Mailbag: Cannabis, Cancer, and Bad Guys

Mailbag: Cannabis, Cancer, and Bad Guys

Posted by CN Staff on January 23, 2007 at 17:21:34 PT
By David E. Kaplan
Source: U.S. News & World Report 

USA -- Our posting of marijuana munchies seized by the DEA generated lots of mail, much of it critical. Many first-time readers were irate that medical marijuana users would be discussed in a blog called Bad Guys, feeling that this implied they were criminals. For the record, that wasn't our intent.The column wasn't meant as a judgment on the rightness or wrongness of medical marijuana but simply as a quick item about the growing popularity of pot-laced foods.
As we wrote in our first column, the Bad Guys blog is indeed about bad guys but also good guys "and the just plain folks caught in the middle. ... The blog's name 'Bad Guys' is meant as a general topic, not a description of every person mentioned in the column."Enough from me. Here's what our readers wrote:Mr. Kaplan,Have you no regard for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, MS, epilepsy, glaucoma, chronic pain, or Alzheimer's? The list gets longer but I think the point is made. Your "Pot Dealers" are merely employees and proprietors of what are called compassion centers. Places where, after being referred by their physician and registering with the state, patients can obtain ... medicine. And your so-called "Sugar High"? Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe ingestion of Cannabis may provide better, longer lasting relief of symptoms than smoking it? These aren't candy bars for kids and compassion centers do not sell them to kids. Compassion makes our streets safer by providing the patient and the patient ONLY a safe place to purchase their medicine. To gain access to a compassion center you must be a member first. To join you must have a doctor's recommendation, a state issued MMJ card and a photo ID. Not an easy task for anyone, especially when they will verify all of the information. The Feds are wasting our hard earned tax dollars hassling real people with serious medical conditions instead of trying to get crack/cocaine or heroin off the streets ...I suffer from Neurofibromatosis Type 1. To paint a picture, try shoving hundreds of little pebbles down your nerve canal till they're spilling out the nerve openings at the bottom. Now add hundreds more all throughout your body and waking up every day in excruciating pain. Pain so bad you can't help but to cry. Not so easy now right? I chose not to spend my life addicted to pain killers sucking money up a government straw. I chose marijuana as my medicine and I chose to make something of myself. I am pursuing a degree in biotechnology. I am NOT a stoner. Thank you God for this wonderful plant, I now have my life back.Name Withheld末末末-David, Re: Pot Dealers Peddle Sugar HighYou're serious? Wow. I'm sorry. Perhaps you're supportive of the War On Drugs? If so there is help available. Perhaps a visit with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition might assist you in understanding how fatally flawed Prohibition II is.The DEA actions against cannabis are based on illusion and the perpetuation of 7 decades of lies and propagandizing.Thanks for listening ... I can refer you to specialists in the field if you desire.Allan Erickson末末末蓬i, I read your report and I have a couple of comments.I would have thought a little space about what these products mean about the success or failure of the federal government's get tougher policies on cannabis would be a little more balanced and informative to the reader, a reader who is confronted with a public policy that appears to be failing.Additionally, the item shows a brand of drug war journalism that has become a trite and endlessly repetitive form of propaganda for the last twenty years. Since when has U.S. News & World Report become the new National Lampoon?Steve Pen末末末-David, There are many people who benefit from marijuana and I am one of them. You mean to tell me that you sincerely believe that medical marijuana dealers are "bad guys?" Is it because the drug is not "approved by the FDA" as you mention in your article. Why do you not mention the billions of dollars earned by American pharmaceutical companies for the off label use of drugs. Is Genentech also a "bad guy" because it earns millions from the off label use of Avastin? How come you neglect to mention that the same "bad guys" in your article actually help save many people the pain and suffering caused by a variety of disease states. Your simplistic and fundamentally flawed analysis is the kind of poor journalism I have come to expect from U.S. News. Name Withheld末末末Fascinating article from Jan. 18, 2007. Excellent pictures too. However, I must object to the lumping of cannabis users, medical users, and their providers as big red lettered "bad guys," being equated contextually with "police spying, Saudi financing of jihad groups, and the growing use of organized crime by terrorists." It is cannabis laws that make cannabis criminals and though the simplest logic equates outlaws with being 'bad' people, law is clearly not always the path to goodness. Whether or not violent jihadi murder is illegal, it is clearly "bad." Cannabis use is not. There is ample scientific, medical, and sociological evidence that cannabis prohibition is terrible public policy. Millions of harmless and productive citizens are incarcerated yearly and billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on misguided causes that in many cases, besides failing to accomplish their stated objectives, result in tragic, unnecessary collateral damage ...I highly (pun intended) recommend that you further research the medical, legal, and sociological effects of the drug war and marijuana prohibition in particular. If you are interested in intelligent, pointed topics and studies, I would be more than happy to provide you with them.Name WithheldPot Dealers Peddle Sugar High: U.S. News & World Report (US)Author: David E. KaplanPublished: January 23, 2007Copyright: 2007 U.S. News & World ReportContact: letters usnews.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 24, 2007 at 12:22:05 PT
Video of Protests
Demonstrators Protest Pot Dispensary Raids 
 Monday, January 22, 2007 Los Angeles -- Medical marijuana patients, caregivers and activists protested at the downtown Federal Building over recent federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 24, 2007 at 07:09:24 PT

