Pot Panacea?

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  Pot Panacea?

Posted by CN Staff on June 14, 2009 at 04:42:01 PT
By Robert Rizzuto 
Source: Post-Journal 

New York -- The debate about medical marijuana isn't quite as divided as the debate about overall legalization, but it is still a somewhat polarizing issue. Twelve states have followed the lead of California and adopted legislation to make marijuana available to patients in need and New York may be the next state to do the same.Currently, New York State politicians are considering a piece of legislation (S-4041A) that would legalize marijuana for medicinal use in accordance with the recommendations of a medical professional, and different people have different opinions about that.
Jamestown Police Chief Rex Rater discussed the issue with The Post-Journal recently, and said that although he is against the general legalization of marijuana, he may be open to the idea of medically prescribed marijuana use."I philosophically object to the overall legalization of marijuana and believe that decriminalization has gone as far as it should," Rater said. "But if I had a terminally ill loved one who had a limited time left on this Earth, and the doctor told me that it would ease their pain, I would not object. I'm not a doctor and don't know if it would help, but if the doctor told me it would, I'd support it."Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace said that he isn't in favor of medical marijuana, and he believes that there are better alternatives available to ill people."My gut reaction is that there are other substances which are FDA approved which are a better tool than giving someone pot," he said. "I just don't believe it is a good idea."Dan Bernath, the assistant director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based lobbying firm, said that the medicinal use of marijuana can make a difference in the lives of ill people and that its benefits outweigh any downsides."It's not a question as to whether marijuana is right for every patient, it's more about giving a doctor a full range of tools to choose from to treat their patients," Bernath said. "For some patients, a manufactured pill may be the best bet but not all drugs affect everyone the same, and for many people, marijuana simply works better with less side effects."  To Each State Their Own   Each state has the ability to make its own decision about the issue, but as California learned under the Bush Administration, federal agencies retain the right to raid distribution centers and growing operations and sometimes incarcerate terminally ill patients in the process, all to enforce federal laws."When Obama was campaigning, he had said several times that it was a waste of federal money and resources to go after medical marijuana states with the Drug Enforcement Administration," Bernath said. "And recently, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to end raids on medical marijuana clubs in those states, which is a big change in policy from the previous administration."The 180 degree turn in attitude toward a state's right to choose was characterized by Bernath as a "sign of respect," although Obama did say that if state and federal laws are being violated in a similar situation, it would warrant the use of federal resources."California is a different kind of animal with the way their medical marijuana law is worded. Their law is much looser and only 11 lines long, compared to the New York bill which is about 11 pages long," Bernath said. "New York follows the lead of the 12 other states and builds upon a 15-year success record. Unlike California, the other states who legalized medical marijuana have never really had a major problem with federal interference. The New York bill is very detailed and concise, and it truly protects the patients from arrest and limits potentials for abuse." Marijuana and Other Drugs   One argument against legalizing marijuana for medical use revolves around the plant being smoked, as the health risks from smoking cigarettes are well documented and a popular point of comparison. But the jury is still out as to whether marijuana smoke is not as bad as cigarette smoke or much worse, as there are studies funded by different groups with very different conclusions.According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke, but not every study draws the same conclusions.Bernath said that the debate about smoking marijuana is dated, since there are a variety of different delivery methods a patient can choose with their doctor's recommendation.He explained that a vaporizer offers patients a clean delivery method, as no combustion takes place."With a vaporizer, the marijuana is heated to the point where the cannabinoids are released and inhaled in a vapor," he said. "It is a clean delivery method as no ignition or combustion takes place and the effect is immediate, like with smoking."Cannabinoids are a group of substances or compounds found in marijuana, some of which are known to provide the medical benefits advocates argue for.Marinol, a legal pharmaceutical derivative of marijuana, is basically a synthetic THC, which is the main psychoactive substance in the plant. It has been prescribed to patients with cancer and AIDS in an effort to stimulate appetite and decrease nausea.While some schools of thought feel that marinol is as far as American society should go toward using the cannabis plant for medical applications, Bernath said that there is a bigger picture to look at."THC is only one cannabinoid and there are at least 60 others which in combination bring different therapeutic benefits," he said. "Plus, it's difficult for chemotherapy patients to keep a pill down, so many just struggle through the terrible nausea and vomiting."Doctors may be the most-qualified people to decide whether marijuana does indeed hold a positive medical potential, and there are a slew of them on each side of the equation. As Bernath himself said, each drug on Earth has its side effects and marijuana is no exception.But when it comes to weighing out the pros and cons between marijuana and other treatment options, there is a real possibility that doctors in New York will soon be the ones making the decisions.Source: Post-Journal, The (Jamestown, NY)Author: Robert RizzutoPublished: June 14, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Post-JournalWebsite: editorial post-journal.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #19 posted by FoM on June 16, 2009 at 09:55:03 PT

