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Author Topic: Making the Case for Medical Marijuana  (Read 395769 times)
Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #270 on: August 08, 2013, 06:56:01 pm »

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CNN's chief medical expert Sanjay Gupta announced Wednesday night that he has reversed his blanket opposition to marijuana use.

Speaking to Piers Morgan, Gupta, who has a documentary on weed airing on Sunday, said he had previously helped to "mislead" the American public about the effects of the drug.

"I have apologized for some of the earlier reporting because I think, you know, we've been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time," he said. "And I did part of that misleading."

He also wrote an op-ed called "Why I Changed My Mind On Weed." In it, he said that, while he had formerly derided medical marijuana supporters, he had done research that had shown him how beneficial it could be:

    I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse."

    They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.

Gupta's dramatic intervention could prove influential in the ongoing debate about American drug policy; he is considered a prominent enough voice on medical issues that President Obama wanted to name him Surgeon General during his first term. (Gupta declined.)









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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #271 on: August 08, 2013, 09:35:27 pm »




Gupta's comments are one of those "blah, blah, blah, blah..." moments.  The information has been available for decades, including the history of exactly why it was proscribed.  DuPont and Hearst being two main drivers of the effort.  So any repentant conversion at this point is welcomed, but I look at it with an extremely jaded eye - why wait until now to come to his senses?

Wonder if there is some effort to stir up controversy for his documentary...make a few extra rating points so the commercials will be more valuable?  No, I didn't think so...no one would ever be motivated by money on this topic!

I guess we will see just how sincere this conversion is by how fervently he embraces the efforts to legalize the stuff.  Keeping in mind, there is none so pious as a repentant sinner!


I just love when I get to use a little sarcasm!!





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I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #272 on: August 13, 2013, 06:55:23 pm »

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STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma’s arrest rate for marijuana possession is slightly above the national average, and arrest rates vary considerably among counties, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis of 10 years’ worth of FBI data.

In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, the median arrest rate by Oklahoma state and local law-enforcement agencies  was about 270 arrests per 100,000 population, slightly higher than the national rate of 256.

Over a decade, from 2001 to 2010, the average annual rates for Oklahoma counties varied widely, from fewer than 200 to more than 1,000 arrests per 100,000 residents.

A medium-size county on the eastern side of the state, Sequoyah, led the state with an annual average rate of 1,090 marijuana arrests per capita. The state’s two largest counties, Oklahoma and Tulsa, ranked in the middle, with about 300 arrests.

Meanwhile, two of Oklahoma’s smaller counties, Coal and Woods, place second and third, with 804 and 646 arrests.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart said he wasn’t surprised to see his area ranked number one in marijuana arrests. Since taking office in 2009, Lockhart said he’d made drug arrests a priority by adding narcotics detectives and focusing on seizing drugs on Interstate 40, which runs through his county.

Stillwater Police Chief Ryan McCaghren, head of the largest police agency in Payne County, which ranked 13th out of the state’s 77 counties, cited two factors for his county ranking high: a large percentage of young people in the Stillwater area, and an aggressive drug and narcotics unit.

Payne County’s marijuana arrest rate is 405 per 100,000 residents.

“It is a priority,” McCaghren said of drug-related arrests in his department.

http://www.stwnewspress.com/local/x738624265/OKLAHOMA-WATCH-Enforcement-efforts-boost-pot-busts
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patric
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« Reply #273 on: September 08, 2013, 10:42:16 pm »

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told attendees of a Tucson town hall meeting Thursday that the United States might want to legalize marijuana.

McCain made the relatively unprompted call for drug policy reform when an attendee asked why the U.S. should intervene in Syria's civil war, but not in Mexico, where drug cartels are locked in a deadly conflict with the government and each other.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee then launched into a lesson about economics to explain drug smuggling and said he was open to legalizing marijuana.

"Let me just say what's going on in Mexico, in my view, to some degree, is our responsibility... because we're creating a demand for drugs in this country and when there's a demand, there's going to be a supply," McCain said.

"Legalize it!" some crowd members mumbled.

"Well, maybe we should legalize it," he responded, "we are certainly moving that way so far as marijuana is concerned, but I will respect the will of the people."

He then hammered home his economic explanation of drug smuggling, saying: "They are bringing these drugs across to our country because there's a demand for them and there's going to be a supply wherever there is a demand."
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2013/09/06/watch-mccain-says-maybe-we-should-legalize-marijuana-cites-economics-and-mexican-cartels


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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #274 on: December 24, 2013, 08:23:35 pm »

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Arizona's medical-pot program actually works like this



As medical students at Georgetown University, we were indoctrinated with the traditions and values of our attending physicians. It was there that I was taught how to care for patients. It was there that I first heard and would hear repeatedly throughout my training: Pain is what the patient says it is.

