Arizona Could Make Medical Marijuana Reality
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Arizona Could Make Medical Marijuana Reality
Posted by CN Staff on May 07, 2009 at 15:09:56 PT
By Dr. Ronald Fraser
Source: East Valley Tribune
Arizona -- At long last, policymakers in Washington have begun to draw a line between illicit drug use and the legitimate use of drugs as medicine. In March, President Barack Obama's attorney general announced the federal government will no longer prosecute medical marijuana clinics that operate in compliance with state laws. This means lawmakers in Phoenix are now free to decide - without interference from Washington - if marijuana will fill a medical niche in Arizona.
Thirteen states have already removed criminal penalties for the use of medical marijuana and actively regulate how, with a medical doctor's recommendation, marijuana is made available for patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, severe pain, glaucoma, epilepsy and other chronic conditions. But until now, Washington has disregarded these state laws. Since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, for example, federal agents have raided more than 100 marijuana distribution centers there. Washington's First Step   The first step has been taken with Washington's tacit acknowledgement that closing down state-regulated marijuana clinics is a misuse of taxpayers' money and harmful to Americans coping with serious illnesses. Many thousands of ill people attest that smoking, vaporizing or orally ingesting marijuana relieves pain, nausea and other symptoms far more effectively than Marinol, a pharmaceutically available synthetic version of marijuana.While the federal government still officially maintains - contrary to solid medical evidence - that marijuana has no medicinal value, at least it has pledged not to raid medical marijuana facilities that are sanctioned by state law. Arizona's Next Step?  According to the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based advocate for legalizing medical marijuana, Arizona currently has a medical marijuana law on the books that allows patients to possess marijuana if it is obtained through a valid prescription. But under the law there is no legal supply of marijuana to fill such prescriptions.In addition, a 2007 survey by the Marijuana Policy Project asked registered Arizona voters if they supported an initiative to "allow Arizona residents with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other serious illnesses to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes, as long as their physician approves." Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said they supported such an initiative.Washington's new medical marijuana policy gives Arizona the freedom to exercise its historic role as the primary watchdog for the health and welfare of its citizens. Whether or not Arizona patients will be given greater access to medical marijuana is now up to the state Legislature or the voters. Other Medicinal Drugs  Marijuana is not the only targeted medical drug. In all 50 states, federal raids can still close down pain clinics and arrest pain management physicians who prescribe large doses of opioids - highly effective, legal painkillers made from opium or synthetics with the properties of opiate narcotics.Dr. Joel Hochman, director of the National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain in Houston, says the drug-war hysteria is making it too risky for many doctors to accept patients in chronic pain and that, with help from the media, federal raids on so-called "pill mills" paint a false picture that the streets are awash in drugs carelessly handed out by unprincipled doctors.Instead, he claims, these clinics provide last-resort care to largely uninsured or under-insured blue-collar and other limited-income workers, many with work-related injuries, who can only afford a five-minute visit at high-volume, low-cost, low-profit clinics.To stay in business these clinics must see 60 to 100 patients each day. With this level of traffic, doctors can make errors and patients can lie about their ailments _ making the clinics easy targets for federal agents. But, since these clinics provide valuable medical services, Hochman says law enforcement polices are misdirected.His bottom line is: "Wake up America. The dope lords are making billions. The little pain clinics in the strip shopping centers sure aren't."Instead of getting drugs off the streets, Hochman adds that closing down these pain clinics will "drive patients into the streets, seeking relief from their suffering. Their choices become: score hydrocodone off the street; score heroin off the street; drown their pain with alcohol. No one can tolerate unrelieved pain."What to do? "End opiophobia and fantasy-driven public policies," Hochman said, "and establish publicly supported clinics so every suffering person can get relief. Confront the fact that law enforcement agencies and prisons are all strung out on the drug prohibition laws and need to be brought back to reality."Here is a rare opportunity for elected officials in Arizona and in Washington to take a long hard look at how harsh drug laws are undermining medical care in America. For the millions of people desperately coping with chronic ailments, let's not waste it.Dr. Ronald Fraser writes on public policy issues for the DKT Liberty Project, a Washington-based civil liberties organization. Source: East Valley Tribune (AZ)Author: Dr. Ronald FraserPublished: May 7, 2009Copyright: 2009 East Valley TribuneContact: forum aztrib.comURL: http://www.eastvalleytribune.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 14, 2009 at 13:06:09 PT