The Manageable Marijuana Debate

By Lara Endreszl Tuesday, June 16, 2009URL:
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Comment #18 posted by George Servantes on June 15, 2009 at 07:26:44 PT

police doctor one question for you please
"My gut reaction is that there are other substances which are FDA approved which are a better tool than giving someone pot," he said. "I just don't believe it is a good idea."Why not, people have always and will always use nature to heal. Look at cats, the eat catnip when they got sick stomach.So why I can't use cannabis plant to heal myself?
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 19:58:14 PT

Maine: Medical Marijuana on Court’s Docket
June 15, 2009URL:
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 19:56:15 PT

MA: Medical Marijuana (H 2160)
June 14, 2009 MEDICAL MARIJUANA (H 2160) - The Committee on Public Health is considering legislation allowing the medical use of marijuana by qualified patients. The measure allows these patients to possess up to four ounces of marijuana and 12 marijuana plants for medical purposes. The state would issue identification cards to qualified patients and to caretakers who could grow and provide marijuana for a severely disabled patient. Doctors would be allowed to issue prescriptions for marijuana use by patients for debilitating medical condition including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s Alzheimer’s and any disease or treatment that produces severe pain, nausea or seizures.URL:
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 17:07:39 PT

Sinsemilla Jones
I can post the NYTs but posting a link is fine.
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Comment #14 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 14, 2009 at 16:05:40 PT

Charles Lynch sentenced to 1 year -
Was going to snip a little, but I seem to remember that maybe even that is a no no for the NYT.Basically the judge said he was forced by federal law to impose the sentence.
Prison Term for a Seller of Medical Marijuana
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 13:56:54 PT

I'm glad you are having a nice day. We're just busy around home this weekend. It's a beautiful day to clean out the gutters! LOL!
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Comment #12 posted by josephlacerenza on June 14, 2009 at 13:33:49 PT

Score one for the good guys!!!
Hey all C-Newsers!! Hope all is well this fine Sunday!! Found this after my hike with the wife, kid, and nieces. 
Jose, Maximo Colon Turn Tables On NYPD With Video Tape
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 13:00:00 PT

America’s High: The Case For and Against Pot
Tune in for the AC360° special report, ‘America’s High: The case for and against pot,’ starting Monday at 10 p.m. ET. URL:
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 12:05:57 PT

A thought about David Crosby. He paid a dear price for his cocaine use. I remember Neil offered him a home to live in on his farm and help to kick his addiction. Crosby wasn't interested and Neil turned and walked away. Crosby said Neil giving up on him was a shock to him. Luckily Crosby is still with us. Like the lyrics go in Thrasher.I searched out my companions,Who were lost in crystal canyonsWhen the aimless blade of scienceSlashed the pearly gates***It was then I knew I'd had enough,Burned my credit card for fuelHeaded out to where the pavement turns to sandWith a one-way ticket to the land of truthAnd my suitcase in my handHow I lost my friends I still don't understand***Thrasher - Neil Young Live Rust Never Sleeps !
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 11:32:19 PT

