Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bill proposed to legalize medical marijuana

I just came across this article from a week ago in the Anniston Star. I have written Mr. Faulk asking for a follow up to this article with a few interviews of the patients I work with and asking for the lady from the Nurses Association to back up what she said about 'problems from using it on down the road" and Rep. Steve McMillan's claim that 'Alabama isn't ready to legalize marijuana.' A poll done in 2004 showed that 76% of Alabamians support medical marijuana.

There is an Anniston Star legalization poll here . It is on the lower right side of the page.

Anniston Star
Bill proposed to legalize medical marijuana
By Mike Faulk
Staff Writer

Marijuana could be coming to a pharmacy near you, but that prospect will have to travel a long, bumpy road through the Legislature.

A bill introduced by state Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, would make it legal in the state for doctors to prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes. The bill is waiting to come up before the House Judiciary Committee.

"It's an important bill that many states are considering as another option for people with a terminal illness or in great pain," said Todd, who is also the associate director of AIDS Alabama.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the past, but state legislators said the proposal has never made it very far into the process. Medical marijuana is legal in 10 states, most being in the Western part of the country, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The active chemical in marijuana, THC, is widely agreed upon as useful for alleviating nausea and increasing the appetite in cancer patients and those suffering from severe illness. However, whether ingesting THC by smoking marijuana is an acceptable form of treatment has long been under fire.

"Marijuana has stuff in it that causes health problems down the line," said Charlene Roberson, leadership services director for the Alabama State Nurses Association.

Roberson's organization endorses Marinol, a pill made from synthetic THC introduced in 1985. It's legal in the state and serves the same medicinal purpose.

If the bill passes, patients would be prescribed up to two and a half ounces and have to get a registration card proving they obtained the drug for medicinal purposes. The legislation also places heavy restrictions on public use of the drug, as well as being under its influence at school, in the workplace or while operating machinery or vehicles.

"It's just another tool for physicians to use," Todd said. "This is not legalizing marijuana."

Judiciary Committee chairman Marcel Black, D-Tuscumbia, said the bill would likely be debated and voted on some time after the Legislature returns from a week-long hiatus beginning next week.

Black said a similar bill cleared the committee several years ago, but the makeup of the committee has changed since then.

"We'll give it a hearing," he said. "Surely there'll be plenty of questions."

Rep. Steve McMillan, R-Gulf Shores, a member of the committee, said he voted in favor of legalizing medicinal marijuana the last time it came before the committee, but now has doubts about its medical benefits. He said another concern is placing restrictions on those who grow it.

McMillan said it's unlikely the bill would become law even if it passes committee this year.

"I just don't think the people in this state are ready for legalizing marijuana," he said.


Anonymous said...

Sadly I agree with the conclusion that this won't pass the legislature this time around; what a loss for the suffering who get relief from medical cannabis. Despite the slim chances we should push to get this bill as far as possible this year. I get the impression that conventional health experts have a very limited understanding of the methods of delivery and potential of medical cannabis due to its prohibition. Medical marijuana does not have to be smoked, it can be eaten or vaporized which produces no "health problems". Also, the argument that a drug causes "health problems" is not a valid argument against medical cannabis because all pharmaceuticals "cause health problems"; they're called side-effects. Many have to take drugs to handle the side-effects of their other drugs. I get the impression Charlene is biased against medical cannabis.

Bioflavinoid_1:29 said...

"Marijuana has stuff in it that causes health problems down the line,"
said Charlene Roberson

I just love Ms. Roberson's VAGUE specificity!


What STUFF, (that causes health problems), is she referring to, EXACTLY?!?

- - The by-products of combustion / smoking?
(This hazard IS obviated by use of vaporizer
&/or by edible preparations instead).

- - Mold / fungal toxins? Pesticide residues?
(These are the result of IMPROPERLY stored, IMPROPERLY grown product,
for the underground, filthy-lucrative, 'ill-eagle' market under present Prohibition-Policies,
not of the noble cannabis-herb itself!)

- - Other, lesser-known, lesser-studied essential-oil fractions,
which have better pain-relieving, anxiolytic, nausea-relieving properties
than &/or synergistically, (in combination), with THC?

- - Sadly, Ms. Roberson seems only to be aware of THC.
("Roberson's organization endorses Marinol,
a pill made from synthetic THC introduced in 1985.
It's legal in the state and serves the same medicinal purpose.")

- - Does Ms. Roberson, (and her organization), consider themselves
above, (smarter than), Nature and the God of Creation?!?

- - Saying that SIN-thetic THC serves the same purpose as
whole Cannabis, (Marijuana), is like saying that a certain,
single OTC vitamin-supplement, (ascorbic acid),
serves the same purpose as Naranjo de Jugo, (Orange Juice)!!!

Anonymous said...

