he’s got.In 1999 a 5yr life expectancy was talked about…but she is still here, kinda frail, skin and bones, extremely low weight. I tease her by telling her when the wind gets blowing too hard I have to tie a cement block to her leg to keep her from getting blown away.I would say that if we didn’t have a ‘Drug War’ in its current form; junkies would not have been selling contaminated blood that entered our blood supply. Even if we at least had needle exchange type programs it would help minimize the situation. But the powers that be could care less about the damage they leave behind in their wake of political posturing and trying to be ‘Big Bad Drug Warriors’ for votes.So I thank all the Nixon/Reaganite/Bush/Clintoon type mindset for the destruction of many lives across the world. And let’s not leave Drug Warrior Joe Biden out of the equation either. Walter Bennett…Johnny Pee…Hhmmm…Had Enough’s blood pressure is usually about 78/150 sometimes higher…85/180…One time it was around 100/210 while waiting in the hospital emergency room for ‘bride’ to get fixed up from gashing her hand wide open after falling on some sharp edged sheet metal, while looking for a stupid ass cell phone that was lost. She really got cut bad, The skin was hanging of her palm and she asked me to have a look at it to see if she needed to have a doctor look at it. I could see the muscle tissue and the bones in her hand. Off to the emergency room we went…

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Comment #10 posted by dankhank on April 06, 2009 at 10:03:46 PT

are the hardest to get, maintain and keep.Those that are, do everything you can to keep them.In the end, they are your last hope and can never be replaced by any but the best.I'm flying to New Orleans for the first weekend of the Jazzfest to meet old Army buddies from 1971-1973. Unfortunately, Neil Young is scheduled for the second weekend. don't know, mayhap I'll stay for longer. :-)
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 06, 2009 at 09:00:27 PT

I just told our friend what you said and he said you made his day and thank you.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 06, 2009 at 08:44:33 PT

Had Enough
I really have a hard time with drugs. We have avoided drugs for years until my husband's heart attack. I give him pills in the morning, afternoon and night. He is nauseated and has very low blood pressure. He cannot get behind the wheel of a Semi even though they said at the VA he should be ok. If I knew he didn't need these drugs I'd throw them out in a heartbeat.  He has lost his motivation but with blood pressure at 100 over 50 he will be tired. They said that was an ok blood pressure at the VA. I don't think that's right at all. I really do dislike pharmaceuticals. 
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Comment #7 posted by Had Enough on April 06, 2009 at 08:31:56 PT

Drug Pushers
To move more prescription drugs, sales reps sling swag...The transformation of a Jacksonville psychiatrist from a skeptic on Seroquel into a super-prescriber was marked by months of gentle pestering, generous $1,500 speaking engagements and giveaways of everything from a plastic brain to gourmet chocolates. A neurologist in Tampa joked with Seroquel sales reps that she doled out so much of the powerful antipsychotic drug for migraines that they probably thought she was a psychiatrist. She was rewarded with free trips to Scotland and Spain. "I want to go too ! =)" her Seroquel rep wrote. A busy Panama City physician had no problem leaving patients to stew in the waiting room while he listened to a pitch about Seroquel from a persistent saleswoman. "Dr had 3 pat (patients) waiting and did sit down w (with) me," the rep wrote after a series of snubs at the front desk. "You never know what you will get w/dr b." Every day, legions of drug reps troop into doctors' offices, then scoot back to their cars and enter notes about their encounters into laptops or handheld devices. They include reminders about everything from medical questions to the doctor's new Nissan 350Z or his kid's Eagle Scout badge. The notes are uploaded to a secure database at company headquarters and used by the drug rep, her partners and managers as the company refines its sales spiel. 
Thanks to thousands of lawsuits pending against Seroquel, AstraZeneca's best-selling antipsychotic, hundreds of pages of call notes concerning several Florida doctors recently were made public. Though specific to Seroquel, the salespeople's notes reflect industrywide practices. They give insights into what happens behind closed doors while patients cool their heels. Company spokesman Tony Jewell said the drugmaker's philosophy is that "any interaction with health care providers should be about providing information that helps them decide on the right medicines, for the right patients, at the right time." But notes from the company's emissaries reflect two different goals: Get the doctor to prescribe the drug. Then push him to boost the dosage. A sales rep in Jacksonville was ecstatic when a nurse practitioner prescribed Seroquel at twice the dosage used by the psychiatrist in the same practice. "Gave him goodies," the rep wrote. "Biggest user of Seroquel in the office!" and…When doctors complained that patients were ballooning up on Seroquel, sales reps often handed them a study by Chicago psychiatrist Michael J. Reinstein. Its startling message: "Use of S (Seroquel) to reduce weight and reduce risk," according to a sales rep who visited Panama City's Billingsley. Back at headquarters, however, company executives had serious questions about the validity of Reinstein's findings. "Our clinical colleagues have significant and numerous issues in the past with the quality of research that this group has produced," a note from Seroquel's brand manager said in 2001. While sales reps were not allowed to explicitly promote Seroquel for anything other than schizophrenia prior to 2004, the notes reflect a not-so-subtle, broad-based push. In early 2000, Billingsley's sales rep wrote, "S best in new Schizo's, kids, adolescents, bi-pols, blacks and asians." Dr. Guido Nodal Jr., a psychiatrist in Hialeah, at first was cautious about Seroquel, fearing potential links to cataracts. In late 2001, he told a male sales rep he would keep the drug in mind only for "smoking sciz pts." Two months later, however, a female rep wrote that Nodal "LOVES SER. FOR ELDERLY." By year's end he had 15 nursing home patients on the drug. (Later the Food and Drug Administration made all antipsychotics warn that use in elderly with dementia could cause death.) "Claims that he is switching patients from Risperdal to Seroquel at the nursing homes," a sales rep wrote in 2003. "Writing as much as he can to all patients." Notes show that in the interim, Nodal received a textbook, mug, penlights ("Using lots"), payment for a preceptorship and dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House. He denies the giveaways influenced his prescribing.Click to see the whole thing….

