Medical Marijuana Testimony Worth Hearing
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Medical Marijuana Testimony Worth Hearing
Posted by CN Staff on December 06, 2009 at 06:21:33 PT
Source: Delaware County Daily Times 
Pennsylvania -- The debate over legalizing marijuana as a medicine arrived in Pennsylvania last Wednesday. The House Committee on Health and Human Services heard testimony from patients, doctors and members of advocacy groups who say medical marijuana should be legal because it is effective in treating chronic pain, nausea and other ailments.Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, sponsored the bill, which would allow the state Department of Health to issue ID cards to patients who have been diagnosed by a physician with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer or HIV, and whose physician recommended the use of marijuana. The department would establish or license dispensaries to grow and distribute marijuana.
Committee Chairman Frank Oliver, D-Philadelphia, plans more hearings on the bill before a vote is taken, but Attorney General Tom Corbett and the Senate’s Republican majority have already lined up against the bill.Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, said the chamber’s GOP members have no plans to consider such a bill, even if it were to pass the Democratic-controlled House.Maybe Sen. Pileggi and his GOP friends and soon-to-be-running for higher office Tom Corbett should listen to some of the testimony before they decide how to vote or when to voice their opinion.Testimony lasted three hours in Harrisburg, with an HIV patient telling the committee marijuana is the only thing that relieves his pain, while another man said he watched his mother smoke marijuana to ease the pain of her terminal breast cancer.While 13 states already allow the medical use of marijuana without penalty, relying on a doctor’s recommendation, others considering implementing the drug include New Jersey and Wisconsin.During testimony to the Legislature in Wisconsin, a woman said her three-year ordeal of hardly being able to move ended when she threw away 25 different pills prescribed for her chronic condition and began using marijuana.Testifying in Harrisburg against the use of medical marijuana was a woman whose daughter died of a heroin overdose. The mother blamed marijuana for leading her daughter down the path to drug addiction.There is no argument some drug addicts began their lethal habits with marijuana. There is also no argument that many others have smoked the Cannabis sativa plant and not gone on to addiction. Just as many alcoholics started with one beer, many people continue to drink beer with no need to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.It is amazing how years of indoctrination lead people to believe that a plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years is more dangerous than the chemically manufactured pills making drug companies rich.One pill deemed safe by the FDA and, apparently, not causing alarm among Pennsylvania’s GOP senators or Tom Corbett, is OxyContin.OxyContin is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers. The extended-release form of the medication is for around-the-clock treatment of pain.The Daily Times ran at least 72 stories in the last seven years about OxyContin. They ranged from the death of a 14-month-old boy who ingested its tablets to the arrest of a man for illegally distributing OxyContin and other pain medications over a three-year period to prescription drug addicts. Yet, no one is carrying signs warning about the dangers associated with pharmaceutically supplied pain medications.Medical marijuana patients do not need to “smoke” the medication, there are other forms in which it can be dispensed.No one has ever overdosed on marijuana, but many have overdosed on the medications marijuana would replace.Medical experts think this naturally grown substance can help people suffering from pain. Shouldn’t legislators listen to doctors when deciding what is in the best interests of patients suffering from chronic pain?Source: Delaware County Daily Times (PA)Published: Sunday, December 6, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Daily TimesContact: newsroom delcotimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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