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Medical Marijuana The Right Choice


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US IL: Editorial: Medical Marijuana The Right Choice


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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n175/a02.html

Newshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Mon, 22 Apr 2013

Source: Alton Telegraph, The (IL)

Copyright: 2013 The Telegraph

Contact: telegraph@thetelegraph.com

Website: http://www.thetelegraph.com

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1207




Illinois seems poised to join the growing trend of states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.


Last week, the Illinois House approved House Bill 1, which would allow physicians to prescribe up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to patients with specific medical conditions, including serious illnesses.


The vote came after nearly 250 Illinois physicians expressed support for the proposed measure, with three of them discussing their position at a news conference in Chicago.  Those three doctors said the drug can be a safer and more effective treatment than narcotics for patients with diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease and HIV.


The doctors were joined by 47-year-old Julie Falco, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair.  She described how marijuana helped ease the pain and other symptoms that had been so debilitating that she had considered suicide.  Falco said the narcotics that had been prescribed for her before only made her feel worse, and she urged lawmakers to give other patients the option to try marijuana as an alternative.


The bill's chief sponsor, state Sen.  William Haine, D-Alton, says the measure is about "reasonableness." He says there's no reason why the state should prosecute people who use marijuana for pain relief.


The bill would create a medical marijuana pilot program.  It would allow physicians who have an existing relationship with a patient to prescribe marijuana for certain conditions.


Patients would be limited to buying 2.5 ounces at a time from dispensaries licensed and regulated by the state.  They would be prohibited from growing their own marijuana, and both patients and caregivers would have to undergo background checks.


Gov.  Pat Quinn said his staff members have been involved in drafting the bill but that he hasn't made a final decision on whether he would sign it.


Haine says he hopes the bill will come up for a vote in the Senate before it recesses at the end of May.  The Senate approved a bill authorizing medical marijuana in 2009, but it failed in the House.


Opponents have said they worry people who don't need the drug will find a way to obtain it, and that the legislation would open the door to further legalization of marijuana, as has occurred in states such as Colorado.


But Dan Riffle, deputy director of government operations for the Marijuana Policy Project, points out the legislation is more restrictive than medical marijuana laws that exist in 18 other states.


We think that if doctors and their patients believe marijuana brings them more relief than narcotics and other drugs, it only makes sense to let seriously ill people use a natural substance to ease their pain.  And concerns about abuse of marijuana seem somewhat silly when compared to the growing trend of people abusing narcotics-based painkillers.  If doctors can prescribe drugs such as oxycodone, which frequently cause fatal overdoses in abusers, why not let them prescribe marijuana, which never has been known to take someone's life?

MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom

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Slowly, ever so slowly, rational thinking is beginning to take hold in prohibitionist's minds. The problem is that most prohibitionists oppose marijuana use due to their own religious biases. Everyone knows that religion requires the believer to abandon rational thinking and rely on "faith" alone. Until these idiots can come around to see the rational arguments in favor of marijuana decriminalization, the laws will not change. When the "preachers" come over to the rational side, then we will see rapid change. I will not be holding my breath though.

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