I think it should be legal. everybody should vote again. by legalizing marijuana, it can be taxed. make it a little cheaper than what you would get from a dealer, and then put a state tax on it. and over a period of time, we will be out of this "recession". and for the people who don't smoke, be like me, I don't smoke it, but why do you care if someone else does? I mean, come on America. Alcohol was once illegal. but after a period of time, it was legalized. I understand what everybody means when they say its bad for you. but its no worse than cigarettes, and better than drinking. just slap a brand to it and sell it to whoever buys it.
I guess my point is this. if someone smokes it, they're gonna buy it no matter whether its legal or not. there are worse things than pot.

Anonymous said...

Well, time for America to grow up, stop playing with big pharmaceutical companies who really have more unknown side affects than positive affects for those of us in chronic pain that is not alleviated by regular meds that they "keep" trying and then what if the person rather have "natural" meds due to not wanting to use the prescribed meds that can cause a whole rash of other problems down the road, least of which being, addiction to pain meds...
I personally have never smoked anything in my life, but have tried everything my Doctors told me might help with pain, this including my Oncologist directing telling me to try it for nausea, pain, and more. He was an advocate since I'm immuned to the affects of most types of medicine. At that time, I did leave the state to where it was legal, had it in food, drinks, and salves to some areas, with positive help! The use of Vaporizer in another country gave me the opportunity to use it again without smoking and having harmful affects from the smoke, it was a blessing with the help it lent me. Nobody in the world, no matter their political position has the right to make a live plant illegal, nor to they have the right to regulate it since it was growing in most countries naturally long before it was harvested and used. Its the same as any other plant, naturally growling, yet some ignorant people would rather it be eradicated and removed from the naturally growing Eco system, simply because they have never been in a situation to have to need it or its properties. Time to grow up, save natural plants, let it be a part of the lives of the people just as every other plant is, Let it be used to help environment, make fuel, make clothing, make paper, etc..... We need to start using that which were blessed with originally and stop relying on big money people to control how we are to spend our money or how we are to live with pain just because it does not affect them on top of their big mountains of money. Its use here in the US could really help everybody in different forms, from the regular hemp to the stronger varieties used for medical use. Here in the US, "Big Money" controls what everybody gets to use or how we can use things. Its time to start standing up for our rights, read our history about big companies monopolize and how they usually make sure any competition in any form to their paycheck, usually gets destroyed or voted out just because they enough money to pad pockets to make it happen in their favor. I as a Veteran, who joined and wet off to war and I'm tired of seeing how all the things we fight for in other countries is becoming more destroyed in our own country just because "Big Money" can do as they please and basically get away with it and we as the people have the right to regulate that as well as the Government itself!

Anonymous said...

With negative attitudes marijuana will not be legalized. We as the people have to be certain that the time is coming, because it is. People are stupid to think that alcohol and cigarettes are in anyway safer than marijuana. Not just in healthy ways but in society also. I have never once thought about doing something bad or mean being stoned this may be because I'm more calm and careless or because I get paranoid. But it doesn't matter why right now it matters that marijuana causes a very low of any loss of anything! I may sound like a stoner, but I'd rather be happy, smiley and love everyone than not being about to drive talk and try and start stuff with complete strangers. I am only a sophomore in college and I am already sick of drunk people. Everyone makes marijuana look like it's the worse thing. But if you call marijuana a drug you have to call alcohol a drug. I can smoke 10 bowls to myself and can still be sober if needed but if I drink 2 drinks I will not be able to walk straight. I say if marijuana is illegal then alcohol should be illegal. I mean if people want something they will get it and it's not fair that the more calm and understanding people cannot do what they enjoy to do. where is our freedom?

Anonymous said...

I am a nurse too-RN. I totally disagree with the dumb founded statement of "STUFF in marijuana causes health problems down the line". PROVE IT! LOOK @ THE DATA, HAVE AN OPEN MIND, NOT EVERY ONE IS PERFECT LIKE YOU MRS. ROBERSON. Marinol can not create the same enzymatic processes that the actual plant can; Therefore, it is only a NAUSEA pill and not a pain reliever. Can you relieve my pain at home Mrs. Roberson? If you can then please do because my neck is hurting typing this out and NO PILLS WORK. I DO NOT LIKE ALCOHOL AND I WANT TO SMOKE MARIJUANA WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS WITH THAT WHEN I AM AT MY HOME. LEAVE ME ALONE GET OUT OF MY HOME AND BODY AND STOP THE MULTI MILLION DOLLARS OF DRUG TESTING. HOW ABOUT TESTING ONE THE OLD FASHION WAY THAT IS BY CHARACTER. You currently can fire someone in the state of Alabama for basically no reason anyway. Someone you know partakes of the herb, would you like to see their lives in shambles because they were arrested for marijuana possibly a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, friend, etc. I think you would come to the conclusion that the government needs to disembowel this prohibition!