Debating Medical Marijuana
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Debating Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2009 at 07:03:13 PT
By Brian Morelli, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Source: Press-Citizen
Iowa -- A lawsuit, a piece of legislation and a series of hearings in front of Iowa's drug board have heated up the debate about the possibility of Iowa becoming the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. One of the top proponents is Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City.Sitting in an eatery Tuesday in downtown Iowa City, Bolkcom flipped though a stack of e-mails. One was from a 58-year-old man with multiple sclerosis who is wheelchair bound; another was a 29-year-old receiving dialysis for kidney failure who experiences steady pain and no appetite. 
Another was from a 42-year-old woman with four kids who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has been legally disabled for two and a half years."I have tried over 36 drugs in the last four years to find something that would help me function. ... Marijuana is my only hope for good days," wrote a woman who signed the letter Lisa."It's just on and on," Bolkcom said. "I was taken aback by the chronic pain people are dealing with, and they have taken every narcotic man has made with no relief and major side effects. But everyone is in fear of the law."Bolkcom has received more than 80 e-mail testimonials since he introduced medical marijuana legislation -- Senate File 293 -- in March.Bolkcom has introduced similar legislation over the years. He knows it's a longshot to pass the bill in the upcoming legislative session, but the issue is getting more attention this year than in the past.The public discussion is important for educating the public and elected officials, he said, and it is a good opportunity for average citizens to speak up.The Iowa Board of Pharmacy is holding a series of public hearings, beginning Wednesday in Des Moines, to receive evidence and testimony regarding the pros and cons of medical marijuana from a scientific, medical and legal perspective.The board will be in Iowa City on Oct. 7 at the Bowen Science Building on the University of Iowa campus. The public is invited to attend these meetings."At the end of this, the board will be taking a look at all of the information that has been provided and what substances should be classified as controlled substances in each of the classes. Then the board will make recommendations to Legislature," said Terry Witkowski, Executive Officer of the pharmacy board. Snipped    Complete Article: Iowa City Press-Citizen (IA)Author: Brian Morelli, Iowa City Press-Citizen Published: August 13, 2009Copyright: 2009 Iowa City Press-CitizenContact: opinion press-citizen.comWebsite: Articles:Time for Conversation About Medical Marijuana Pharmacy Board Rejects Medical Marijuana
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Comment #7 posted by RevRayGreen on August 13, 2009 at 20:39:27 PT
I will be there in the belly
of the real DEATH PANEL.......I've attatched a demo PSA I've developed to run on Carl's Cannabis Corner, hopefully radio.....
PSA - IOWA Board of Pharmacy Board 8/19/09
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 13, 2009 at 09:55:09 PT
I just looked and he lived until 94. May he RIP.
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Comment #5 posted by mykeyb420 on August 13, 2009 at 09:36:44 PT
off topic
Les Paul,,, guitar LEGEND ,,,died today,,so did a piece of music...
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on August 13, 2009 at 08:45:14 PT
Laura Ling on Current Channel
I saw a great piece by Laura Ling on Current Channel about the cartel violence in Mexico. is an eye opener, even when you are aware of the problems there. Amazing levels of Prohibition gang violence. We remain largely oblivious. If the violence of that level reaches here, I imagine it will be far too late to correct.It is becoming increasingly clear that prohibition of drugs in general must end. They must be legally available with controls, education, and then make it a health care issue. With cannabis, no big deal, it's safer than most anything. All the drugs need to be addressed though. This will only get worse.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on August 13, 2009 at 08:35:46 PT
Sam Adams
According to CNBC's documentary on Vioxx 120,000 died, way more than 40,000.
