Medical Marijuana is Nothing To Huff & Puff About

  Medical Marijuana is Nothing To Huff & Puff About

Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2006 at 10:37:28 PT
By Sebastian Meyer 
Source: The Oracle  

Florida -- Since President Richard Nixon declared an "all-out offensive" to curb the use of illegal drugs in the United States, the War on Drugs has mostly failed. Even though drug busts seem to be getting bigger each year, few today would agree that drug use is "America's public enemy No. 1," a statement Nixon made in 1971.However, vilification of even the most harmless drugs, including marijuana, was quite effective and has lead to marijuana also being withheld from medical uses that would benefit patients. It also has made an objective debate about legalization almost impossible.
While many states have passed laws that make marijuana accessible to those carrying a prescription, the federal government continues to stonewall, stubbornly sticking to its story: Pot is bad. Period.The New York Times reported Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration had issued a statement saying "no sound scientific studies" supported the medical use of marijuana. It is hard to fathom how the FDA can make statements like this while patients in California as well as other countries such as Canada and the Netherlands give daily proof that it improves their standard of living. It is even harder to understand why the U.S. government would be so adamant about withholding drugs even from terminally ill patients. After all, even the most cold-hearted person should wonder why it is acceptable to literally nuke a cancer patient's body, but prescribing a plant that would readily grow in most gardens and has been used for thousands of years is deemed illegal.The reason behind this decision has to do with how drugs are classified in most countries. In the United States, the Controlled Substance Act classifies all drugs in one of five groups, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V. "Abuse" of Schedule I drugs - meaning illegal use - is penalized worse than those in the other groups. Schedule I includes not only hard drugs such as heroin that are addictive often even after their first use, but puzzlingly also marijuana, a substance that has no proven properties that cause physical addiction.Interestingly, Schedule I drugs are, by definition, drugs that do not have an "accepted medical use," while Schedule II drugs have "a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions," according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This explains why the FDA statement was made in the first place: It was an attempt to further undermine the increasing calls to reclassify marijuana. If it can't be used medically, it can't be reclassified as a Schedule II drug.This occurred last year in Great Britain. Possession of marijuana is still technically illegal there, but since marijuana has been reclassified, mere possession does not bear any actual penalty as long as it is apparent the drug is for personal use and not meant for resale.In the United States, calls for reclassification of marijuana are usually brushed aside because it would "undermine" efforts of keeping the drug off the street.It's hard to imagine any way pot could be more readily available, as even now almost anyone can procure it through the trusted "friend-of-a-friend" method. And since marijuana has been legalized in the Netherlands for years and drug use there has decreased rather than increased, that's an argument that simply won't fly.What's true, though, is the business with the drug is booming. This weekend, for example, the BBC reported lobster fishers in the Maldives stumbled upon 1.6 tons of marijuana in what is likely one of the largest, if not the largest, pot bust ever. (For the smokers among you: 1.6 metric tons is about 56,438 ounces or 1.6 million grams)Smuggling marijuana into the Maldives is punishable by death, yet someone thought the endeavor lucrative enough to risk smuggling marijuana.What is true for most markets is also true for the drug market: As long as someone is willing to buy, someone is going to find a way to supply. America's drug policy encourages dealing with the drugs by pushing its prices up to heights they would not reach otherwise.What decriminalization would almost instantly do, though, is get rid of an entire sector of organized crime that deals with the drugs. A few months after the attacks of Sept. 11, the U.S. government ran high-profile commercials during the Super Bowl that told viewers if they smoke pot, they "help the terrorists." This is only partially true. Yes, organizations often make money through drug trading to finance other ventures that could possibly also include acts of terrorism. But if pot was legalized, organized crime would no longer be the only supplier; prices - and with it profit margins - would diminish. The problem is not the sale of the drug but the legal status that makes the trade so lucrative and pushes it entirely into the black market. Maybe a group should buy a counter-spot commercial that says, "If you don't legalize it, you're helping the terrorists." Sebastian Meyer is a senior majoring in political geography and a former Oracle opinion editor. Source: The Oracle (FL Edu)Author: Sebastian MeyerPublished: April 24, 2006Copyright: 2006 University of South FloridaWebsite: oracleopinion yahoo.comRelated Articles:Government Must Legalize Marijuana Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana 

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 25, 2006 at 15:15:12 PT
Look at this comment from the rust list. I feel just like this person.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on April 25, 2006 at 11:17:36 PT
Do I hear a 10, 10, 10, 10! LOL!
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Comment #10 posted by whig on April 25, 2006 at 11:13:58 PT
Graphic for you, current approval including yesterday's CNN poll:
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 25, 2006 at 11:08:20 PT
Lyrics from 2 Songs from Living With War
Roger and Out: of Freedom:
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Comment #8 posted by lombar on April 24, 2006 at 14:06:05 PT
That's just it
When you have not a shred of faith in the government other than to maintain the skewed social system that *will* destroy the ecosphere, you tend to place it elsewhere. It may be a wake-up call for many more people. ----------------------------------------------------------Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.  
  William Pitt
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 24, 2006 at 11:38:41 PT

