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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Governor Pawlenty hates medicine

Well, he does.

Here's an idea: let's legalize pot. Not make it legal for registered medicinal use. Not "decriminalize" it. Legalize it, sell it in stores just like liquor or tobacco. Tax it, regulate it, make sure it is pure, all that good stuff. Same for hemp. Banning hemp is like banning the potato during Prohibition.

Tobacco has no medical value at all, but it is legal. Alcohol has limited medical value (and next to none in the forms it is usually consumed in), has huge social consequences, but is legal. Marijuana has medical benefits, and it's social consequences are no worse than alcohol, and usually much more benign (have you ever heard of a person getting violent after smoking a joint and battering his wife or girlfriend? Me neither). So let's all be adults here and legalize it. I'm tired of this stupid War on Drugs, and I'm tired of politicians pretending like reality doesn't exist when the subject turns to this. Governor Pawlenty may be no Rhodes Scholar, but even I think that he is smart enough to realize that marijuana has real medical benefits. So why pretend otherwise?


At 8:18 PM, May 12, 2006, Anonymous Dean said...

Your facetious suggestion is funny but unworkable. Republicans don’t have a sense of humor. Better hit them where it hurts—in the prostate.

What do middle aged Republicans fear most (aside from marijuana)? Prostate cancer! Not only will the chemotherapy make them lose their hair (which some of them have half-lost anyway), but it also threatens their manhood!

Now if we could only conjure up the nausea that a cancer patient feels after chemo, almost uncontrollable wall-to-wall vomiting, then show them that an innocent little joint will get rid of the side effects of chemotherapy, then half the battle would be won.

The other half would be to have their brains act upon what their guts them tell to do. That might be more difficult J!

Seriously, folks, I am allowed to joke about cancer, since I am a cancer survivor. Luckily, I don’t live in Minnesota, but rather one of the eleven states that does allow the use of medicinal marijuana.

The federal government doesn’t recognize the right of states to legalize medicinal marijuana. A hundred years ago this could have led to a civil war. Today, we yawn and go about our business.

Us cancer patients do not have the luxury to yawn and go about our business. One who hasn’t gone through it can scarcely imagine the devastation of chemotherapy. We would literally do anything to stop vomiting and return to normal, whatever that is.

Here is where medicinal marijuana comes in. Cannabis is listed as a medicine in a 2,000 year old Chinese text! This book lists more than 100 ailments that were treated with marijuana. Some of these were rheumatism, digestive disorders, malaria, and it was also used as an anesthetic before surgical operations. The Chinese knew a long time ago that marijuana reduces pain—how long will it take for the governor of Minnesota to discover this fact?

Ayurveda, a traditional Hindu system of medicine practiced in India since the first century, lists marijuana as an appetite stimulant, a digestive aid, a pain reliever, and sleeping potion.

A British Commission investigated marijuana in India in the 19th century, and came to the conclusion that it is “one of the most important drugs in the Indian Materia Medica.”

Alcohol was prohibited in the United States from 1920 to 1933, and the same constipated individuals who were behind that prohibition, engineered the prohibition of marijuana in 1937. Then, in 1970, Richard Nixon’s paranoia led to marijuana being classified as a Schedule One drug in the Controlled Substances Act passed that year.

The American Medical Association, interestingly enough, was the chief opponent of marijuana prohibition. American doctors knew that the legislators were banning a very important and helpful medicine.

The state of New Mexico conducted research into marijuana from 1979 to 1986. Their conclusion was that “marijuana was not only an effective anti-nausea drug, but also that it was far superior to the best available conventional drug.”

A New York state research program conducted from 1982 to 1985 gave marijuana to 199 patients suffering from nausea induced by chemotherapy. Over 90% reported it to be effective in reducing their symptoms.

I garnered the above facts from a 1998 book by Bill Zimmerman, Ph.D. entitled “Is Marijuana the Right Medicine for You?”

It certainly is the right medicine for me. I am able to smoke it daily, and not only does it reduce nausea brought on by chemo, but it insures that I have a healthy appetite and it elevates my mood. My cancer is well on its way toward remission and I just may have a future to look forward to.

Aside from Dr. Zimmerman’s book, what else do these politicians need to be convinced that patients like me need the best medicine available? In this case, it is cannabis. But remember, it must be used wisely.

If you’re a medpot patient living in a jurisdiction that allows medicinal marijuana, you may want to visit the Advanced Nutrients Medical website for expert advice on growing your own. After all, what better way to insure a steady supply of your medicine with built in quality control, than to become a gardener and nourish your plants from seedling to the flowering stage?


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