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Comment #2 posted by paul armentano on August 13, 2009 at 08:28:40 PT
Lifetime pot use = reduced cancer risk
Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?by Paul Armentano 35 years the federal government has been well aware – yet publicly
denied – that cannabis possesses potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor
properties. Even under the Obama administration, which promised to "base
[their] public policies on the soundest of science," the myth that pot
promotes cancer persists. In fact, the White House’s website,, presently warns, "Marijuana has the potential to
promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract."Or not.In a clinical abstract published online on journal of Cancer Prevention
Research website in July, a team of U.S. investigators reported – with
absolutely no mainstream media fanfare – that lifetime marijuana use is
associated with a "significantly reduced risk" of head and neck squamous
cell carcinoma.Investigators at Rhode Island’s Brown University, along with researchers at
Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of
Minnesota assessed the lifetime marijuana use habits of 434 cases (patients
diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma from nine medical
facilities) compared to 547 matched controls.Authors reported, "After adjusting for potential confounders (including
smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was
associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell
carcinoma (HNDCC)."Perhaps even more notably, subjects who smoked marijuana and consumed
alcohol and tobacco (two known high-risk factors for head and neck cancers)
also experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the study found."Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced
risk of HNSCC," investigators concluded. "This association was consistent
across different measures of marijuana use (marijuana use status, duration,
and frequency of use). ... Further, we observed that marijuana use modified
the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a
decreased HNSCC risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and
attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers."Of course, this isn’t the first time that U.S. investigators have documented
an inverse association between pot use and cancer. A separate 2006
population case-control study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of
Health and conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles, also
reported that lifetime use of cannabis was not positively associated with
cancers of the lung or aerodigestive tract, and further noted that certain
moderate users of the drug experienced a reduced cancer risk compared to
non-using controls.Predictably, the federal government’s goal when green-lighting the UCLA
study was to conclusively establish just the opposite result, as explained
recently by its lead researcher Dr. Donald Tashkin.In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper chain in June, Tashkin admitted
that he expected his study would find that pot was associated with
"increased health effects." Instead, he summarized, "What we found instead
was no association (between marijuana smoking and cancer) and even a
suggestion of some protective effect."Perhaps that explains why Tashkin’s study, the largest trial of its kind, is
inexplicably absent from the White House’s website.Tashkin added, "[A]t this point, I'd be in favor of (marijuana)
legalization. I wouldn't encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I
don't think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco
smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes
far more harm (than marijuana)."Indeed it does. In fact, according to the findings of a study published
online August 3 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, even moderate alcohol
consumption (defined as six drinks or less per week) is positively
associated with an elevated risk of various cancers – including stomach
cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer. The study is the second to be
published this year indicating that those who consume even minor amounts of
booze are at increased risk for cancer. In February, a British study of some
1.3 million women age 50 to 64 reported that imbibing in as little as one
alcoholic beverage per day significantly elevated females’ risk of cancer,
particularly breast cancer.For those of us who have closely studied the physiological effects of pot
and alcohol the two substances contrasting association with cancer isn’t
surprising. Ethanol, the psychoactive ingredient in booze, is converted by
the body to acetaldehyde, a known carcinogen. By contrast, the active
components in marijuana – known as cannabinoids – are relatively non-toxic
and actually mimic chemicals naturally produced by the body (so-called
endocannabinoids) that are necessary for maintaining one’s proper health.Of course, that’s hardly where the differences between marijuana and alcohol
end. As I write in my new book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving
People to Drink (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009), alcohol consumption is
toxic to cells and healthy organs, can depress the central nervous system
(inducing unconsciousness, coma, and death), and is strongly associated with
increased risks of injury and acts of violence. The use of marijuana, on the
other hand, is incapable of causing fatal overdose – cannabinoids do not act
upon the brain stem – and its use is inversely associated with aggression
and injury.Naturally, none of these differences should imply that America should return
to the days of alcohol prohibition. Rather, they should spark a long-overdue
dialogue in this country asking why our laws target and prosecute those
adults who choose to make the rational choice to relax with a substance that
is objectively safer, both to the user and to society as a whole, than
alcohol. Perhaps when the President finishes his beer, he can provide an
answer.August 12, 2009Paul Armentano [send him mail] is the deputy director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. He is also the co-author of the new book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People To Drink? (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009). NORML's 38th national conference takes place from September 24–26 in San Francisco.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on August 13, 2009 at 08:10:04 PT
cannabis and control
"At the end of this, the board will be taking a look at all of the information that has been provided and what substances should be classified as controlled substances in each of the classes. Then the board will make recommendations to Legislature," said Terry Witkowski, Executive Officer of the pharmacy board.Oh, you mean like the way you "controlled" acetaminophen for the last 50 years, handing it out like candy to anyone with a five dollar bill? How many thousands of bodies are stacked up from liver failure around the country? Your "control" was so excellent that the government had to step in and force you to stop pushing the toxic acetaminophen. Did a great job with Vioxx too! Only 40,000 dead, not bad!!! 
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