Friday, February 06, 2009

Making the Case for Medical Marijuana

Many, many thanks Courtney!

By: Courtney Haden Birmingham Weekly


As the planning session broke up in elegant old Prince Hall downtown, the former gubernatorial candidate strode over and asked a visitor, "So, do you think we're batshit crazy?"

All Loretta Nall and the Alabamians for Compassionate Care want to do is persuade our monumentally intractable legislature, on the cusp of an election year, to disregard 70 years of social taboos and a federal pharmaceutical jihad to ordain that the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes shall be legal throughout the state.

Of course they're crazy. But folks like Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. used to be called that, too.

For many, the phrase "medical marijuana" conjures up visions of tie-dyed zonkers malingering their way through bales of government ganja. ( In terms of image, Nall says, "Cheech and Chong have not necessarily been our friends." )

The people at Prince Hall Saturday afternoon looked neither hippie nor dippy. For them, medical marijuana is a crucial factor in improving the quality of life for chronically ill people, and they couldn't be more serious about changing the law.

Our modern hysteria over the use of marijuana would have bemused our ancestors. The Chinese employed it 4,000 years ago as an anesthetic, in ancient India, doctors prescribed it to mothers in labor and the Egyptians of long-ago dynasties even used it in suppositories for hemorrhoids. Here in America, many of the Founding Fathers grew hemp on their plantations, and marijuana was widely used as a pain reliever in an age before the invention of aspirin.



sixstring said...

Man! Courtney is a very powerfull writer! Great stuff.

Christie O'Brien said...

I am so happy to see this in print!

Phil said...

". . . medical marijuana is a crucial factor in improving the quality of life for chronically ill people . . ."

Cannabis is good for more than just medicine; legal marijuana could be a crucial factor in improving the quality of life for chronically unemployed people, too.

For the public record, I'm adamantly anti-prohibition and a staunch advocate of marijuana legalization (for whatever reason, including the manufacture of ropes to hang the obstructionists who stand in the way of legalization).

☮~alapoet~☠ said...

Courtney did a great job of getting the story right!

Anonymous said...

The progress you have made in such a short time is incredible. I applaud all the efforts of ACC and anxiously await the voting results.


Don said...

After reading his (at first I thought he was a she) article I sent Courtney an email, the text of which read as follows:


Kudos to you for a great article!

I was pointed to your article by my friend Loretta Nall. I'm working to help her to help get the Compassionate Care Act passed by our legislature. Yesterday I sent an email to the two members of the legislature who represent me, Senator Larry Dixon and Representative Barry Mask, a copy of which is pasted below. Thus far I've not had a reply from either one of them.

Keep up your good work.

Senator Dixon and Representative Mask:


As one of your constituents I respectfully request that you support HB434 (a copy of which is attached) and any companion bill that is introduced in the senate. This bill would change Alabama law to allow certain citizens described in the bill to use marijuana under the conditions prescribed in the bill to deal with their medical situations.

In 1970, after 16 plus years in the military, I was medically discharged because of a physical condition that rendered me physically unfit for further service to our country. Before then, I underwent two invasive surgeries to try to correct a condition in my lower spine, neither of which brought relief for the pain I suffered. So, for half or more of my life I've lived with chronic pain which gets worse over time.

As a law abiding citizen I have never used marijuana, even though I've read and heard that using it might give me some relief. If HB434 changes the law to make medical marijuana legal at least I will have the opportunity to legally use it to see if it will ease my pain as it has for so many other people around our nation.

I would appreciate receiving a response from you gentlemen telling me whether or not you will support the passage of HB434 and any companion bill in the senate.

Christie O'Brien said...

Nice job Don ;)

sixstring said...

Marijauna milkman gets suspended sentence.