Senator Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) is sponsoring Senate File 293 – Medical Marijuana Act.  The Iowa Independent reports:

(This act) would allow the possession and use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, create compassion centers and provide for criminal and civil penalties for misuse.

A qualifying patient would be issued a registry identification card to allow them to possess and use marijuana without prosecution or arrest. Those who would be eligible would include people diagnosed by a medical doctor with a “debilitating medical condition” like cancer, hepatitis C, Crohn’s Disease, AIDS or a chronic medical condition that causes severe pain, nausea, seizures or certain muscle spasms.

If passed, Iowa would become the 14th state to allow residents with serious debilitating conditions to use marijuana for relief. Several other states, like Illinois, New Hampshire and New Jersey, are currently studying similar legislation.

In 1999, The Institute of Medicine studied the potential therapeutic value of marijuana and found that the drug did help with symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and appetite stimulation.

So I’m curious what you think?  I’m not sure why they are considering this bill when they have more important things to consider during this Assembly.

Update: Vanessa who is a nurse with experience working with hospice patients made a great point regarding this debate.

The legalization of marijuana is one of my pet peeves, because we already have plenty of medications that work MUCH BETTER than marijuana for relieving pain and nausea. I have taken care of numerous patients with advanced cancer and have NEVER seen a case of pain that was not relieved by perfectly legal medications that are widely available. Don’t let anyone tell you that they “need” marijuana – that is hogwash. Marijuana is extremely toxic and has no significant therapeutic benefit that cannot be provided by other medications.

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  1. Well, they could, ya know, take Marinol then we wouldn't need more laws and wouldn't have to start (farther) down the slippery slope to drug legalization and its clown car full of unintended consequences.

  2. But why, Shane and ECM, ought we foreclose a safe and helpful option for suffering people?

    We have more important things to worry about yes indeed! So why worry about a law that is going to help ease people's suffering. Let it pass, let these people have a bit of respite from their suffering the way Jesus would have wanted, and direct your energies toward the important things.

  3. Actually my position is undecided. I can see some validity here provided there is strict control, doctor's consent. I would also prefer to see it administered in someway other than a joint.

    On the other hand I'm not so sure enough study has been done on this, and one study isn't a silver bullet.

    Again, the worry is unintended consequences of this bill, like the overall legalization of marijuana.

  4. Let people who want to smoke, smoke. It's a personal choice. The issue that should be confronted is why drug wars are so rampant in other countries.

  5. I am a nurse with experience in caring for hospice patients. The legalization of marijuana is one of my pet peeves, because we already have plenty of medications that work MUCH BETTER than marijuana for relieving pain and nausea. I have taken care of numerous patients with advanced cancer and have NEVER seen a case of pain that was not relieved by perfectly legal medications that are widely available. Don't let anyone tell you that they “need” marijuana – that is hogwash. Marijuana is extremely toxic and has no significant therapeutic benefit that cannot be provided by other medications.

  6. my mother did have hepatitis, and liver cancer resulting. the pain medications were very toxic to her liver. marijuana is an excellent cure for nasea.

  7. well nurse I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, didn't take much convincing from me that God's medicine provides me a better quality of life versus “plenty of medications that work MUCH BETTER ” as you say. Difference is,you don't have Multiple Sclerosis. Go join Dr. Iqbal and his Pakistani Opiates he prescribes at his 'Pain Clinic.'

  8. Health Organizations Supporting Immediate Legal Access to Medical Marijuana

    International and National Organizations

    AIDS Action Council
    AIDS Treatment News
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American Medical Student Association
    American Nurses Association
    American Preventive Medical Association
    American Public Health Association
    American Society of Addiction Medicine
    Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
    Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
    Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
    Belgian Ministry of Health
    British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
    British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
    British Medical Association
    Canadian AIDS Society
    Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
    Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
    French Ministry of Health
    Health Canada
    Kaiser Permanente
    Lymphoma Foundation of America
    The Montel Williams MS Foundation
    Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
    The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
    National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
    National Association for Public Health Policy
    National Nurses Society on Addictions
    Netherlands Ministry of Health
    New England Journal of Medicine
    New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
    Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)

