Sick, Dying Need Sensible Marijuana Law

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  Sick, Dying Need Sensible Marijuana Law

Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2009 at 17:09:02 PT
By James Gierach and Jim Ware 
Source: Register Star 

Illinois -- If you’ve followed the debate regarding a bill to stop criminalizing seriously ill patients who rely on medical marijuana, you might believe Illinois’ law enforcement community has lined up unanimously to oppose this sensible, compassionate legislation.It’s true that a few of our chiefs and police union leaders have appointed themselves spokespeople for the rapidly dwindling few who would still arrest suffering Illinoisans whose doctors recommend medical marijuana for relief.
But they do not speak for all who serve in law enforcement. We see laws requiring officers to harass and even arrest seriously ill people fighting for their very lives as cruel and wasteful not only to those suffering patients, but also to those of us who swore to protect and defend them.We base our strong support for this medical marijuana legislation on our years of experience enforcing the law. We have listened carefully to our colleagues’ arguments against allowing doctors and patients to make treatment decisions involving medical marijuana, and we believe their opposition is sincere and heartfelt.But it is not rooted in science or real-world experience and should be rejected.If we understand the substantive foundation of the objection to carving a narrow exception to existing marijuana laws to allow its use by patients when conventional treatments have failed, it lies in the fear that doing so would invite widespread abuse and crime.But there is no evidence to support this fear. In fact, the experience of the 13 states that have laws similar to the one being considered in Illinois suggests the opposite is true.Eleven of those states have had laws on the books long enough to collect reliable data on youth marijuana use trends since establishing a medical marijuana law. In every single one of those states, teen marijuana use has dropped.In many states, including California — whose medical marijuana law is nowhere near as tightly constructed as Illinois’ — those drops have been dramatic.Then there’s the experience of the law enforcement officials who have actually dealt with medical marijuana laws firsthand. In a study conducted by the General Accounting Office (Congress’ investigational arm now called the Government Accountability Office) in 2002, officials from 37 law enforcement agencies in four medical marijuana states concluded that “medical marijuana laws have had little impact on their law enforcement activities.” Specifically, “very few or no encounters involving medical marijuana registry cards or claims of a medical marijuana defense” were cited.More fundamentally, we believe this legislation is primarily a matter for patients and medical professionals.It is the choice of those in Illinois law enforcement whether they wish to accept the conclusions of countless esteemed medical organizations that recognize medical marijuana’s value, including the American College of Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, the Lymphoma & Leukemia Society, the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of HIV Medicine.While we share our colleagues’ concern that any medical marijuana law must be tightly controlled to prevent abuses, it should be pointed out that the pending legislation does exactly that. Not only is Illinois’ medical marijuana bill one of the most tightly written in history, but its sponsors have worked with opponents in the law enforcement community to address their specific concerns about the bill.Illinois’ sick and dying cannot wait any longer for a sensible, compassionate law that allows them access to doctor-recommended medical marijuana when all other options have failed. The discomfort some in law enforcement may feel about such a law does not approach that of seriously ill patients who struggle every day for relief and who often risk arrest to achieve it.As compassionate, concerned Illinoisans, we urge our elected leaders to act quickly on behalf of their most suffering constituents and pass this medical marijuana law now.James Gierach is a former Cook County assistant state’s attorney currently in private practice in Chicago. Jim Ware is a former captain with the Anchorage Police Department and Illinois resident. He also used medical marijuana to counter the side effects of chemotherapy during his treatment of stage-4 cancer in 2005. Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)Author: James Gierach and Jim Ware, Special To The Register StarPublished: May 19, 2009Copyright: 2009 GateHouse Media, Inc.Website: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on May 27, 2009 at 17:53:49 PT
I was away from the computer and just saw it. Good news.Medical Marijuana Measure Wins Illinois Senate Approval
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Comment #15 posted by BobbyRa on May 27, 2009 at 16:50:54 PT
It passed in the Senate today
One step farther than in the past. 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 27, 2009 at 11:23:15 PT
Maybe something will happen on a national level this year. If not try again because sooner or later you will win.
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Comment #13 posted by BobbyRa on May 27, 2009 at 10:40:07 PT
Yep FOM I just saw that
Sorry to be so negative but I am beginning to understand Illinois politics. Drag your feet about everything and time runs out. Oh well maybe next year. 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 27, 2009 at 08:43:20 PT
I'm sorry. I read that it was postponed. Medical Marijuana Vote Delayed Again By Illinois Senate
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Comment #11 posted by BobbyRa on May 27, 2009 at 08:12:53 PT
Looks like they are going to ignore it again
Crooked ass state. 
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on May 20, 2009 at 16:05:23 PT

Cops: the rapidly dwindling few 
"the rapidly dwindling few"Nice phrase. 
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on May 20, 2009 at 15:52:16 PT

James Gierach and Jim Ware
Thank you. Every truth sweetens the bitterness and gall born of all the lies and misunderstandings in the world.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 20, 2009 at 13:12:16 PT

41% Favor Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 Forty-one percent (41%) of likely U.S. voters think the United States should legalize and tax marijuana to help solve the nation’s fiscal problems. However, nearly half (49%) oppose this idea, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. URL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 20, 2009 at 09:59:48 PT

That was so funny! Thanks.
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Comment #6 posted by AdaptBones on May 20, 2009 at 09:25:31 PT:

Very Nice
Well this is very nice to see. I'm glad some law enforcement are publically coming out in support of empathy and compassion. That is the first steps we need from those people to truly turn this ocean liner of policy around. Let's hope more of these people begin remembering that we are all humans just like them and that the empathy they seem to have locked off in the dark parts of their mind breaks free and sees the light of love and common sense once again. Blessed be.
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Comment #5 posted by mykeyb420 on May 20, 2009 at 09:17:49 PT


WHY MEN ARE NEVER DEPRESSED: Your last name stays put. 
The garage is all yours. 
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.  
You can never be pregnant. 
Car mechanics tell you the truth. 
The world is your urinal. 
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. 
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. 
Same work, more pay. 
Wrinkles add character. 
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. 
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. 
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. 
You know stuff about tanks and engines.
A ten-day vacation requires only one suitcase. 
You can open all your own jars. 
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. 
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. 
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. 
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. 
You only have to shave your face and neck. 
You can play with toys all your life 
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. 
You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. 
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. 
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes. 
No wonder men are happier. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 20, 2009 at 05:46:21 PT

Just a Note
I can't find anything so far on the Illinois vote. I'll keep looking. The news is slow but it always is in May. 
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Comment #3 posted by NikoKun on May 19, 2009 at 21:35:05 PT

So did they vote on it today, or not?
I heard there was supposed to be a Senate vote on the Medical Marijuana bill in IL... But I can't find anything about it.
I'm guessing they skipped it today?
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on May 19, 2009 at 19:22:08 PT

To be left alone.......... the powers that be that is......
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on May 19, 2009 at 19:20:51 PT

Nine Gods on Mt. SCOTUS give their benediction!
The holy writ has been passed down: God is earthquaking mad at our stupid foolishness and as she make it clear she want's her beloved plant of renowned to be left alone!
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