That value is critical to the practice of medicine. It establishes a foundation of trust between physician and patient. It begins the conversation with, “I believe you,” so that you can move forward to “How can I help you?”

That value is what made reading The Arizona Republic editorial board’s comments about patients who use Arizona’s medical-marijuana law for chronic pain treatment so upsetting (“Cheech and Chong would love Arizona's medical-pot law,” Nov. 12).

I have been an emergency medicine physician for 12 years. One thing almost every one of my patients has in common is that they are in pain. Pain is the warning signal our bodies use to let us know that something is wrong.

Many patients present to the ER with chronic pain. Old injuries (reflex sympathetic dystrophy, arthritis, malocclusion, poor wound healing), adhesions (any abdominal surgery), migraines, chest pain, joint and extremity pain (rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, septic joints, bone spurs), pelvic pain. Chronic pain encompasses all of these things as well as many others.

Does that make it less real? Should I turn them away from the emergency room because chronic pain just couldn’t be a reason someone would turn to a physician for help and relief? Fakers. Con artists. Drug addicts.

Unless you are old. Or have cancer. Right?

The 20-year-old with chronic pain due to spasticity from cerebral palsy. Wait. Sorry. He’s 20. Couldn’t be in that much pain yet. Faker. Con artist. Young, male recreational-drug user working the system.

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Fakers. “Inherently dishonest” con artists. Or maybe it is that the Institute of Medicine is “chronically gullible,” to use a phrase in The Republic’s editorial.

These same patients are often encouraged by their physicians to seek alternative therapies when it seems that Western medicine has explored all of its options. When Vicodin turns to Oxycontin turns to Fentanyl, and then you are chemically dependent and out of options.

Yet these same doctors won’t write you a “recommendation.” It’s scary as a physician. I wouldn’t do it. Risk my license? Be reported to the Arizona Department of Health Services? Scrutinized? Exposed? Definitely not worth losing my job! So these same doctors print out patient records and hand them to their patients. “Go to a recommendation center. I can’t do it.”

Will Humble, director of the ADHS, is disingenuous when he says he wants the primary-care physicians to write medical-marijuana recommendations. That will not happen as long as the physician receives federal reimbursement for services (e.g. Medicare) and fears this will be taken away. That will not happen until physicians can speak freely without fear of reprisal. Mr. Humble is a smart guy. He knows this.

The patients who jump through the hoops to get their cards are then sent out to the dispensaries. Usually these are located in an industrial area. Surrounded by chain-link fences with cameras following your every move while a security guard looks you up and down. Dispensaries are kept away from the normal daily traffic of people. Away from the God-fearing, upstanding citizens we must protect from this ... non-lethal plant.

Why can’t they just go to a pharmacy where all the other drugs are? Simple. Because it’s still federally illegal.

But Arizona voters stood up three years ago and said, “Enough.” The federal government is wrong. The Drug Enforcement Agency is wrong. The propaganda of the “Reefer Madness” hysteria of the 1930s is just that — propaganda.

If you would do a little research, you would know there is no way to meaningful therapeutic research because the National Institute on Drug Abuse won’t release the “study drug” for research that does not specifically address drug abuse. They are the only ones with a federally authorized cannabis farm!

You want a dose-controlled pharmaceutical product? Did you know that cannabis concentrates are currently illegal under the Arizona criminal code? I would guess from The Republic’s uninformed editorial that editorial-board members do not.

Please, Republic editorial board, do readers a favor and use your platform responsibly. The editorial was sloppy journalism even as an opinion piece. If you disagree with how the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program works, you can at least make a respectable argument instead of throwing around judgments, accusations and raunchy references to pop culture. The readers of The Arizona Republic deserve better.

Gina Mecagni has practiced emergency medicine in the Valley for 12 years.
http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20131123medical-pot-arizona-mecagni.html
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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #275 on: December 29, 2013, 07:28:36 pm »

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(CNN) -- Anti-marijuana crusaders like Kevin Sabet, while well-intentioned, are promoting policies that lead to more violence and disease in our society. In his recent CNN.com op-ed, Sabet argues we should keep marijuana illegal. But as long as marijuana remains illegal, profits from sales go to criminals and drug cartels, and adults will continue to be punished for using a substance less harmful than currently legal drugs.

