Protesters Want Pot Legal

  Protesters Want Pot Legal

Posted by CN Staff on May 09, 2005 at 13:01:03 PT
By Thomasi McDonald, Staff Writer 
Source: News & Observer 

North Carolina -- Manning Kimmel, a bulky 27-year-old warehouse worker, slouched up to a microphone shortly after the annual marijuana march began around noon saturday on the capitol lawn. -- "You know what's funny?" Kimmel asked the crowd gathered on the lawn. "I can go to the liquor store and buy a big old bottle of Everclear, drink it all and die. But I can't smoke one joint."For the past four years, the Raleigh-based N.C. Cannabis Association has sponsored the rally and march. Other organizations in attendance at Saturday's event, which drew about 75 people at one point, included Americans For Safe Access, which advocates the medical use of the drug.
"We are here to promote decriminalization and legalization," said Jeff Badalucco, parade organizer and head of the cannabis association.More than a dozen bands were scheduled to perform at the event, which also featured speakers and a brief study on counterculture, as people sporting tie-dyed T-shirts, posters and garlands of plastic cannabis leaves greeted motorists along Morgan and Salisbury streets. About a half-dozen motorcycle officers with the Raleigh Police Department and half that number of State Capitol police monitored the rally. No lime-green buds of marijuana, water bongs or rolling papers were evident at the rally. Plainly in evidence however, was the passion supporters have for the medical use of the drug.For Safe Access Now, which claims endorsements from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Lymphoma Foundation of America and the N.C. Nurse's Association, the medical use of marijuana is vital.Ken Locke, the North Carolina spokesman for Safe Access Now and a 39-year-old landscaper who lives in the western part of the state, said he attended the parade to "share medical testimony."On Nov. 13, 2001, Locke was cutting trees in Highlands."See this tree limb here?" he asked, pointing to a smooth branch in front of his information table. "It fell and hit me right here," Locke said as he pointed to his forehead. "The force of it blew my skull out."Locke's doctor prescribed Oxycontin for pain and Dilantin for seizures after the accident. The drugs helped. But Locke said the medicine nauseated him. He lost weight and endured seizures.Locke finally told his doctor he wanted to try marijuana after reading up on the medical benefits of the drug. "He basically told me his hands were tied," said Locke, who nevertheless dumped the pills in favor of cannabis."I have not had a seizure in two years, six weeks and three days as of today," Locke said.The medical establishment isn't sold yet.In 2001 during an annual meeting, the American Medical Asociation rejected a report urging the compassionate use of marijuana for cancer patients and others. However, the organization adopted a position supporting continued research of medical marijuana. The AMA also stated that doctors and patients should not be punished for discussing the treatment optionDianne Davis, the South Carolina representative of Safe Access Now, suffers from multiple sclerosis. She started using medical marijuana in 1998."I was diagnosed in 1996. I lost the use of my right hand and my right shoulder," said Davis, 38, who attended the parade with her husband, Eddie."I heard about medical marijuana in an MS Foundation brochure," Davis said. "I decided to try it and I haven't lost the function of my body in seven years."Davis' use of the drug had unforeseen consequences. The Department of Social Services in her hometown of Walhalla, S.C., took the couple's children after learning about her illegal treatment."Eddie's ex-wife decided to turn us in to DSS," Davis said. "I see them every Sunday, but I'm not allowed to take them to my home."Note: March at Capitol promotes medical uses for marijuana.Source: News & Observer (NC)Author: Thomasi McDonald, Staff WriterPublished: May 8, 2005Copyright: 2005 The News and Observer Publishing CompanyContact: forum nando.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #1 posted by eco-man on May 09, 2005 at 18:10:35 PT
News & Observer article URL. Plus MMM links.
While the URL lasts: media coverage links compiled by F0M here: MMM reports Yahoo Group. Public messages archive: 2005 posters, flyers, banners, and event photos: and
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