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Thread: Medicinal Marijuana

  1. #46
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    A refreshing bit of common sense. It can be done.


    New Jersey Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

    By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI

    TRENTON — The New Jersey Legislature approved a measure on Monday that would make the state the 14th in the nation, but one of the few on the East Coast, to legalize the use of marijuana to help patients with chronic illnesses.

    The measure — which would allow patients diagnosed with severe illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis to have access to marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries — was passed by the General Assembly and State Senate on the final day of the legislative session.

    Gov. Jon S. Corzine has said he would sign it into law before leaving office next Tuesday. Supporters said that within nine months, patients with a prescription for marijuana from their doctors should be able to obtain it at one of six locations.

    “It’s nice to finally see a day when democracy helps heal people,” said Charles Kwiatkowski, 38, one of dozens of patients who rallied at the State House before the vote and broke into applause when the lawmakers approved the measure.

    Mr. Kwiatkowski, of Hazlet, N.J., who has multiple sclerosis, said his doctors have recommended marijuana to treat neuralgia, which causes him to lose the feeling and the use of his right arm and shoulders. “The M.S. Society has shown that this drug will help slow the progression of my disease. Why would I want to use anything else?”

    The bill’s approval, which comes after years of lobbying by patients’ rights groups and advocates of less restrictive drug laws, was nearly derailed at the 11th hour as some Democratic lawmakers wavered and Governor-elect Christopher J. Christie, a Republican, went to the State House and expressed reservations about it.

    In the end, however, it passed by comfortable margins in both houses: 48-14 in the General Assembly and 25-13 in the State Senate.

    Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Princeton who sponsored the legislation, said New Jersey’s would be the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the nation because it would permit doctors to prescribe it for only a set list of serious, chronic illnesses. The law would also forbid patients from growing their own marijuana and from using it in public, and it would regulate the drug under the strict conditions used to track the distribution of medically prescribed opiates like Oxycontin and morphine.

    Patients would be limited to two ounces of marijuana per month.

    “I truly believe this will become a model for other states because it balances the compassionate use of medical marijuana while limiting the number of ailments that a physician can prescribe it for,” Mr. Gusciora said.
    Under the bill, the state would help set the cost of the marijuana. The measure does not require insurance companies to pay for it.

    Some educators and law enforcement advocates worked doggedly against the proposal, saying the law would make marijuana more readily available and more likely to be abused, and that it would lead to increased drug use by teenagers.

    Opponents often pointed to California’s experience as a cautionary tale, saying that medical marijuana is so loosely regulated there that its use has essentially been decriminalized. Under California law, residents can obtain legal marijuana for a list of maladies as common, and as vaguely defined, as anxiety or chronic pain.

    David G. Evans, executive director of the Drug-Free Schools Coalition, warned that the establishment of for-profit dispensaries would lead to abuses of the law. “There are going to be pot centers coming to neighborhoods where people live and are trying to raise their families,” Mr. Evans said.

    Keiko Warner, a school counselor in Millville, N. J., cautioned that students already faced intense peer pressure to experiment with marijuana, and that the use of medical marijuana would only increase the likelihood that teenagers would experiment with the drug.

    “There are children at age 15, 14 who are using drugs or thinking about using drugs,” she said. “And this is not going to help.”

    Legislators attempted to ease those fears in the past year by working with the Department of Health and Senior Services to add restrictions to the bill.

    But with Democrats in retreat after Mr. Corzine’s defeat by Mr. Christie, some supporters feared that the Democratic-controlled Legislature — which last week failed to muster the votes to pass a gay marriage bill — would balk at approving medical marijuana.

    Mr. Christie added to the suspense Monday, just hours before lawmakers were scheduled to vote, when he was asked about the bill during a press conference within shouting distance of the legislative chambers. He said he was concerned that the bill contained loopholes that might encourage recreational drug use.

    “I think we all see what’s happened in California,” Mr. Christie said. “It’s gotten completely out of control.”

    But the loophole Mr. Christie cited — a list of ailments so unrestricted that it might have allowed patients to seek marijuana to treat minor or nonexistent ailments — had already been closed by legislators. In the end, the bill received Republican as well as Democratic support.

    “This bill will help relieve people’s pain,” said Senator William Baroni, a Republican.

    Supporters celebrated with hugs and tears.

    Scott Ward, 26, who said he suffered from multiple sclerosis, said he had been prescribed marijuana to alleviate leg cramps so severe that they often felt “like my muscles are tearing apart.” “Now,” he said, “I can do normal things like take a walk and walk the dog.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/ny...l?ref=nyregion

  2. #47
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I am getting kind of a theme here....