Confused? Let's back up. For more than 80 years, our government has spent tens of billions of taxpayer dollars fighting a war against marijuana. We arrest three-quarters of a million adults every year, 87% for simple possession rather than production or sales of marijuana. Courtrooms turn into assembly lines churning out probationers -- mostly minorities -- with convictions that will make it virtually impossible to find employment.

The result? Marijuana is universally available, used by almost half of Americans at some point in their lives, and we've enriched murderous drug cartels fueling violence in Mexico that has claimed more than 60,000 lives.

Of course, we've been down this road before. During alcohol prohibition in the 1930s, federal agents raided speakeasies and busted barrels of illegally produced and imported booze. Meanwhile, bootleggers made money hand over fist, empowering criminals like Al Capone to turn Chicago into an urban war zone. And much like with marijuana today, even under alcohol prohibition most Americans who wanted a drink had no problem finding one.

Today, marijuana prohibition has proven itself just as disastrous a public policy failure as alcohol prohibition before it. Yet despite all the obvious similarities between the two, there's one key difference: Marijuana is dramatically safer than alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, excessive alcohol use is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death. In a typical year, there are roughly 25,000 alcohol-induced deaths in the United States, most from long-term consequences like liver disease and some from acute alcohol poisoning brought on by binge drinking.

Marijuana, on the other hand, does not cause overdose deaths and comes with far fewer long-term health consequences. A 2009 Canadian study determined the annual health-related costs associated with alcohol are more than eight times greater per user than with marijuana. And, according to the Institute of Medicine, people who use marijuana are far less likely to become dependent than those who drink alcohol.

Even if you don't drink, alcohol can kill you. Federal agencies report that 40% of violent crimes in the U.S. are linked to alcohol use, whereas those same agencies report that marijuana users usually do not commit violent crimes. Alcohol plays a role in a third of all emergency room visits. As a prosecuting attorney, I often had police confess to me how much they loathed arresting drunks, given how often the situation escalated to violence. I never fielded similar complaints about marijuana consumers.

The irony is that these perverse policies are cheered on by organizations with names like "Save Our Society" that seem to believe chaos will somehow ensue if adults are no longer punished for using marijuana. The reality is that by punishing adults who would rather use marijuana, we're encouraging them to instead use alcohol -- a more dangerous and harmful, but legal, drug. Public policy should be geared toward reducing violence and disease, not maximizing them.

There is a better way. Polling shows a majority of Americans want marijuana taxed and regulated. A growing number of states are bucking our federal government's policy of absolute marijuana prohibition, and the Department of Justice recently signaled it will not challenge state laws that regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana.

By doing so, we can take marijuana away from criminals and cartels and put it in the hands of licensed businesses. Obviously, those businesses should be subject to sensible rules ranging from where and when they can operate and who is able to invest in them, to restrictions on advertising.

Don't believe it could work? In 2009, Colorado's medical marijuana industry exploded, prompting the state to put in place the kinds of regulations I've just outlined. According to CDC data on youth drug use, from 2009 to 2011 -- a time when youth marijuana use increased nationally -- the percentage of Colorado teens using marijuana dropped more than any other state in the country and is now below the national average.

Marijuana is safer than alcohol; let's treat it that way. Adults who would prefer to use marijuana instead of alcohol should be free to do so. Just as significant, the law enforcement resources spent making those three-quarters of a million arrests could instead be devoted to preventing and solving real crimes.

In other words, regulating marijuana would make America a safer, healthier nation.


Editor's note: Dan Riffle is a former assistant prosecutor and the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, the primary financial backer of the 2012 campaign to regulate marijuana in Colorado.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/22/opinion/riffle-marijuana-safety/




« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 07:31:07 pm by Vashta Nerada » Logged
Nik
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« Reply #276 on: January 06, 2014, 03:11:46 pm »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/27/legalizing-pot-could-save-california-hundreds-of-millions-every-year-state-says/


Legalizing pot could save California hundreds of millions every year, state says


A proposed ballot measure that would legalize possession, use, growth and cultivation of marijuana would save the state of California hundreds of millions of dollars a year, according to a summary issued Thursday by the state attorney general’s office.

The summary [pdf], which Attorney General Kamala Harris’s (D) office releases for each proposed ballot measure, says the state would save “in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually” on law enforcement costs associated with enforcing marijuana laws.

As an added bonus, Harris’s office said sales tax revenues could add more cash — again, in the “low hundreds of millions of dollars annually” — to the state’s bottom line.

Supporters of the proposed ballot measure would need to collect 504,760 signatures by May 23 to get the initiative — formally known by its ballot title, “Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute” — on the 2014 ballot.