I understand where you are coming from.
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Comment #8 posted by museman on June 14, 2009 at 11:20:47 PT

It was the music of the decade between 1965, and 1975, that inspired me to become a musician. I was closely tuned in, but then, I watched almost all my folk heroes -who originally inspired me, get bought and paid for by the music industry. The music went downhill at light speed. Once those starving artists got lots of money to play with, they traded their inspiration for the pleasures of sex and drugs, and all the other plastic fantastic unreal articles of materialism that money can buy.I can think of only one American band that stayed true, and you mentioned them (although Crosby's coke habit nearly ruined that.)Watching the demise of the music coincide with the sell out of my entire generation (more than 85%), it was easy for me to begin to connect the dots.It was somewhere around here that I knew I had no chance at 'success' by the standards of the music industry's sellout, watered down productions, and I accepted that my motivations for being an artist had absolutely nothing to do with material success, because the Staus Quo was not about to embrace that which they had taken so much pains to throw out; Truth in music.Not that many great songs haven't come to us since then, from newly inspired artists, but then as soon as they become 'famous' the fat cat in the limo 'offers them a cigar' and says "Boy you'll go far!" and then their inspiration goes away.The Muse has no need for fame, glory, or money, and those who are motivated by those criteria will never have the Muse. Money, fame, and glory may come to those who are sincere, and it won't effect their inspiration much, witness Mr. Young, but that is a rare occurence, testifying to the greatness of the person, and their true motives.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 10:50:11 PT

Somewhere I also tuned out. I guess songs like CSNY wrote were the best for me. When music seemed to move further away from being heartfelt I lost interest. We were listening to CSNY Deja Vu this morning. It's still a great album.
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Comment #6 posted by museman on June 14, 2009 at 10:03:19 PT

does a washed up, has-been, (never was) wanna-be something go when he can't buy popularity any more?Why to Texas, on a ranch, to get paid as some kind of 'authority' because he has a recognizable name-barely.This man may have been a musician, who cashed in on a generational movement, but from my prepective as a musician/songwriter/'hippie' he was never anything worth listening too. I can't tell you that I ever listened to a single song all the way through. I can tell you that he was one of the reasons I stopped listening to music on the radio in about 1975.Ted is the epitomy of a 'made man.' By virtue of his money backing (and not talent) he was raised to the top forty in the pop music industry. He never had anything to say worth a damn, but because he had fame and money, he automatically becomes some kind of 'authority' and his shallow 'wit' gets preference for publishing.I think Texas should secede. Lately, other than Hope, and a couple of friends of mine, I see very little worthy of the former 'greatness' and Bigness that has been associated with the repugnant (as in Red, republican) state coming out of it.Next thing you know, ol Chuck Norris will complain that he didn't get picked for a spot in Obamas cabinet -because of his long experience in 'law enforcement.'I have only one more thing to say about people like this, and I quote my only recognized Authority; 
"So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth."Goodbye all you useless dross people, your time has come-whether you accept or deny, it matters not.FREE THE HERB 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 08:31:35 PT

We're just nice people. I don't think he is. LOL!
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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on June 14, 2009 at 08:27:36 PT

It's good that we're nicer to him
than he is to us and all of the other animals. LOLThe Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 08:20:38 PT

He is difficult to handle. 
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on June 14, 2009 at 08:13:41 PT

Nugent is a disgrace
He says "Hippies, dopeheads, corrupt politicos and various forms of human debris hate me, making me the perfect for the job."What an arrogant piece of animal excrement!Those "hippies and dopeheads" you speak of with such utter disdain accurately describes MILLIONS OF YOUR FANS, you ignorant fool!Many, like myself, wish we could take back any money we've ever put in your pocket.Ugh!!!!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 14, 2009 at 05:23:32 PT

Ted Nugent: We Could Be Winning War on Drugs
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