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Comment #6 posted by GeoChemist on April 06, 2009 at 04:44:16 PT

Comment #1
The study out of Spain is a gigantic piece of the puzzle of cannabis laws. As most of us know the 1974 Virginia Medical College study started to shed light on cannabis as a potential cure for some forms of cancer, the 2000 Guzman study with mice showed cannabis did indeed inhibit tumor growth and may in fact shrink the said tumors, and we all know the the results of the findings released last week. The conventional poisons big-pharma pedals to "combat" cancer(s) costs how much? It's not good business to cure a disease. A little know fact about big-pharma: the most researched "ailment" is......better sit down for this one....the life-threatening condition of erectile dysfunction.....cancer research isn't in the big-pharma companies top-10. Another question is much does it cost to advertise these poisons? And why advertise them to Joe consumer anyway? (Just what I want to see on TV, two old people (no offense) getting ready to have sex) So he saks his doctor for a script for a specific medication? Wouldn't thoses monies be better spent for the betterment of man-kind? Again another instance of crimes against humanity that goes unpunished. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 05, 2009 at 20:40:15 PT

It's fixed and I will tell him. He only can move his head from side to side and it really shows the heart of our friends caring. Some people really do have their priorities in order.
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on April 05, 2009 at 20:15:31 PT

ThanK him
fix it if you like it matters not.Peace
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Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on April 05, 2009 at 20:14:29 PT

your friend
is an angel of mercy.Thank him from all of us, I feel no concern saying ALL of us as I know it is true.Thank you, FoM, for sharing the story. It proves than an ordinary citizen is a better person than most politicians and cops.Peace to all who minister to the ill.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on April 05, 2009 at 16:52:28 PT:

In a word: sadism
Certainly not loving concern for those for whom the laws were supposed to 'protect'.Which ties in with something I was just reading over at MAP:
It's Time To Legalize Drugs And Ban Politicians the article:"Imagine a system where in order to save you from the potential danger posed by crossing the street, someone will throw you off a tall building. This is the current insanity of drug policy. In order to 'protect citizens from the danger of drugs', we throw people in prison."and further on:"However, most importantly there is a quote from Terrence McKenna ( noted author, philosopher, ethnobotanist, and originator of novelty theory ): "Psychedelics are not illegal because a loving government is concerned you will jump from a third story window, psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and thought processes. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong, and government and society spend a lot of money educating you into being a loyal worker, consumer, debt payer and citizen." That about sums it up, I guess; that, and the sadism...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 05, 2009 at 16:22:23 PT

Medical Marijuana
We just got a call from a longtime friend. He called to tell us about a friend from the 70s that has advanced M.S. He lives in another town so we haven't seen him since the 70s. Our friend went to his apartment where he has full time care and took him chocolate milk and a cookie and a joint of fine cannabis. Our friend had to hold the joint for him to smoke it and after he smoked it he said oh my this is so good. Our friend said he said he felt so much better and thanked him. Our friend is a stroke victim and yet went on a mission of mercy and just had to call and tell us about how good it made him feel.Why is cannabis illegal?
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