MMJ Backers File Notice of Ballot Effort 
By Christian PalmerMay 14, 2009Medical marijuana advocates have filed notice with the Arizona Secretary of State that they intend to gather signatures in an effort to place an initiative on the 2010 ballot to ask voters to legalize smoking pot by patients who get a recommendation from a doctor. Under the proposal, Arizonans with certain medical conditions and symptoms would be permitted to qualify with the Arizona Department of Health Services to obtain small amounts of marijuana for personal use from state regulated dispensaries. URL:
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on May 08, 2009 at 22:47:36 PT
I see what you mean, now.And I can see how they might be seen as advertising of a sort. Just a link though. They are unobtrusive. C-News, I find, is easy on the eyes, neat and compact.Observant of you, no doubt. After all these years, I can't say that I've thoroughly explored this site like I ought to. Immediately upon arriving, I just get caught up in the articles and comments right away for as much time as I can... and more, probably... and haven't really paid as much attention to it all as it deserves because of all the work and attention FoM has put into it. It's a much bigger place than it looks to be. Something to do with archives, I think. I try not to wander too far from where I came in.:0)
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Comment #15 posted by christ on May 08, 2009 at 18:41:03 PT
My bad. What i was referring to was the 'shortcuts' to other sites that appear at the top of the pages. I like how they are visually unobtrusive and minimal in size.
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Comment #14 posted by museman on May 08, 2009 at 09:19:42 PT
oh those lovely catch phrases
"Wake up America. The dope lords are making billions."Yes, but the 'Lords' aren't who the propaganda is saying it is' Yah some street gangs are making livings rivaling the upper middle class - (the real worry of the status quo) but I'd hardly call it 'billions.' After the propagandists run their numbers through their 'statistical analysis' carefully manipulated to make a freshly harvested cannabis plant that would weigh out to about 3 ounces weighed in wet at about 10 pounds worth about $20,000 by their 'estimates' having no real ethics, and to this point no real challenges to their 'authority', they think nothing of adding a zero or two to the tweaked numbers they intend to use. Apply that same formula to the rest of the 'drugs' and you begin to see how they come up with such outrageous numbers.And of all those 'billions' that may have actually been spent by americans on illegal 'drugs' how many hundreds of thousands is that divided up amongst?The "Dope Lords" live in mansions, and sit in offices with government paychecks and titles. Because it is their agenda to be the 'Lords' of the earth, they are truly concerned with any kind of economic power that is out of their control. I certainly have no liking for some of the stuff that has come out of the gang mentality, but I can see quite clearly why such a thing has risen in our city streets.White-man economics kept the people of color on the bottom strata of this society for a long time, and the pittances that have been handed down from the white-man government (is it really changing? Because of Obama?) are all pretty insulting to the character and nature of these cultures. The fact that many of these so-called 'drug gangs' have done more for their people than any of the 'services' available to them from the government, never seems to be mentioned.The Hip-Hop 'revolution' was initially funded by these 'gangs' and certain artists who made it to mainstream. The identity and culture of many modern minorities is directly linked to this situation.As far as Arizona goes, its die-hard Republican, ever since Goldwater. As long as the Republican party exists as it is, Arizona is likely to be one of the last states to give in to the people on this issue.Wake up America. See with your own eyes. Hear with your own ears. Stop listening to the media hype, and listen to your neighbors.FREE CANNABIS AND CANNABIS USERS FOREVER
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on May 08, 2009 at 08:24:18 PT
I guess "None" is the minimal "Minimal".Thanks.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 08, 2009 at 07:59:46 PT
DrugSense Mission Statement
We aren't allowed to advertise on CNews or we wouldn't be able to be tax exempt for DrugSense who supports our web site.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on May 08, 2009 at 07:05:51 PT
"minimal advertising"?
I miss a lot on this huge site... but "advertising"? Where? What?
