Revise of Marijuana Law Up for Vote in November
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Revise of Marijuana Law Up for Vote in November
Posted by CN Staff on September 21, 2009 at 04:50:31 PT
By Susan M. Cover, Staff Writer
Source: Morning Sentinel 
Augusta, Maine --  The leader of a group hoping to expand the state's medical-marijuana law says while he's prepared for a campaign on Question 5, he doesn't anticipate much opposition.Jonathan Leavitt, who leads Maine Citizens for Patients Rights, said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and a new administration in Washington have made medical marijuana -- and dispensaries created to distribute it -- less controversial. "Our polling indicates this is not a controversial issue anymore," he said.
Leavitt's group gathered the signatures necessary to put a ballot question before voters on Nov. 3 that adds to the number of conditions for which a physician can prescribe marijuana and allows the creation of nonprofit dispensaries.The proposal expands the action taken by Maine voters in 1999 to allow the use of medical marijuana. Current law allows those with a prescription to grow up to six plants, but Leavitt has said the reality is most people buy it on the black market."Our job here is to make a law already on the books actually function for patients," Leavitt said. "This is about making sure people have their medicine."To date, there's no organized opposition to Question 5, yet two top state officials -- one in law enforcement and the other in health -- offered warnings against the ballot question.Roy McKinney, head of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, said as a public official he could not get involved in the campaign. But he restated his belief, originally shared with state lawmakers, that dispensaries would lead to misuse and could increase crimes such as robberies and loitering. "We were looking at the public safety ramifications of having legalized dispensaries of marijuana, regardless of what the underlying issue is," he said.The citizen initiative calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the dispensaries, which would be required to pay a $5,000 fee to the department, as well as comply with other regulations regarding who may work in a dispensary.Also, the bill states that dispensaries cannot be located within 500 feet of a public or private school and that "cultivation of marijuana must take place in an enclosed, locked facility."Dispensaries would be permitted to issue no more than 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana to a qualifying patient, or his or her primary caregiver, every 15 days.Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said she opposes the ballot question for several reasons."There are no valid studies that show marijuana effectively treats the many conditions most proponents purport," she said.Mills said there are prescriptions available that are more effective and don't come with side effects associated with smoking. She also has concerns about making the drug more readily available -- fearing it will end up in the hands of teenagers -- and that marijuana continues to be illegal on the federal level. "It's illegal for a reason, because we know there are effective, safe prescription medications that treat these conditions," she said.The bill defines the conditions for which a doctor can prescribe marijuana. The list includes cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other conditions that produce pain that has not responded to other treatments for more than six months.Maine is one of 13 states to allow the use of medical marijuana. If Question 5 passes, Maine would be the fifth state to permit dispensaries.And while marijuana is illegal on the federal level, the U.S. Supreme Court in May dismissed claims filed by two California counties that argued the state's medical-marijuana law should be thrown out because it conflicts with federal law.Also in March, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he would not continue the Bush-era practice of raiding medical-marijuana dispensaries, according to the New York Times.Unlike other, more high-profile ballot questions Maine voters will face in November, only Leavitt's group has registered to raise and spend money on Question 5, according to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.So far this year, Maine Citizens for Patients Rights has raised $20,000. The most recent campaign reports filed in July showed a $5,000 contribution from the Drug Policy Alliance of New York.By contrast, there are 15 groups raising and spending money on Question 1, a proposed repeal of the state's gay-marriage law. And the two tax issues, Question 2 and Question 4, each have seven groups involved in the campaign, according to the commission.Totals raised and spent on all the campaigns will be updated in mid-October, the next filing deadline for political action committees."We are fully prepared for the campaign, and anticipate we'll have all the resources necessary to win," Leavitt said.Source: Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME)Author: Susan M. Cover, Staff WriterPublished: September 21, 2009Copyright: 2009 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.Contact: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by dongenero on September 21, 2009 at 12:02:41 PT
doctors and political ideology
As often happens with doctors who enter governmental medical organizations, they end up facing a dilemma between their Hippocratic Oath or hypocritical, political ideology.It's a loss for everyone when hypocrisy and political falsehoods take precedent over ethics and truth.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on September 21, 2009 at 11:34:03 PT
What I mean when I say society is the people who try to stop adults. The one's that are from Drug Free America. The ones that fight us to keep adult use illegal basically.