    State and Local Organizations

    Alaska Nurses Association
    Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
    California Academy of Family Physicians
    California Nurses Association
    California Pharmacists Association
    Colorado Nurses Association
    Connecticut Nurses Association
    Florida Governor's Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS
    Florida Medical Association
    Hawaii Nurses Association
    Illinois Nurses Association
    Life Extension Foundation
    Medical Society of the State of New York
    Mississippi Nurses Association
    New Jersey State Nurses Association
    New Mexico Medical Society
    New Mexico Nurses Association
    New York County Medical Society
    New York State Nurses Association
    North Carolina Nurses Association
    Rhode Island Medical Society
    Rhode Island State Nurses Association
    San Francisco Mayor's Summit on AIDS and HIV
    San Francisco Medical Society
    Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee
    Virginia Nurses Association
    Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)
    Wisconsin Nurses Association

  9. save your Marinol, for medical use ingestion in food or vaporizing is more theraputic pain relief and takes away the stigma of “smoked marijuana” for those burning that torch.

    I'll put a half-pan of my brownies up against a vicodon, any day or night nurse.

    Funny none of you have heard of Sativex. google it, it's available in Europe and Canada, why not MS Patients in the US ?

  10. I'll still be alive…'s not dead yet….I…..we'll see you next week…….then 2010 when real change happens.

    over 200+ cities worldwide

    from the MPP.

    “While SF 293 did not immediately get recommended out to the full committee (where it would have died until next year), the result was a great success. Our sponsor and his two colleagues, both of whom have indicated support for MMJ in the past, recommended that it stay in subcommittee pending a “perfecting amendment”. After the subcommittee comes up with its amendments, which Karen O'Keefe and I will try to affect positively, there will be another subcommittee meeting, perhaps next week, where everyone can come out again, and we can continue to get good media coverage, and you can educate the Iowan populace on the need for this bill. At that meeting, hopefully, the bill will pass out of subcommittee, and then we can use it to educate members from now until next winter, when we will all push to get it out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote.”

  11. I wouldn't count on getting this passed in Iowa. Good luck with that. Just curious do you live in Iowa or are you one of those out-of-state activists that drive us nuts here?

  12. Hey Shawn, a new sun is dawning over a new nation. Minnesota,Illinois and Missouri have bills further along than Iowa right now. I'm looking at 2010.

    #1-Bush is out of office and draconion laws against marijuana use and posession cost the tax payer too damn much to be overlooked with todat's cash crunch

    as for those wondering how much a medical marijuana program will cost the state of Iowa, what about the cost of arresting and jailing a medical marijuana patient.

    Iowa has a marijuana Tax-Stamp. Since 1990 $49.5+ million has been charge to Marijuana Offenders in Iowa, so far the state has colleted $3.9 million. So if you are looking for oversight in the State of Iowa budget, look no further than marijuana.

  13. I don't know Montel Williams, but he's no diffent than I. Maybe your friends are in the closet or reefer madness has them scared of a better quality of life.

  14. By the way – it's Shane not Shawn.

    No I'm looking at oversight for those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Again – prescribed and distributed through pharmacies. Not grown.

    You seem to have an agenda to make it entirely legal which I'm against.

    Also, please don't swear on my blog – your only warning.

  15. to quote Shawn “So I’m curious what you think? I’m not sure why they are considering this bill when they have more important things to consider during this Assembly.”

    maybe they are considering the bill because, as New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson told me in a handshake, because medical marijuana “is the right thing to do, that's why I signed the bill.” You obviosly lack compassion Shawn and just can't seperate marijuana from other deadly street, pharmacutical and OTC drugs. Many are highly addictive and carry an annual death toll from abuse or even first time use.

  16. wow, a provision for me to grow my own medicine is a good thing. Cut 's down on any presription needs I may have and having to get it from an unreliable dealer.

    How else do you get the purest natural THC without growing it ? all you need is sun, water and soil. There are people all over America that will be planting the seeds in their Victory Gardens this spring.

  17. Sure. I lack compassion. I'm not necessarily against regulated, prescribed medical marijuana that is distributed through a pharmacy. That would be my condition.

    You obviously don't know me. So let me fill you in. I work with high-risk youth. I go into juvenile detention centers. About 70% of the kids I work with are drug involved. Many of whom smoke pot, and because of that have gotten into other drugs. Is it as harmful as other drugs? No. Is it harmful – the jury is still definitely out on that yet. Has it been a gateway drug, at least for the kids I work with? Absolutely yes.

    Is this what you go around doing? Because someone may disagree with you – you accuse them of not being compassionate? How many people have you won to your cause that way?