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Comment #10 posted by christ on May 08, 2009 at 06:32:04 PT
Thanks. That's great to know. I really love your site... especially the variety of sources, community, and minimal advertising.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 08, 2009 at 05:53:53 PT
I think after this many years I got it under control.
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Comment #8 posted by christ on May 08, 2009 at 03:27:32 PT
FoM Comment#6
In the event you become ill or have to go out of town, do you have a backup to administer the site and keep it going? I'm not asking to know who since that's none of my business, but I would feel a lot better to know that there IS about Paul's note, i personally prefer reading norml's news and other sites' news here vs. their sites.
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on May 07, 2009 at 21:13:43 PT
Guardian"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently said the time is right for a debate on marijuana legalisation."
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 07, 2009 at 19:08:31 PT
I'm tired and not doing as much as I did. I figure everyone goes to the different web site for different information or to re-enforce a particular flow of the news. I have tremendous pressure with family health issues and my health so I am trying to keep up on what I feel I absolutely must.
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Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on May 07, 2009 at 19:04:09 PT
Sam Adams
Disprove sounds so Orwellian. Should they not prove (beyond any reason of doubt) in the first place?
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Comment #4 posted by paul armentano on May 07, 2009 at 18:56:57 PT
NORML News: Maine Expands Decrim Law
FOM,Any particular reason why you seemed to have stopped posting the NORML's weekly news release? There's a news story we ran today that hasn't run elsewhere that I think C-News readers will be interested in. I've posted the text below:Maine: Lawmakers Expand Marijuana Decriminalization Law Share This Page    
May 7, 2009 - Augusta, ME, USAAugusta, ME: Democrat Gov. John Baldacci signed legislation on Friday expanding the state's longstanding marijuana 'decriminalization' law.Under current law, possession of up to 1.25 ounces of marijuana is treated as an infraction, punishable by a fine of no more than $600. Defendants who possess greater amounts are presumed to be engaging in the sale of cannabis and face criminal penalties and potential jail time.The newly approved legislation (LD 250) states that the possession of over 1.25 ounces but less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana will also be defined as a civil offense, punishable by a fine of $700 to $1,000 dollars. (Civil fines for the possession of less than 1.25 ounces of marijuana will remain the same.) The new law also removes the inference that the possession of quantities of marijuana above 1.25 ounces but less than 2.5 ounces is presumed to be for sale."Maine's new law will save prosecutorial resources and it makes common sense," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said. "It is expensive and illogical to presume that minor marijuana offenders are criminal traffickers. Kudos to the Maine legislature and to the Governor for supporting this effort to revise the state's longstanding cannabis decriminalization law."The new law takes effect 90 days following adjournment of the state legislature.To date, 13 states  including Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Ohio  have enacted versions of marijuana decriminalization, replacing criminal penalties and jail time for the personal possession of cannabis with the imposition of nominal fines. Only one state, Ohio, treats the possession of more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis as a fine-only (no jail) offense.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 07, 2009 at 18:47:56 PT
Brian Epis bad news the silly legalese blatherings of the judges as they sent him to gulag and threw away the key. Look at sheer arrogance of this part:"In upholding the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, the appellate justices said that Epis failed to disprove the government's claims that he had been "the manager" of the indoor Chico grow and that he had not told the truth during a debriefing by the federal prosecutor."Clearly "innocent until proven guilty" has been flipped completely. Epis has to "disprove" government claims or be sent to the gulag. So primitive. USA judiciary is up there with medieval Europe in being a complete mockery of "justice". This was a total show trial in a kangeroo court if there ever was one in human history.
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Comment #2 posted by George Servantes on May 07, 2009 at 17:53:22 PT
We need more republicans like Arnold and Ron Paul. I can read between lines and I can tell you Arnold actually said: "I want marijuana legalized and taxed!"
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on May 07, 2009 at 16:44:30 PT
Get ready ... 
As I've stated on this wonderful forum with so many wonderful people, I foresaw major shifts and now again, I see this 100th monkey (no offense) effect. I feel tectonic shifts coming our way ... ! Sit down strap in and hold on ...BTW I'm very impressed with Ahrnold turnabout, since last Tuesday, but I guess he read the latest poll on Marijuana Legalization on Monday the day before!
On a mission from God!
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