This will be a six part series, one episode per day.
This is episode one.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — In consultation with her legal team, medical marijuana patient Angel Raich has decided not to pursue further appeals in her litigation seeking the right to protect her life and health through the use of medical marijuana. Lawyers will file a notice of dismissal today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, but Raich and her supporters emphasized that her struggle will continue.
“I’m not a quitter, so this was a hard decision,” Raich said. “But I’ve lost all faith in the judicial system. Right now I need to concentrate on my health. Because my brain tumor is beginning to cause damage to the nerves, I will need to undergo radiation treatment and focus on my recovery, but as soon as I’ve recovered I am going to get back to work on taking the fight to Congress.”
“Upon analysis, the avenues left to us did not look fruitful,” said Robert Raich, attorney for the plaintiffs. “It’s a sorry commentary that right now we simply cannot depend on the courts to uphold fundamental rights, even the right to life.”
On March 14, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Angel Raich’s appeal for protection against federal arrest, based on her doctors’ testimony that medical marijuana is essential for her survival. The court left open the possibility that she could successfully raise a medical necessity defense were she to be arrested.
“The battle to protect medical marijuana patients like Angel isn’t ending. It’s simply moving to another playing field — Congress,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., which has supported and helped to fund Raich’s litigation.
Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged that Angel Raich had made “strong arguments … that marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes” and expressed hope that those arguments “may one day be heard in the halls of Congress.” MPP estimates that Congress will be taking up legislation this summer — the fifth summer in a row — to prohibit the U.S. Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients and providers in the 12 states where medical marijuana is legal.
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
If we had known, if we had only known — how to speak to one another.
A manager as awful as Gonzales admits himself to be should be fired if he won’t resign – his only possible plus point being that this managerial awfullness appears to be exactly what Rove was counting on.
STRANGE WOMAN: It is a most elusive fish!
STRANGE MAN: And it went wherever I did go.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: A-fish, a-fish, a-fish, a-fishy, ooooh.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: That went wherever I did go.
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Look up his trunk!
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Yeah, it’s hidden in his trousers!
Well isn’t that special?
My generation remembers, and we do not forget the terrible price inflicted. We need a time to heal.
The times in which this was made and broadcast, we were children, they could say no more than this much. We can say more now. We need to learn to live in peace with one another and to respect our different traditions, while allowing our children to go outside our old traditions. We need to acknowledge that the sins of our forefathers are visited upon their victims, and make our own apologies for having the fruits of injustice. Yet the good that our fathers did may outweigh any incidental harm if we can all find a way to share the fruits of joy and love with one another.
I ask forgiveness of all who may think I have done them a harm by existing, or by accepting any gift which helps to sustain my life, if it ever occurred at your expense and without permission. I do not wish to be led astray from the truth by hopes of wealth, but I wish to preserve and protect that which is valuable to all of humankind.
If you feel I have done a greater harm, or if I have done one that could not be avoided that requires more explanation, I will ask that I be told. This is not the place for putting personal grievances which require knowledge of who I am, but to what you see before you. If you feel I am unjust or wrong, tell me so.
I will not support this nomination for reasons that I can set forth at length, but I suggest to the remnant Republicans who want to save your party in some form: support his candidacy. He has earned trust and respect for his own integrity.
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
I planned to make a post which would be called Synchronization, the music was to be the song, “Time After Time” by Cyndy Lauper. I intended to produce some synchronicity but did not know what it was to be.
I went to video.google.com and searched for “time after time”.
The first result follows:
I was first introduced to Eva Cassidy on April 1. She may be invisible, but she seems to be doing her thing.
It might not come from where and when you expect.