  18. Wait a second, Shane says himself that he hasn't even made up his mind on the issue. If you take the time to read his blog you'll realize that he is full of compassion and not as quick to jump to conclusions as some.

  19. I think it is a shame that a people tend to take the medical marijuana legislation and use it as a front for general legalization.

    Medicinal marijuana actually serves a purpose whereas recreational drug use only ruins lives, whether it is alcohol, oxycontin or marijuana.

    It is important not to conflate the NORML platform with the much more urgent need for medical marijuana. People who use medical marijuana as a jumping off point are what is propelling fears and ultimately doing more harm than good to the suffering people who need their medicine.

  20. let me fill you in, I've worked with high-risk kids for 18 years…..I've raised two-children of my own, many times without the assistance of thier mom in their lives. They always lived in my home and I have provided for them. They are 18 and 16 respectively now.

    Many kids today skip pot due to drug detection and take something prescribed/OTC to get hight and DIE. I pray nightly for my children, and other peoples children to not make such a mistake.

    I advocate RESPONSIBLE ADULT 18+ use, be it medical or sitting in your garage with your buddies at midnight, when all your bills are paid.

  21. It is important to disagree with people is a civil manner. Even if you feel someone is wrong it is important not to be rude.

    Not only is the the nice thing to do, but it has a very practical application.

    How else are you going to the get them to change their mind? Like the old saw, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

    If you attack with rudeness it just gets your opponent more deeply entrenched in their position.

    I've been reading Shane's blog for years, and I disagree with him on just about everything, but he is always willing to entertain an opposing idea and have a reasonable discussion about his reasons for disagree. In the end that is all you can ask of a person in a free society.

  22. Marijuana should be legal for any adult to use for any reason. Of course medicnal use is priority at this time, but soon it will bre legal for recreational use and there will be nothing the haters and hypocrites will be able to about it.

    Why is it ok for our state government to sell a drug as dangerous as alcohol, while it throws people in jail for growing a harmless plant? Shane mentioned something about cannabis leading to other drugs. Most people who do drugs like meth ans smack start with alcohol and tobacco. The gateway theory is BS, but if it were true, then alcohol and tobacco should be illegal according to the logic of the ignorant folks who use the gateway theory as an excuse for throwing people in jail who haven't done anything wrong.

    How is coming home after work and having a couple tokes any different than having a beer after work while you're watching the news?

    Throwing people in jail for cannabis offenses is an evil policy and it will be stopped. Shane, do you know why cannabis was made illegal by our Federal government on 1937?

  23. That's the problem right there. There's a big difference between “medical use” and “sitting in the garage with your buddies.

    Regardless of your position on the latter, you have to agree the former is much more important. Take things one step at a time.

  24. That's a separate issue though. Getting medicinal marijuana to suffering people ought to be the priority, and you have to admit that getting medicinal marijuana all mixed up with legalization efforts get in the way of that. Sick people need to come first.

  25. Not true Vanessa. The side effects of many legal pain meds can be worse than they symptoms they are meant to treat. Why is ok for doctors to prescribe potentially fatal drugs like morphine, oxycontin, vicodin, etc. when everyone knows they are way more dangerous than cannabis and their potential for addiction and abuse are far higher than with cannbis?

    Sounds like you need to talk to people who use it for medicine before you speak about something you're obviously ignorant about.

  26. Hey don't bash Shane's expertise, he works with high risk kids who get sent to youth homes because they got caught with some pot and the ones heading down a darker path with other drugs or alcohol. He knows first hand they all started with pot.

    But the thing is…… is, we are talking about RESPONSIBLE ADULTS.

  27. That's what I said. I just don't know why the anti cannabis people are so worried that someone might smoke a joint for fun, that they'd deny a sick person relief from their ailments. If they could get over the fact that smoking for recreational purposes isn't bad, then they might come to their senses about medicinal use. For some reason they think recreational use of cannabis is some big boogie man that will destroy the world.

  28. I bet its not a problem for a doctor to precribe those high risk kids legal meth made by the pharm companies (Ritalin and Adderol). God forbid a kid smoke pot, but lets give him all the legal meth we can.

  29. what kind of person would smoke a joint for fun ? someone I would hang around with.

    the anti-cannabis crowd reminds me of a Dr. Who episode where the ruler had his army rounding up “killjoys”.

