Michael Feldgardner explains.
Michael Feldgardner explains.
Already Legal: California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, Colorado, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.
New Hampshire: A bill failed in the House.
New York: A bill may be passed by the Assembly this week.
New Jersey: Hearings have been held in the legislature but no bills have been voted on.
Maryland: A 2003 bill allows for an affirmative legal defense for medical marijuana users, but it’s still technically illegal.
Michigan: The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care is collecting signatures to force a vote in the legislature.
Illinois: A bill failed in the State Senate.
Wisconsin: A bill is expected to be introduced this summer.
Minnesota: A bill died in the State House.
Texas: Legislators failed to get a bill introduced.
Even in the states where it’s been legalized, though, the federal prohibition on any use of marijuana still exists and puts medical marijuana users across the country in a state of legal limbo. You can check here and here for updates.
[New York Governor Eliot] Spitzer, who during his campaign argued against making it legal to prescribe marijuana, said his views on the topic changed after he met with medical experts and patients who told him pot helped them cope with chronic ailments.
“We have taken a hard look at it over the past number of months, and I’m open to signing a bill, if it’s properly structured for appropriate use, based upon the evidence that has been presented to me,” said Spitzer, who has acknowledged he smoked marijuana as a college student.
As to his altered view, Spitzer said: “You learn, you study, you evolve. This is one where I had, as a prosecutor, a presumption against the use of any narcotic. … Now there are ways that have persuaded me it can be done properly.”
It’s a race with Connecticut to become the 13th state to end cannabis prohibition and begin a process of sensible regulation.
Heal the nation.
PROVIDENCE – Following in the footsteps of Wednesday’s House vote, the Senate approved legislation Thursday to make the state’s medical marijuana law permanent. The vote was 28-5, far exceeding the three-fifths vote required to survive the veto Gov. Donald Carcieri says is likely to come.
How about don’t veto it? Have some compassion. What kind of signal are you trying to send when you would want to deny safe and effective medicine to treat suffering people?
From the Drug Policy Alliance, today:
Your work is paying off–Connecticut’s Compassionate Use medical marijuana legislation, House Bill 6715 (HB 6715), passed the Joint Judiciary Committee in March and will be considered by the General Law Committee tomorrow
HB 6715 would allow seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. A 2004 University of Connecticut poll found that 83% of Connecticut residents support allowing patients to access medical marijuana for relief of symptoms associated with debilitating conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. Of particular note, three legislators who voted “no” in 2005 actually voted “yes” this year. This is a strong indication that your faxes, letters, and testimonies are having a positive effect. Great work!
Support for Compassionate Use legislation continues to be strong, largely due to the continued pressure we have been applying to the CT legislature. We hosted a a successful press conference with Montel Williams in March 2007 and Connecticut Governor, M. Jodi Rell, has indicated possible support for Compassionate Use legislation. In addition, the Hartford Advocate recently featured Compassionate Use activist Mark Braunstein, in an article decrying opposition to HB 6715.
Help move HB 6715 forward! Please send a message to the Connecticut General Law Committee members, urging them to support this important legislation.
The General Law Committee will vote on HB 6715 tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24, at 10:30 AM, in Room 1D of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT. Please take action now, and forward this email to five people you know today-the more of us who take action, the more likely we’ll win Compassionate Use in Connecticut this year.
Thanks for all you do.
Drug Policy Alliance
Harvard University researchers have found that, in both laboratory and mouse studies, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cuts tumor growth in half in common lung cancer while impeding the cancer’s ability to spread.
Vaporized medicinal cannabis contains plenty of THC and contains none of the oxidized smoke and tar which can cause irritation. Smoked cannabis has not been shown to cause a higher incidence of lung cancer, but vaporized cannabis is likely to shrink tumors and restore lung function.
Government should not be run as a business. Let’s realize that now and move on, because the Republicans tried it, and it always happens that way when people in pursuit of private gain seek to control the public purse.
I’m hearing lots of ideas about health care reform, single payer Medicare-for-all is one proposal. I want to consider it from a number of perspectives, to see whether it makes sense to me and under what conditions. I will say first off that it would currently be highly unpopular to the professional classes of people who have the highest cost private health care, and some of the sickest people who are very dependent upon knowing that their private insurer is going to continue to pay the costs of their ongoing treatment.
You cannot tell me to cancel my current insurance without a whole lot of assurance that I’ll retain my same quality of care. It was very, very hard to get myself covered in the first place. I don’t want to lose that.
There is a place for private insurance and many, perhaps most people may prefer it right now. If public health assurance becomes better, and people trust the system, more people will switch. Offer Medicare for all, but do not require people to subscribe, then improve Medicare so that people will want to subscribe. Could anything be simpler?
I’m going to say something about Kaiser Permanente now. I’m very happy with them. While this may seem inapposite, where I came from, the HMO policies that were available were not very good. I had the highest cost Blue Cross plan, it was the only plan that provided me adequate coverage. I didn’t know what it would be like in this system, but I like my doctors and can communicate with them all by KP e-mail, which is fantastic. It might not be the best system for everyone, and Medicare could be every single bit as good. We could even find a way to make them share codes and doctors, like the airlines do. Is Kaiser Permanente not-for-profit? Indeed…
Cannabis is neither physically addictive nor toxic in any demonstrated way, it is beneficial to health for people who have conditions that it treats, and no possibility of overdose fatality exists. It is, in short, perhaps the safest medicine known to humankind.
