The Need for Medical Marijuana is Real & Immediate
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The Need for Medical Marijuana is Real & Immediate
Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2010 at 08:14:50 PT
By Laird Funk
Source: Mail Tribune
Oregon -- The results are in! The Oregon newspaper ranking of conditions qualifying for an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card clearly puts glaucoma ahead of severe pain as an honorable disease to have.After all, who wouldn't feel sorry for persons slowly losing vision and even allow them to use marijuana as "medicine" to treat it? Newspaper editors can stand a few hundred "patients" using marijuana "medicine" but not the thousands who have qualified with less honorable and sympathetic reasons, like severe pain.
Newspapers across the state agree, if thousands of Oregonians say they have severe pain, and want to treat it with marijuana, they must be faking it. The number alone shows that to medical marijuana supporters it is all just a "charade" meant as a back door to marijuana legalization.That is the gist of the two recent editorials, one from The Oregonian, commenting on medical marijuana and its supporters. This paper challenges medical marijuana supporters to swear that no cardholders are accessing marijuana improperly, apparently holding that if there is one such person, the whole program is bogus. Does its concern for propriety extend to those thousands of people who doctor shop for multiple prescriptions of their truly addictive drugs?The Oregonian, apparently thinking it scandalous, claims that "anyone" over 18 can get a card. Actually, there is no age limit (just as there is no age limit on cancer victims), but the "note" from the doctor requires first that there be medical records of recent vintage which clearly show the existence of a qualifying disease or medical condition.The nonprofit groups running clinics all require existing medical records. None of them make an initial diagnosis for any patient, but only verify the records showing the condition. Ask the reporter from a neighboring newspaper who tried three times to get a card at clinics and was unsuccessful, no matter how sad his tale or how much money was offered. No records, no appointment, no card.Both papers seem to believe that the only proper use of marijuana medically is for "terminal illnesses" or conditions "unresponsive" to other medications. That view reflects an extraordinary degree of ignorance regarding the outstanding utility of marijuana to treat a myriad of illnesses and medical conditions.It is one thing to be ignorant, it is another thing entirely to willfully remain so. If anyone wishes to comment coherently on the medical uses of marijuana, it would behoove them to review the rapidly expanding body of research on such uses, uses ranging from actual curing of cancer to the best treatment yet for PTSD. In the treatment of many conditions, marijuana replaces a host of "conventional medications" and has none of the debilitating side affects of the drugs it replaces.It is not only ignorance, however, which causes the Oregonian to state and the Mail Tribune to imply that medical marijuana is just a "charade" to legalize marijuana by the "back door." To hold that position requires a deep-seated, gratuitous cynicism regarding medical marijuana and those who would support it.As the author of Oregon's first medical marijuana bill in 1993, I reject that view because I know what started the work on medical marijuana. It was the realization that among those who were working for legalization were many who were sick and dying from lack of a proper medicine for their conditions, marijuana. As I lost colleagues over the years I decided that, logical though legalization was, those folks could not wait, they needed help immediately  thus, the words which would later become the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act were born.If Oregonians were ready to adopt legalization, there would be such a measure on the ballot, but they are not. But that should never mean that sick Oregonians should be denied access to the medicine they need while society cogitates.It is wonderful that such a powerful, yet safe medicine like marijuana can be grown by or for those who need it. But some people have such "black thumbs" that they could not grow mold on bread and some of them need marijuana. Some folks know no one who can grow for them or need medicine immediately. That is why Measure 74 is so important.But, Measure 74 is not legalization. Measure 74 is a safe, regulated, nonprofit-based, revenue-creating, compassionate response to Oregonians' increasing need. Legalization may come. The need for Measure 74 is here now.Laird Funk of Williams has worked on marijuana reform efforts since 1984.Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)Author: Laird FunkPublished: August 13, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Mail TribuneContact: letters mailtribune.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on August 13, 2010 at 10:09:47 PT
unjust laws
Don't forget Martin Luther King - he said that we have an OBLIGATION to disobey unjust laws!What a great write-up by this author.  I'm also sick of the usual propaganda repeated again and again by the media about the "charade", even as evidence piles up of cannabis curing cancer and so many other diseases
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on August 13, 2010 at 09:54:36 PT
...back door to marijuana legalization.
Any door to freedom I say! I resent anyone one who would expect me to appogize or alter my behaviour to suit them!I will go against authority, even the law, if it is unjust. Laws without justice is not law!
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