  30. You make a good point but you need to be practical. The fact is people do feel that way, and even using marijuana as medicine will take some convincing.

    It's going to take coaxing, and most people are accepting of the idea of medicinal marijuana until they see the big bad boogie man of recreational use lurking behind it. Can you really blame them? It's unfamiliar and full of scary hippies.

    Instead of being in everybody's face with the boogie man, it is more important to focus on doing the most good for people who really need it, not making sure that Towelie can toke up after work.

  31. She is probably a plant from the pharmacutical industry, because any nurse I have met in real life supports me,so did my Doctor but couldn't put her name on the endorsement due to the Iowa Medical Board's annual review.

  32. I have Diabetic Neuropathic Gastroparesis which results in delayed stomach emptying which causes me to surf waves of nausea from mild to severe every hour of everyday. I have tried all anti emitic brugs relavent to my condition. After several months of daily use they all cause nausea rather than prevent it. When my digestive specialist handed me my Reglan/Metoclopramide prescription he said, “Do not take Reglan on a regular basis for it causes irreversible Parkison like shakes and tremors.” Sorry but the fact is Medical Marijuana brings immediate, safe, effective and efficient relief from chronic nausea and vomiting with no negative side effects save for the euphoria which is temporary and harmless, and I will continue to risk arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, forfeiture of property, assests and government benefits simply to treat my disease in the safest way known to medical science. You really owe it to yourself to shed those prejudicial thoughts and educate yourself with an open mind regarding Medical Marijuana. Sure Fentanyl, Morphine, Diladud and Methadone will knock a patient out so you here no complaints but is that a good quality of life?

  33. From a patient who is on Marinol I can tell you it does nothing for nausea or pain. It is a man made synthetic THC and has no psychoactive effect. Cesamet has synthetic THC and CBD's from the cannabis plant and does have the psychoactive. But insurance will only cover it for cancer patients over age 18 receiving chemo treatments. Hell they are the lucky ones for when chemo stops the nausea and vomiting stop. Not so in my case nausea and vomiting are a very real and hourly thing for me. Only the inhalation of Cannabis Vapors, removing all tars and carcenigens from smoking, brings safe, effective and efficient relief from chronic nausea and vomiting. I can legally get Cesamet but it cost's $405 for 20-1mg pills. Why would I do that when the natural way is much safer?

  34. Vanessa comments are just plain bunk. Medicinal marijuana offers a safe alternative to extremely toxic pharmaceuticals. Vaporized or eaten marijuana does not have the negative side effects of smoking and is exceptionally healthy, compared to the truly nasty side effects that accompany pharmaceutical pain killers.

    Sorry Vanessa, I am not trying to impugn your experience as a health care professional, but you are completely wrong about this. It really isn't your choice what medicine works for people. It should be up to the sick individual what sort of pain medication works best, and they should not be forced to use dangerous pharmaceuticals when a much safer alternative is readily available.

  35. thanks strabo for the words, because no matter what someone wants to classify my desire for a change in ADULT marijuana laws as a front for the medical use, there is no denying my medical needs.

    As for Vanessa, did she reply yet ?good thing I saved this link.

  36. If she truly believes what she said in her post, then yes, she is very ignorant on the topic. Sounds like she needs to come to the Global Marijuana March talking place at the Iowa State Capitol on Saturday, May 2nd at High Noon, and talk to some people who use marijuana for medicine before she makes statements that are as ignorant as those of Harry Anslinger about marihuana back in 1937.

    Shane, why was marijuana first made illegal by the United States Government in 1937?

  37. Johnny,

    She disagrees I'm sure, and she isn't ignorant. Civility means you agree to disagree at this point. I disagree with your greater agenda. The phrase “responsible adult marijuana use” seems like an oxymoron to me.

    Does it not occur to you and RevRay, that not everybody has the time to spend debating things like this? I mean on other people's blogs I normally comment once and then leave. She has better things to do I'm sure. Because she certainly isn't going to change your mind.

    And the way you argued this out, you pretty much lost any sympathy I had for your position on medical marijuana.

  38. I am a little shocked at the comment made by Vanessa the alleged nurse.

    “Marijuana is extremely toxic and has no significant therapeutic benefit that cannot be provided by other medications.”

    It is a well known fact, particularly in medical circles, that marijuana is non toxic. It’s LD 50 (more medical jargon any nurse would know. Google it) level is around 1:40,000.