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Comment #10 posted by museman on September 21, 2009 at 11:26:10 PT
"Parents can teach their children however they want but in general society frowns on underage substance use of any kind."And just who is this 'society' you're talking about? Just for the record, I don't think like, or agree with that 'society' in very many ways, and from where I sit global criminality isn't justified in any way.As far as children are concerned, that is what 'God' created the family for, not the government. The US Government is not my Big Brother, even if they pass laws unto the next millennium to force it upon me and my descendants.The fact that the 'society' has created a great dysfunctional family dependancy (addiction) to the 'ways and means' in this country surely doesn't justify their 'demands' upon how we raise our children. And if I choose to give some cannabis tincture to one of my kids to help them sleep, just because this country's 'education' system has produced a lot of ignorant people doesn't mean that I am ignorant of both the 'dos and don'ts' of cannabis, and there is no good reason under the sun, except for power and money that I shouldn't be able to medicate my kids should I choose to do so.Do I want to see youth abusing anything? No way. But I guarantee that I have convinced more youth to not do drugs, and not to abuse the herb, than any cop, judge, lawyer, or politician in existence, because i have no reason to lie or deceive, contrary to just about every aspect of current 'society.'If the parents weren't so busy chasing after the illusionary 'american dream' or just survival in a country that hoards 75% of the world wealth for 3% of the ultra elite, they might have time to spend raising their kids unstead of allowing the state (society) to do it.All this is part of the compromise with basic natural truths that has led to the destruction of the family, the ecosphere, and most of what makes life worth living. It is a part of the deception, not the truth.Yes there are uninformed, ignorant people out there who abuse many things. There are products of this 'society' that are violent, evil, and should be restrained somehow, but unfortunately the majority of these real criminals are appearing in public with the endorsement of this 'society' evident in the worship given to their token of power; money.They talk about worrying about 'the children' when their only real fear is that they will loose control over them. The fact that as soon as they are no longer children they are just statistical strawmen in the many economical 'legal' schemes of a corrupt SOCIETY seems to escape peoples notice.But FoM, I am not advocating a free-for-all of youthful indulgence (though I have no reason to believe that teenagers will ever not experiment with whatever is available) but advocating Parental Responsibility ABOVE AND BEYOND THE GOVERNMENT.REPEAL PROHIBITION
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on September 21, 2009 at 11:21:32 PT
good movie
saw a great movie on cable last night "September Dawn". It was clearly done as a way to strike back at the Mormons after Prop 8 in Cali. highly recommend this movie!The movie shows how the Mormons were basically homegrown fundamentalist terrorists in the 1800's, they massacred 160 settlers just for passing through their land on the way to Cali. At one point there's this woman among the settlers who's a tough frontier woman - she wore pants and carried a gun. For this, the Mormon bishops hated her and caller her "an abomination".I thought the term was particularly fitting for Ms. Mills as well.
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on September 21, 2009 at 11:17:23 PT
I used to think that all the complaining about racism in the US was overblown, but as I've gotten older I understand that racism is at the root of many bad policies here.Racism is the reason for loitering and "public nuisance" laws, disorderly conduct, blocking the sidewalk, etc, etc.Back in the 1960s everyone got angry about the Jim Crow laws and the South was forced to repeal them. Of course govt. does what it does best and just waited to things to die down. Then the last 30 years have been a constant expansion of Jim Crow laws written 9 ways to Sunday. The entire WOD was started to avenge the loss of Jim Crow.But you'd never know from public schools! Oh no, in public school's version the evil racism stopped in the 60's with the repeal of Jim Crow. This CDC woman is an abomination. She pretends her life's work is about curing disease but here she is actively campaigning to take critical medicine away from thousands of her sick and dying neighbors.
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Comment #7 posted by Storm Crow on September 21, 2009 at 10:20:22 PT
For those of you..... 
Who would like to "enlighten" Dr. Dora on the many valid medical uses of cannabis, you can get a free copy of Granny Storm Crow's list" to forward to her by sending an email to i.wantgrannyslist(at) . It would be lovely to have her flooded with copies of it! Here's her address- 	Dr. Dora Mills, MD, MPH
Director, Maine CDC
Maine Dept. of Health
11 SHS, 286 Water Street
Augusta, ME, 04333-0011
Phone: 207-287-3270
Fax: 207-287-9058
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on September 21, 2009 at 09:41:10 PT
"dispensaries would lead to misuse and could increase crimes such as robberies and loitering"Now there is a crime if I've ever seen one, LOITERING! I was blightfully unaware what 'loitering' was until I spent time in the USA! The concept of 'loitering' and its criminality had escaped me wholly, while living in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Russia, Morocco, Italy, and many other countries I spent time in, living or traveling.I would contend that the law against 'loitering' is rooted in fascism and bigotry. It is a very useful tool, it's like prohibition without the substance, instead you are criminalized for being! What is the judicial meaning and reason for this?We need to get rid of all the fascist laws!
Legalize All Drugs!
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Comment #5 posted by dongenero on September 21, 2009 at 08:48:55 PT
Dr. Dora Anne Mills - real doctor????
"There are no valid studies that show marijuana effectively treats the many conditions most proponents purport," she said.Wow! What an outright lie! By a supposedly active doctor in the medical profession? It's either an outright lie or this doctor has revealed an egregious lack of continuing education. There should be some standards of continuing education for maintaining a license to practice medicine as there should be some standard of honesty for physicians. One way or the other, this doctor has missed the mark. There is absolutely no excuse for a doctor not being up to date on the last several decades of medical advances.Dr Dora Anne Mills should see Storm Crow's compilation of "invalid" cannabis research.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 21, 2009 at 08:36:14 PT
As a woman I will mention how I see underage children using cannabis. Prohibitionist have fought us using what about the children to get a foothold in our issue. I do not want children to drink since it should be an adult decision. Parents can teach their children however they want but in general society frowns on underage substance use of any kind. My mission is to work for the rights of responsible adults. 
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Comment #3 posted by museman on September 21, 2009 at 08:26:59 PT
No worries, there must be some functioning brain cells for cannabis to work, I don't think prohibitionists/alcoholics have enough to qualify.Couldn't hurt if they did though, some latent intelligence might resurface.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on September 21, 2009 at 07:45:19 PT
Oh my... Runruff
We need to keep cannabis out of the hands of prohibitionists. They might start thinking of new ways to tweak up the power and chains of prohibition more than they already do!
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on September 21, 2009 at 07:40:12 PT
Auntie Dora or Doctor Mills????
"She also has concerns about making the drug more readily available -- fearing it will end up in the hands of teenagers..."-Dr. Dora Anne MillsIn most rural counties the teenagers grow and sell the good stuff. Yup, prohibition's unintended benefit is that we are creating many young farmers who may not be interested in it otherwise. Unless she is a total ignoramus, she must know this? I must suspect otherwise that she is pursuing a different path under the guise of, "caring for the children". She should, instead of voicing her inane concerns, ask the "children' to kick down some stash for the sick folks!Cannabis does not interfere with learning, personal drive, etc. Cannabis will most likely enhance your own personal mindset, whatever that may be!
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