MMJ: State Should Move Beyond Drug's Stereotype
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MMJ: State Should Move Beyond Drug's Stereotype
Posted by CN Staff on December 08, 2009 at 14:59:50 PT
By Patriot-News Editorial Board
Source: Patriot-News
Pennsylvania -- The good news is that Pennsylvania finally is having a discussion about medical marijuana.Last week the House Health and Human Services Committee heard from patients, doctors and advocates who said the state should legalize the use of medical marijuana for those suffering debilitating medical conditions. Now the bad news: In our socially conservative state this is likely as far as the debate will go on the issue.
House Democratic leaders, who control legislation in that chamber, say it is not a priority and Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland County, who chairs the Public Health and Welfare Committee, where the measure might be assigned if it makes its way to the Senate, said she is “not prone to move the bill.”Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is running for governor, also opposes the idea.This hard stance on the issue is wrong.Lawmakers owe it to the many Pennsylvanians living with pain related to cancer, HIV/AIDS and other serious maladies to further consider House Bill 1393.For his part, the governor has said he would sign a carefully crafted medical marijuana bill.The legislation sponsored by Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, calls for the state Health Department to issue ID cards to patients diagnosed with serious medical conditions after a physician has recommended the use of marijuana.Licensed dispensaries would grow marijuana and distribute it.During testimony last week, people talked about how marijuana can replace pain killers that have serious complications. While there is concern about marijuana use, we don’t need to look far to see how people’s lives have been destroyed by drugs such as percocet and vicodin.But others told tales about how marijuana can become a gateway drug. One mother testified her daughter’s use of marijuana led to her eventual overdose on heroin.There is no doubt that casual use of marijuana can lead down the pathway to harder drug use.But that is not what we are talking about here. The proposal only provides marijuana to those who are seriously ill and struggling with severe pain or nausea brought on by chemotherapy.People in general and politicians in particular need to throw away their old ideas about marijuana — that it is merely a forbidden drug. Afterall, it has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years worldwide.Fortunately the notion of medical marijuana is slowly taking hold in the United States. President Obama said this year federal agents won’t come down on states that allow its use. So far 13 states have OK’d medical marijuana laws and at least two others — New Jersey and Wisconsin — are considering its approval.Pennsylvania lawmakers should move forward with legalizing medical marijuana for those who are seriously ill.This is not about the state promoting “illegal” drugs but about giving relief to many who are suffering.Source: Patriot-News, The (PA)Published: December 08, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Patriot-NewsURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on December 10, 2009 at 20:41:07 PT
Speaking of Candidates for Governor...
Has anyone heard any news about John Cherry, running for Michigan Governor? It is important to know his stance on Medical Cannabis, considering the citizen's initiative that legalized medical cannabis just last year. We want a Governor who will respect the will of Michigan's voters on our issue. fight_for_freedom, ekim, anyone have info about John Cherry?
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Comment #4 posted by mrbingbang on December 09, 2009 at 10:31:22 PT:
Those "Gateways"...
The anecdote of the woman who eventually lost her daughter to a heroin overdose is tragic. To blame that on marijuana, and then try to use that heroin mishap to hamstring the movement to legalize Medical Cannabis is a bizarre distortion.  It's sad that so many people are so easily distracted - that these manipulations actually have an effect on public perceptions. More stupid Jedi mind tricks! Don't be duped! Any thoughtful person would have to wonder about all of the circumstances surrounding the victim's life and death. What WAS her life like? What truths is her mother unwilling to face about the life and loss of her daughter? "Gateway Drugs"... What an idiotic concept! Why aren't beer and cigarettes hammered as "Gateway Drugs"? What about sugar? It might lead to high fructose corn syrup use. Why isn't Walt Disney considered a "Gateway Drug"? Think of all the delusions and broken hearts that man is responsible for!
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on December 09, 2009 at 05:15:28 PT:
Thanks, StormCrow
The latter study validated what I had suspected all along. It's no accident that in previous centuries physicians used to prescribe cannabis to alcoholics and opiate drug habitues to wean them off their particular addictions. They could see from their own observations just how effective such treatments were. It should be noted that, just as with all other studies into the medicinal properties of plants, such observations were through trial-and-error carried out over decades, in true scientific fashion, not based upon anecdotes. This only bolsters the contention that the whole cannabis plant has greater - and wider!- medicinal applications that any sub-component of it ever could. 
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Comment #2 posted by Storm Crow on December 08, 2009 at 23:43:17 PT
Kapt- you're going to dig these!
Study of 4000 indicates marijuana discourages use of hard drugs. Ingredient In Cannabis Eliminates Morphine Dependence In Rats's a few more articles on these same two studies in my "Granny Storm Crow's list" if you want more info on them. (I just picked the two with the shortest URLs.) 
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on December 08, 2009 at 17:21:33 PT:
What was that about 'stereotypes'?
"There is no doubt that casual use of marijuana can lead down the pathway to harder drug use."Oh, really? That's not what the 1999 Institute of Medicine study said:, I am getting really tired of this BS...
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