    Edit: Sorry zip. Did not know this was a move.

    I am wondering if this is really a guy, or just his spider....

  3. #48
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    Treatment Denied in NY? Cannabis Should Be Available to Patients Who Need It

    by Dr. Julie Holland

    Eighteen other state -- including Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey -- now allow patients access to medical marijuana. It is time to allow New Yorkers to benefit from this ancient medicinal plant. I've spent my career researching and prescribing drugs, and after working with some of the country's leading experts for three years on a book about the benefits and risks of cannabis, I know that the scientific research supports the safety and therapeutic value of this medicine, especially when compared to other prescription medications.

    We have long known that cannabis can help patients manage the side effects of chemotherapy by reducing nausea and stimulating appetite, making it tremendously useful in cancer and AIDS patients. Because it acts as a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory, it can reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, irritable bowel syndrome and Chron's disease.

    A growing of body of research now suggests that cannabis can kill some cancer cells and slow the growth of blood supply to tumors. Most people are familiar with THC, the compound in pot that makes people feel high, but cannabis has many other components with medicinal benefits. In particular, CBD (cannabidiol) which can help to treat seizures and psychosis.

    Cannabis is not only therapeutic, it is significantly safer and less toxic than prescription pain medication. There is no known lethal dose, compared with opioid pain medicines, which now cause more overdose deaths than car accidents. Cannabis has lower rates of addiction (9 percent) than pain medication (23 percent), alcohol (15 percent), or cigarettes (32 percent).

    As with any medication, medical marijuana should not be used by all patients. People with compromised lungs shouldn't smoke due to lung inflammation, and people with a history of psychosis can have an adverse reaction to THC. But just as physicians evaluate the appropriateness and safety of other medications for each patient, they can perform a risk/benefit analysis for medicinal cannabis.

    Last June, the New York State Assembly passed a bill that would establish a safe and tightly regulated system allowing healthcare providers to consider medical marijuana for their patients who have serious, debilitating, or life-threatening conditions. The entire program -- from the registration of patients to the production and dispensing of cannabis -- would be carefully regulated by the State Department of Health to insure that only those patients who need medical marijuana will have access. What this bill does is make sure that a healthcare professional, together with his or patient -- not the government -- decides the best treatment for serious medical conditions, including recommending medicinal cannabis.

    Denying doctors the right to consider this treatment and denying patients' access to medicine that can alleviate their pain and suffering is unjust, unethical, and illogical. It should not be a crime for doctors to help their patients find relief through a medicine as safe and effective as cannabis.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jul...p_ref=new-york

  4. #49

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    Car accident, herbal treatment, and the Lone Ranger.


  5. #50

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    I've always considered the concept of medical marijuana to be a thinly disguised cover for recreational marijuana (especially as California did it, since IIRC they were the first) In point of fact, I wouldn't have a problem with legalizing MJ completely, but let's stop deluding ourselves that this is about a heath issue.

  6. #51

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    ^
    Is your conclusion based on research into the matter (if so, clue us in), or is it a bias on a California thing?

  7. #52

    Default A Judge's Case For Medical Marijuana

    This appeared as an opinion piece in the Times in May. I remember reading it than, and being moved by the plight of a man who has spent his life upholding justice and the law, only to be forced underground to illegal blackmarkets in order to get some relief from this horrible disease.

    I was reminded of it again when I read BBMW's kind of dismissive comment about the value of medical marijuana (although I do agree with his statement that recreatonal use should be legalized as well).

    I think sometimes we (and, I think we all do it from time-to-time) make off-the-cuff, blanket comments like this without considering the nuances of our collective life experiences. The world is just not the black and white.

    The bottom line for me is that is outright immoral to not act on this legislation when it is clear that Marijuana can bring real relief to people living in abject torture.

    I wonder how this gentleman is doing? This was a very brave article for him to write, and I admire him for doing so.


    Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

    Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

    May 16, 2012

    A Judge’s Plea for Pot

    By GUSTIN L. REICHBACH

    THREE and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.

    My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, my cancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that takes three hours, I wear a pump that slowly injects more of the drugs over the next 48 hours.

    Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

    Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

    This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

    Sixteen states already permit the legitimate clinical use of marijuana, including our neighbor New Jersey, and Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming No. 17. The New York State Legislature is now debating a bill to recognize marijuana as an effective and legitimate medicinal substance and establish a lawful framework for its use. The Assembly has passed such bills before, but they went nowhere in the State Senate. This year I hope that the outcome will be different. Cancer is a nonpartisan disease, so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to imagine that there are legislators whose families have not also been touched by this scourge. It is to help all who have been affected by cancer, and those who will come after, that I now speak.

    Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue. But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight. It is another heartbreaking aporia in the world of cancer that the one drug that gives relief without deleterious side effects remains classified as a narcotic with no medicinal value.

    Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/op...gewanted=print
    Last edited by eddhead; January 11th, 2013 at 01:20 PM.

  8. #53
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The argue against its generic medicinal use is pointless.

    Any time the argument comes up against it, it stinks of paranoia or Big Pharm.

  9. #54

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    I don't even want to consider any connection to overall legalization.

    Regardless of the merit, there are opinions and arguments against overall legalization. But it's an unfair rider to the issue.

    Pain-reducing medication is a big part of medical care, and there are many analgesics that aren't legal unless administered by a physician. Their use is evaluated as a medical procedure. Medical marijuana should get the same evaluation.

  10. #55
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    ^ Ah, some reason.

    The law is an ass. It's too inconsistent.

    It's not as if human beings manufacture it, either; it's a plant (along with others) created by Mother Nature .

  11. #56
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    So is Arsenic....

    The "natural" argument is never really a valid one in this Merry...

    My main point (as I grammatically botched in the last post) is that there are many other chemicals that are more addictive, that have MANY more side effects, and have less actual USE (anti-depressant?) than pot, yet it is still, CLINICALLY, restricted.

    Arguments can be raised against its legalization for casual use, such as its inherent ability to steal motivation, but those same arguments hold no water in things like post-op cancer treatment and the like.....

    STUPID unilateral blind legislation.

  12. #57

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    Based on news stories I've seen (this was a few years ago, so I don't have links) the way Cali implemented "medical" marijuana was so lax in requiring medical oversight, that it was a mere formality for anyone who wanted to get it to get a medical referral (not even a real prescription), for any malady (real or concocted), that it made the medical label nothing but a pretense for recreational legalization.

    Now both sides of this are really the problem. There's no reason MJ couldn't be treated like any other drug. You can get a real prescription for opioid narcotics, so why can't MJ be handled on the same basis.

    As far as rec use, if they want to legalize that (as the done in WA), do that clearly and explicitly, and don't use "medical use" as a pretense for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    ^
    Is your conclusion based on research into the matter (if so, clue us in), or is it a bias on a California thing?

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    The "natural" argument is never really a valid one in this Merry...
    It wasn't really an argument, more of an observation, but also a counterpoint to detrimental man-made drugs.

    STUPID unilateral blind legislation.
    That was the point I was making.

    If it helps people, and doesn't kill or maim them in the process, it should be available for medicinal use (just like thalidomide - a man-made substance - was, for a time; the long-term effecs of marijuana are long-established and well documented).

    As BBMW said, the law needs to be clearly defined to differentiate between uses.

    But...this whole "war on drugs" thing would be a lot cheaper - not to mention winnable - if all illicit drugs were legalised and regulated, just like all other "legal" drugs which, as you pointed out, are often just as problematic.

    Being illegal is clearly not an effective deterrent, anyway. It makes me sick that so much is spent in time, effort and money to fight something that's unwinnable, especially at the expense of more pressing concerns.

  14. #59
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    There are others, like PCB, that have no real reason for distribution.

    The thing that needs to be examined is rather clinically callous, but what should be done. One has to look at how many are hurt via enforcement verses legalization/regulation. How many are killed (good or bad) in the drug trade for MJ as opposed to how many "ruin their lives"...

    And if I hear "gateway drug" one more time... It is awfully hard to be a gateway when you are removed from the wall to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    I've always considered the concept of medical marijuana to be a thinly disguised cover for recreational marijuana (especially as California did it, since IIRC they were the first) In point of fact, I wouldn't have a problem with legalizing MJ completely, but let's stop deluding ourselves that this is about a heath issue.
    There is truth to what you say, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the health issue. There are people with serious conditions where cannabis provides either the best or the cheapest option to relieve pain and suffering. On the other hand, I agree with you that many people who favor broad legalization are "using" the health angle to advance their cause and have little interest in using marijuana as a pain reliever. But can you blame them? America was partially founded on puritanism and there's no way drugs to get you high will be allowed into law through the front door, so they have to take the back door. There's no reason to ban marijuana other than imposing a moral code on others. Well, there is another reason, since we know the hazards of smoking. But nobody really talks about that and you can't fairly ban cannabis and not tobacco on that basis alone

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