Those who, like myself, suffer from chronic pain, and use cannabis under a doctor’s recommendation, will use it every single day, because we benefit from having pain relief, and it does not impair our function. To the contrary, we are less functional without it because we then have untreated pain.
You cannot honestly say that it would be better to take some prescribed opiate or over-the-counter drug that causes liver damage. Cannabis does not cause organ damage.
Those who have no pain to begin with will have no need of cannabis, but those who are addicted to other drugs would be well advised to switch, were it only legal to do so. Cannabis can treat cocaine, heroin and other dependency, by helping make withdrawal less difficult. Those other drugs can kill, and have very serious withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous, making their addictiveness truly horrific.
Cannabis is benign, it is beneficial, it is good. It is not for everyone, some will dislike it (and I dislike broccoli, so there). I would not give it to children unless a doctor thought it was appropriate to recommend. There is no real harm in adults using cannabis, except for the harms consequent to prohibition. These are points you may wish to contest, and the social consequences of cannabis are important considerations as well. I’m looking forward to having that conversation with more of you.
Medical use of marijuana should be legalized
By Montel Williams
You probably know me as a talk show host and, perhaps, as someone who for several years has spoken out about my use of medical marijuana for the pain caused by multiple sclerosis. That surprised a few people, but recent research has proved that I was right: right about marijuana’s medical benefits and right about how urgent it is for states to change their laws so that sick people aren’t treated as criminals. The Illinois General Assembly is considering such a change right now.
If you see me on television [10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 4 in St. Louis], I look healthy. What you don’t see is the mind-numbing pain searing through my legs like hot pokers.
My doctors wrote me prescriptions for some of the strongest painkillers available. I took Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin on a regular basis, knowingly risking overdose just trying to make the pain bearable. But these powerful, expensive drugs brought me no relief. I couldn’t sleep, I was agitated, my legs kicked involuntarily in bed and the pain was so bad I found myself crying in the middle of the night.
All these heavy-duty narcotics made me nearly incoherent. I couldn’t take them when I had to work, because they turned me into a zombie. Worse, these drugs are highly addictive, and one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to become a junkie.
When someone suggested I try marijuana, I was skeptical. But I also was desperate. To my amazement, it worked after the legal drugs had failed. Three puffs and within minutes the excruciating pain in my legs subsided. I had my first restful sleep in months.
I am not alone. A new study from the University of California, published in February in the highly regarded medical journal Neurology, leaves no doubt about that.
You see, people with MS suffer from a particular type of pain called neuropathic pain: pain caused by damage to the nerves. It’s common in MS but also in many other illnesses, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It’s typically a burning or stabbing sensation, and conventional pain drugs don’t help much, whatever the specific illness.
The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some it gets so bad that they can’t walk.
This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the “gold standard” of medical research. And marijuana worked. The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects.
What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government, marijuana that is famous for its poor quality and weakness. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.
In my case, medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country — less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real — have experienced the same thing.
Here’s what’s shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there’s no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They’re lying, and they know it.
Still, 39 states subject patients with illnesses like MS, cancer or HIV/AIDS to arrest and jail for using medical marijuana, even if their doctor has recommended it. It’s long past time for that to change.
Illinois state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill — SB 650 — to protect patients like me from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana when it’s recommended by a physician. Similar laws are working well in 11 states right now.
The General Assembly should pass the medical marijuana bill without delay. Sick people shouldn’t be treated as criminals.
Television talk show host Montel Williams is the author, with Lawrence Grobel, of “Climbing Higher” and other books.
Special to the Post-Dispatch
The act of writing is the means by which our consciousness can be focused and analyzed for coherence. If our thoughts are jumbled we would write in such a fashion. If we have a point to make, our thoughts can be arranged around that point. If we are searching for something which others could help find, our thoughts might be phrased as questions. If we already know the answer, it might be that in asking it of others we answer it to everyone.
What is the Ultimate Question?
You know. Life, the Universe and Everything.
Can you compute?
Following, the back of the Regional Transit Connection ID Center Processing Fee Receipt calculation, and verified by my wife, the graduate statistician.
Researchers investigating the role of cannabis in cancer therapy reveal it has the potential to destroy leukaemia cells, in a paper published in the March 2006 edition of Letters in Drug Design & Discovery. Led by Dr Wai Man Liu, at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, the team has followed up on their findings of 2005 which showed that the main active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has the potential to be used effectively against some forms of cancer. Dr Liu has since moved to the Institute of Cancer in Sutton where he continues his work into investigating the potential therapeutic benefit of new anti-cancer agents.
It has previously been acknowledged that cannabis-based medicines have merit in the treatment of cancer patients as a painkiller; appetite stimulant and in reducing nausea, but recently evidence has been growing of its potential as an anti-tumour agent. The widely reported psychoactive side effects and consequent legal status of cannabis have, however, complicated its use in this capacity. Although THC and its related compounds have been shown to attack cancer cells by interfering with important growth-processing pathways, it has not hitherto been established exactly how this is achieved.