You know who Cheney has always reminded me of? Ebenezer Scrooge. Money and how to make more for himself and his base is what makes him happy. I have never seen compassion or concern come from him.
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on January 24, 2007 at 07:07:23 PT

Great comments from readers of U.S. New and World Report, a decidedly right-wing publication. "The times they are a-changin'" indeed.I tried to watch Bush's speech last night, but it put me to sleep. All that talk of terrorism and al Qaeda, which were part of the original false justifications for the War on Iraq in the first place. 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 24, 2007 at 06:44:27 PT

I agree that he tried to sound like a Democrat but he didn't convince me. Bush cares about the powerful rich people and doesn't seem to know that the backbone of our country was built with the sweat and blood of the average citizen. When I see big cities I think about those who built those buildings and made a life for their families. Now that major development of our cities is over they don't care about those who did the building. They made America and now they aren't important. That is so wrong to me.It's going to snow here today and is cold and I'm really enjoying it. We aren't going to get much snow but snow is so darn pretty and I've missed it.
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Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on January 24, 2007 at 05:45:23 PT

pres ...
I was struck by how much W sounded like a Democrat ...many things he and his ilk stymied for six years are all-of-a-sudden good ideas ...After 24 degrees yesterday morn ... it is a curiously balmy 36 degrees this morn ...
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 23, 2007 at 22:36:52 PT

Lol! I've thought "puppet" before...but I always thought of the kind with strings!I can easily imagine that condescending smirk on Cheney's face. 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 23, 2007 at 22:28:11 PT

comments 2 and 3
make me wish I'd watched the speech. If a seven year old sensed something wrong...and after what FoM says...I wish I'd seen it. It creeps me out just hearing about it. Telarus...your child sounds so intelligent and precocious. That's great that he watched the President speak with you and discussed it with you."Raise your children well"...good job, Telarus.
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Comment #7 posted by Wayne on January 23, 2007 at 22:22:27 PT

body language
I noticed a glaring example of body language and I want to see if anyone else caught it too (Chris Matthews at MSNBC mentioned it, so at least I'm not alone). During the speech, when Bush started talking about alternative fuels, did anyone else notice that Cheney appeared to be looking off to the side with a really condescending smirk on his face? And he wasn't applauding?And then, lo and behold, when Bush mentioned increasing our strategic reserve by 50%, Cheney piped back up and started clapping like a cheerleader again.Furthermore, who is actually speaking in body language when Dubya'a movements are caused by having Cheney's hand up his ass?
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 21:49:14 PT

I'm fairly predictable. I'n not hard to figure out. I'm calling it a day but are you new here? If you are new here welcome to CNews. 
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Comment #5 posted by lineman on January 23, 2007 at 21:32:00 PT

Body Language
Body language does work online. For example, I can tell all of FoM's posts after reading only a sentance or two, without looking at the name of the poster. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 20:37:32 PT

That's great that he is in tune. I love studying body language. It's not what a person says but how they move and blink and smile and frown and fidget etc. It's always been interesting to me. Body language gets to the heart of the matter. I can sense it online even though I don't see people. I might not comment on it but I do feel it.
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Comment #3 posted by Telarus on January 23, 2007 at 20:22:55 PT:

++I wasn't listening to what President Bush was saying but watching the body language of everyone++I asked my 7 yr old (while I was watching the SotU Address) if he trusted Mr. Bush. He said no, but couldn't quite explain why, something about the way he moved. I asked him if it was his "body language", and the kid caught the subtleties of the term immediately and agreed. Kids are jsut as smart as everyone else...they just don't have the facts and experience everybody else has yet.Namaste,-Telarus, KSC
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 19:01:03 PT

I watched the whole State of the Union Address which I've never done before but I wasn't listening to what President Bush was saying but watching the body language of everyone. These are amazing times for me. Even though things are really bad I feel a little hope and that is something I haven't had for 6 years.
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on January 23, 2007 at 18:20:06 PT

State Of The Union
I am so sick of watching the RepubliCrats drool all over each other! If it's not obvious that they are all in bed together,with very few exceptions, then I just don't know what to say. We will be bombing Iran soon and our nation will be lost forever. We the people must stand and be counted.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN:UK's 2nd biggest evening paper has full page on '9/11 was an Inside Job': AND AMERICAN EMPIRE: Intellectuals Speak Out, Reviewed: Future of 9/11 Activism - "Get active, or get radioactive." - Webster Tarpley: Hilton reports on Dodd's visit to the Granite State: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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