These have been very dark times for us. I have always found in life that it is true that it is always darkest just before dawn. Maybe the sun is starting to rise for us. Onward and upward we go!
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Comment #6 posted by lombar on April 24, 2006 at 11:35:32 PT

"This battle we are fighting recently seemed like maybe we should all quit and forget about it."That is exactly how I was feeling last week. I just resolved to continue and fight harder, despite my despair. This issue touches SO MANY others that are just as unjust. The only truly holy war is against war itself. Harmless people being imprisoned for self-medicating? That is ABSURD. Even if a person is an incorrigible addict, they really are not so much of a problem that they deserve the jack boot in their butts. It may be a subject that has caused me a great deal of despair but I just think of all the victims of the government. It is one thing to victimize yourself with some drug but it is quite another to victimize someone else for victimizing themselves in the first place. It is two wrongs and they never make a right. I really hope that FDA pronouncement of non-fact really makes the USA take stock and clean house... it's spring.. :)
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Comment #5 posted by lombar on April 24, 2006 at 11:21:33 PT

3 ps
Cannabis re-legalization would1) Undermine black market PROFITS2) Undermine government  POWER3) empower        PEOPLEThose that fight to continue prohibition choose more power for the government, more profits for the crooks, and less power for the people. Hence they are the enemies of order and good governance.""If you don't legalize it, you're helping the terrorists.""Cannabis is not linked to terrorists, heroin is. I would not like the framing for a commercial, it would firm the mistaken notion that cannabis has something to do with terrorism when the opposite is really true. Anti-war protestors were identified with cannabis to be victims of Tricky Dicky and successive presidents since. pinko-commie-liberal bleeding hearts... instead of peace loving people who are horrified at the actions of their maverick government. Rate your community:Respect Scale - LowHow many get a fair break - Common courtesy withheld from large groups of people because of their political attitudes, race, religion- rudeness due to beleif that 'wealth and position' gives them that right- equal access to education- opportunity to use skillsPower Scale - Lowcitizens share of making decisions- power concentrated in hands of few- rules without the consent of the governed- legislature ceremonial in nature - true decison making by few (nafta anyone?)Economic Distribution - Low- concentration of wealth rates - disproportionate taxes sustain poor balanceInformation Scale - Low- Mass media concentrated.- Debate not tolerated outside official framing.- authoritarian, information to be accepted uncritically.- mass media officially controlled, censorship, private controlDid I get this link here? If I did, it bears repeating... we are scoring LOW on all scales which are conditions of despotism, economic in nature. Sad.. I guess they used to actually inform and educate once upon a time, now its just control. 
Awesome video about 'Despotism' .
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Comment #4 posted by whig on April 24, 2006 at 11:16:56 PT

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Comment #3 posted by whig on April 24, 2006 at 11:13:00 PT

Medical marijuana is already a done deal, count on it. Rescheduling will commence in the next few years. The media is on our side on all fours now.We need to keep on pushing forward with SAFER and other approaches, because this is only a partial victory and when we win it, we are going to lose a certain and significant part of our support for going further. Schedule II is an improvement, because it will help those who really depend medically on cannabis to preserve their lives and their health, but it does not end cannabis prohibition.
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Comment #2 posted by observer on April 24, 2006 at 11:01:59 PT

prohibition con game collapse
It is even harder to understand why the U.S. government would be so adamant about withholding drugs even from terminally ill patientsBecause so many people in government have built their careers on persecuting pot smokers (arresting and jailing people), to let even terminally ill patients use pot now would be the same as admitting they were wrong for jailing all those people, taking their property, barring them from employment, etc. People in power rarely admit mistakes, since their power is often built on a giant confidence game. Every prohibitionist who admits they were wrong for jailing people who use the plant called cannabis causes part of the prohibition con game to collapse. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 24, 2006 at 10:58:38 PT

Just a Comment
Something is happening here. I think what the FDA did just released so much anger that it will help us. They can only spin so much and then those who are right about an issue will win. I believe that about all we do in life. This battle we are fighting recently seemed like maybe we should all quit and forget about it. I don't know if others felt that way but I did. I don't anymore. Actually I have a sense of hope for a better day today more then ever.I wanted to say that CSNY will be touring this summer. I know that seeing them will fire me up and I'll be really ready to keep fighting. Here's a little information on the tour.***CSNY Hitting The Road This ~ April 24, 2006An announcement is expected today (April 24) regarding
this summer's Crosby Stills Nash & Young Freedom of Speech tour, has learned. The 35-date tour, promoted by TNA International, 
will begin July 6 at the Tweeter Center near Philadelphia, 
and run through Sept. 10 in at the Post-Gazette Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa.Neil Young will be touring in support of two albums:
his 2005 acoustic set "Prairie Wind" and a 
politically charged rock album, "Living With War," 
which will begin streaming Friday for free on his Web site. 

Neil Young: Living With War
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