Now Dr Liu and his colleagues, using highly sophisticated microarray technology – allowing them to simultaneously detect changes in more than 25,000 genes in cells treated with THC – have begun to uncover further the existence of crucial processes through which THC can kill cancer cells and potentially promote survival. Further, Dr Liu found that the mechanism of cannabis may be independent of the presence of receptors – proteins found on the surface of cells to which other signalling molecules bind. Binding of molecules to receptors elicits a response in the cell, be it growth or death. The finding that cannabis action may not require the presence of these receptors introduces the possibility that the drug may be used more widely as the cancer cell’s dependence on the cannabis receptor is removed.
Whilst leukaemia treatment is on the whole successful, some people cannot be treated with conventional therapy – 25 per cent of children with leukaemia fail to respond to traditional treatment leaving their prognosis outcome poor. Dr Liu’s research findings provide a crucial first step towards the development of new therapies that can eradicate a deadly disease which affects millions of children and adults worldwide.
Dr Liu said: “It is important to stress that these cannabis-like substances are far removed from the cannabis that is smoked. These novel compounds have been specifically designed to be free of the psychoactive features, whilst maintaining anti-cancer action. Ultimately, understanding the fundamental mechanisms of these compounds will provide us with insights into developing new drugs that can be used to effectively treat cancers.”
For further information, please contact:
Senior Communications Officer
Queen Mary, University of London
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 7910
He hasn’t declared yet, but if he does decide to run, I think many people will be favorably disposed.
Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday that he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.
“So what if it’s risky? It’s the right thing to do,” said Richardson, one of the candidates in the crowded 2008 field.
Consider a simple plant, which knows at a deep cellular level how to find and transform water, air, sunlight and a few minerals into complex forms of great beauty and practical utility. You may not know how to communicate with all life, but all life communicates in its own way. Herbs put forth scents and spices, which give us pleasure and medicine at once, and we think it an evolutionary accident only if we presuppose no intelligence prior to our emergence as humans.
It turns out that cannabis may have antiseptic, antibiotic and antimicrobial benefits as well. Here is an article that I found on cannabis and tuberculosis.
Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, have a certain “half-life” in the atmosphere before they are eliminated by natural processes, such as by plant respiration. When the production of new greenhouse gases has equilibrium with the elimination of circulating greenhouse gases, the climate is kept in balance.
Much discussion of reducing and controlling global warming has focused on how we may regulate the production of new greenhouse gases, and we must do so or we could never eliminate them quickly enough to prevent their building without limit and turning the earth into a place uninhabitable to humans.
It would also be helpful to begin encouraging the reduction of circulating greenhouse gases by broad based home agriculture. One green plant can reduce the carbon footprint of one person by a significant amount. If climate science has taught us anything, it’s that small changes over a large population make a huge difference.
You do not have to eat poison, and you can be sure that if you consume enough of some things you will die.
Some things are so benign you can eat them without limitation and become healthier.
Recognize the difference.
Yesterday, Shakes wrote,
I missed it last night, but watched the whole thing in six pieces on ABC’s website: In an Instant: The IED Explosion, Bob Woodruff’s 36-Day Coma, Wounded Warriors, Are We Ready for Our Injured?, The Human Cost of War, and Woodruff’s Closing Thoughts. It’s absolutely staggering, and I highly recommend it, with the warning that it is deeply upsetting, so be prepared. But it’s a must-see. Truly.
I finally finished watching it today, and recommend you watch the whole thing from beginning to end.
Incidentally, I read that veterans overwhelmingly support medical marijuana. For the pain and suffering that it can relieve those suffering traumatic brain injuries, nothing else in the world would help more.
I’m very happy for Bob Woodruff and his family, and glad that he received the best quality medical care in the world. But people not so visible in the public eye are more likely to fall through the cracks, and those with internal brain damage are hard to treat with any technique; often the risks in trying to correct it with surgery are higher than the damage could possibly justify if we even had the diagnostic capability to know precisely what was wrong in all cases. Cannabis helps the neurons in the brain that still work.
Keith Olbermann has the story,
Sunk beneath a frozen ocean, and soon to emerge: one effect of global warming.
Who will go and populate this new continent where people once lived? Those first who cannot live where they are now should always have the right of return.
Those who know how to live in harsh environments will be essential.
Not an endorsement, but a consideration.
Melissa McEwan, also known as Shakespeare’s Sister, is going to be working for his campaign.
Shakes has my endorsement, as you already know. I’m not making decisions on who I think should be president in 2009, when the question of who should be president in 2007 is more, shall we say, urgent.
I have to make one point and that is I would like a clear statement from John Edwards on medical marijuana. It would be helpful if he would state his own use, and if he has ever tried cannabis, whether he believes it should be prohibited.
My opinion is largely contingent upon his willingess to state a position on this issue.
Fulla Nayak, 120. With her family, on the right. Her 92 year old daugher lives with her, as does her 72 year old grandson.