Marijuana as Medicine
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Marijuana as Medicine
Posted by CN Staff on August 18, 2011 at 20:42:54 PT
Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore, M.D. -- A panel that met Wednesday to explore whether Maryland should modify its marijuana laws may have come up with the most practical proposal yet to allow the medical use of marijuana by people suffering from chronic pain or illness, while discouraging the abuses that have plagued other states' efforts to legalize the drug. The plan, which involves giving schools and hospitals the lead role in administering the drug, appears to offer the best chance yet of passing both legal and medical muster.
Maryland's current approach to the medical use of marijuana is decidedly ambivalent. In 2003, the state legislature sharply reduced the penalties for patients convicted of possession of small amounts of the drug if they could prove a "medical necessity" in court. But the law still made possession of the drug a crime that left patients with a conviction on their records  and it made judges, rather than doctors, the ultimate arbiters of what is medically necessary. Most vexing of all, the law made no provision for people to buy the drug legally; as a result, even people who claimed a medical necessity had to break the law every time they purchased it.This year, the state Senate passed a bill that would have allowed doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to some patients. It also established the framework for a strictly regulated network of state-sanctioned dispensaries and marijuana growers to supply the drug. But the effort stalled in the House of Delegates, largely because of questions raised by Maryland Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein, who cited the lack of scientific consensus over the potential risks and benefits of medical marijuana. The proposal was also opposed by law enforcement organizations on the grounds it would be too difficult to limit marijuana use to medical patients. Dr. Sharfstein has been working with the state panel that came up with this week's proposal, which would put academic centers such as the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland in charge of administering the state's medical marijuana program and assessing its potential risks and benefits. This is an eminently reasonable approach that balances caution with the desire to help people who are suffering. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting marijuana can help these patients, the state shouldn't embark on a major shift in drug policy unless it has a firm scientific foundation to stand on.Maryland's highly regarded medical schools and teaching hospitals offer ideal laboratories for researchers to gather and analyze the data needed to either confirm or disprove marijuana's therapeutic effects. That's the only way to know for certain whether medical marijuana, which is already legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia, is effective as well as safe for patients to use. No one wants to repeat the experience of California, whose 1996 law legalizing medical marijuana led to a tsunami of neighborhood pot shops and physicians of questionable integrity who seemed all too eager to prescribe cannabis on the flimsiest of pretexts.But neither should anyone have to risk jail and a criminal record for seeking relief for the kind of serious pain that cancer patients and other victims of debilitating disorders often endure. The state already allows doctors to prescribe opiates and other far more powerful medications to control the effects of such illnesses. If marijuana, administered under the supervision of medical professionals and with appropriate safeguards as to quality and content, can help make the lives of such people more comfortable and secure, the state should do whatever is necessary to make it available.Our view: A proposal to allow medical schools and hospitals to administer Maryland's medical marijuana program holds out the prospect of a safe, practical way to help patients cope with severe pain or illness.Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)Published: August 18, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Baltimore SunContact: letters baltsun.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Storm Crow on August 19, 2011 at 23:34:31 PT:
The NEW and BIGGER Granny's List!
Got it up at .  Still needs just a tad of prettying-up... will start sending it out later this week! Joseph and runruff, thank you for your kind words! My little brother always said, if I put my mind to it, I could rule the world (no thanks!)- I HAVE decided to CHANGE it, though! lol And EVERYONE- take your OMEGA 3! You'll see why after you read this year's intro to the List! Love you all! - Granny 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on August 19, 2011 at 10:38:52 PT
Comment 4 Vincent
Indeed. Sounds a lot better than the Mexican cartels doing the supplying. 
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on August 19, 2011 at 08:39:10 PT
"The proposal was also opposed by law enforcement organizations on the grounds it would be too difficult to limit marijuana use to medical patients."Solution: Stop fighting it!Oh, but that would cut into the law enforcement budget, paid overtime for court appearances, and the ever so lucrative confiscation of property racket.Some Eastern prohibitionists are so determined to narrowly restrict the use of the wonder herb.
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Comment #4 posted by Vincent on August 19, 2011 at 08:20:12 PT:
What do they mean by "nobody"...?
What do they mean by:"No one wants to repeat the experience of California, whose 1996 law legalizing medical marijuana led to a tsunami of neighborhood pot shops".I sure do!
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on August 19, 2011 at 08:15:07 PT
.."unless it has a firm scientific foundation"
Okay, here's some science .......... tired of the editorials speaking with such certainty, while obviously not having done their homework. It's like denying gravity as you fall out of a
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on August 19, 2011 at 06:48:31 PT
Granny Storm Crow's List:
This list will someday badly damage the crooked pill pushers. History reads in a chapter or two but in real time history takes a long time to be made. The Revolutionary war started in 1765-1782 but we only think about 1776. When historians read about this era, 40 years of WoD will whizz by in a chapter or so. History takes time to be made so watch the decline of these mega-corps as they sink in slow motion. In the long run someone Like Granny will be seen as a major game changer in retrospection whereas she will get little or no credit at this time.
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Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on August 19, 2011 at 06:34:58 PT
I want to share these...
These are from Granny Storm Crow's List: Peer Reviewed Research ALS and Cannabis Marijuana Use and AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME's and Medical Marijuana Properties of Cannabis cannabinoids could only make it through the A's so far!
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