The group backing legalization won’t actually be collecting signatures for this version of the bill; the lead sponsor told the San Francisco Chronicle that they had tweaked the initiative’s language to allow individuals to grow more marijuana for personal use. A revised version [pdf] of the ballot initiative, dubbed the “Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2014,” is scheduled to be reviewed by the attorney general’s office by the end of January, the Chronicle reported.

Both versions of the measure would legalize the use, growth, cultivation, possession, transportation, storage and sale of marijuana, while creating a commission to regulate and issue business licenses for cultivation and sales.

The measure would apply retail sales taxes to marijuana sold for recreational purposes, while allocating that money equally to education, health care, law enforcement and drug abuse programs. It also prevents state and local law enforcement officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws.

Some California officials who back marijuana legalization had urged fellow supporters to wait until 2016, when the electorate will be larger, younger and more ethnically diverse, to put a measure on the fall ballot. But the ballot summary is so favorable that strategists think they will be able to pass the measure even in the lower-turnout midterm year.

California has been in the vanguard of the pro-marijuana movement. The state was the first in the country to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes, back in 1996. In 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed legislation decriminalizing possession of an ounce or less.

If the ballot measure passes, California would be the third state to legalize marijuana, along with Washington and Colorado, where voters legalized the drug through ballot measures this year.
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patric
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« Reply #277 on: January 07, 2014, 11:12:32 am »

The measure would apply retail sales taxes to marijuana sold for recreational purposes, while allocating that money equally to education, health care, law enforcement and drug abuse programs.

In Oklahoma, that money instead goes into the pockets of the privileged and corrupt.
 
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/06/cnn-poll-support-for-legal-marijuana-soaring

"Attitudes toward the effects of marijuana and whether it is morally wrong to smoke pot have changed dramatically over time. That also means that marijuana use is just not all that important to Americans any longer."



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Conan71
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« Reply #278 on: January 07, 2014, 11:28:17 am »

Amazing the claims opponents make about MJ- "it contains many carcinogens", "it’s a gateway drug”, “it leads to decreased motivation and productivity”, “it’s addictive" etc.

More people who eventually abuse prescription drugs likely started out drinking rather than with pot.  Tobacco and alcohol, which are perfectly legal, are known to cause many different cancers and debilitating diseases.  Hang overs cause loss of productivity and decreased motivation.  Regular pot smoking can lead to an emotional addiction, however there is no evidence that the body becomes physically addicted like it does to alcohol or tobacco.

Prohibition of marijuana has been a much bigger failure than prohibition of alcohol ever was.  Consider all the money wasted incarcerating people over pot and enforcing laws written nearly 100 years ago based on misinformation and fear, not to mention the loss of life in drug wars which would not exist if pot were legal.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #279 on: January 07, 2014, 12:14:53 pm »

Amazing the claims opponents make about MJ- "it’s a gateway drug”,

I believe breast milk is a gateway drug to alcohol.
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« Reply #280 on: January 07, 2014, 01:55:03 pm »

Prohibition of marijuana has been a much bigger failure than prohibition of alcohol ever was.  Consider all the money wasted incarcerating people over pot and enforcing laws written nearly 100 years ago based on misinformation and fear, not to mention the loss of life in drug wars which would not exist if pot were legal.

Nancy Grace would like you to know that you must be fat and lazy, sitting on the sofa eating potato chips since you disagree with her.
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
patric
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« Reply #281 on: January 07, 2014, 02:14:12 pm »

Nancy Grace would like you to know that you must be fat and lazy, sitting on the sofa eating potato chips since you disagree with her.

Does Nancy Grace still run her law office out of a double-wide?
...or was that her suicide hotline?
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #282 on: January 07, 2014, 05:18:07 pm »

I believe breast milk is a gateway drug to alcohol.


That explains a whole lot of things....!!

Guess I never was properly weaned....
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"So he brandished a gun, never shot anyone or anything right?"  --TeeDub, 17 Feb 2018.

I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
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« Reply #283 on: January 07, 2014, 05:19:57 pm »

Nancy Grace would like you to know that you must be fat and lazy, sitting on the sofa eating potato chips since you disagree with her.

Can anyone actually stand to listen to that voice??  That would be the torture that would break me and make me talk...then would have to put a bullet through my head if had to listen to that.
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"So he brandished a gun, never shot anyone or anything right?"  --TeeDub, 17 Feb 2018.

I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
Conan71
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« Reply #284 on: January 07, 2014, 06:30:34 pm »

Gee Nate, thanks for wrecking the thread with this image:



Now where did I leave my bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos?
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"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
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