    Simply put. It isn’t toxic at all.

    The additional statement about it having no therapeutic value is so wildly uninformed that I would be scared to death if this woman was a nurse at my bedside

  39. I can vouch for her. She is a nurse. You however I can not.

    There is still a pretty robust debate going on about the benefits of medical marijuana within the medical community.

    Your comment is disingenuous and insulting.

    Not to mention you are pretty late to the party.

  40. Better late than not at all.

    The “robust” debate has been over for years. Kind of like Evolution.

    The problem is that some people have trouble accepting science and facts and believe only the stigma and nonsense. They can’t let go and accept that the lies they have believed for years are wrong.

    Yes my comment is insulting. It is meant to be. It is not disingenuous, though. Vanessa spewing nonsense about things she obviously has no knowledge of is dangerous to our society. People read her nonsense and think she is an expert. Then they parrot it. This perpetuates the atmosphere of hatred, fear and misinformation that we are fighting so hard to do away with.

    Vanessa needs to read up, retract her statements and apologize to the readers.

  41. First off I highlighted her comment. She didn't ask me or even knew I was going to do that. Second, the only one who owes anybody an apology are you and the others commenting here who turned this into a personal attack.

    Third, not going to start a precedent of apologizing because somebody disagrees with opinion – and that is what you are stating – an opinion. There are conflicting studies out there to make a definitive statement on the toxicity.

    Also to say marijuana is toxic as equal to being dangerous to society is just foolish. There are many doctors and nurses who hold that belief and it doesn't diminish their effectiveness one iota. Again another personal attack and a way to belittle your opponent which happens to be rule #1 for liberals who argue on the internet. Right behind hiding behind anonymity.

    When I wrote the post I was sympathetic to medical marijuana, but for most I see this as just a stepping stone for complete legalization. Not to mention the tone that some of you take with people who disagree won't win you support.

    Here are facts.

    Studies have shown that THC is a neurotoxin, a substance that damages or impairs the functions of nerve tissue. Is it as bad as other drugs? Perhaps not.

    Also, are there any other FDA approved drugs that are smoked?

    No. Why? Because smoking is generally a poor way to deliver medicine. It is difficult to administer safe, regulated dosages of medications by smoking. Also harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are byproducts of smoking create entirely new health problems. Are carcinogens toxic? Absolutely yes.

    According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as may someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes per day. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times as much tar into the lungs as a filtered tobacco cigarette.

    There is an approved drug called Marinol that isn’t smoked, which contains synthetic THC and can be taken in more controlled doses. But even with this medication the manufacturer warns of side effects that include paranoid reaction, drowsiness, and abnormal thinking.

    Then there are the side effects of marijuana which seem to always be glossed over – The short and long term effects of marijuana use include: memory loss, difficulty in learning, distorted perception, trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor skills, decrease in muscle strength, increased heart rate, and anxiety.

    The problem is – that isn't what you guys want. You don't want to have a prescription. You don't want to have it filled at a pharmacy. You don't want it through any other means but smoking it (or perhaps eating it in brownies). Don't believe me? Read comments above – these are people who represent your cause and they are the very reason why people like me get turned off.

    So the true agenda is pretty clear – this is just a gateway to complete legalization and acceptance. That I wholeheartedly reject. That is what would truly be dangerous to our society.

  42. ok miss nurse would you like to tell everyone the side effects of them pain killers you want us to eat. ya dont wanna talk about that do ya..

  43. You do realize that she just left one comment and I posted it as an update don't you? She's hasn't been back, so don't expect an answer from her. I'm the one who wrote the post.

    Of course painkillers have side effects, but they are also prescribed, regulated, monitored under a doctor's care, and distributed at a pharmacy. Also not smoked. Apples and oranges man.

  44. Shane, It makes me sad that people like yourself are so hung up on the 1930's reefer madness and nonsense.

    You’ve been told your whole life that marijuana is bad for you. That people who use it are dangerous criminals looking to kill you. Or their hopelessly addicted sad cases. Our tax dollars go to the campaign of hate and lies on our TV's telling us it will make you stupid, lazy or worse. I suppose pity instead of anger is what I should feel for you and Vanessa. Your just victims of the TV.

    Here are some science facts.

    Marijuana (THC) inhibits cancer cell growth without harming normal cells.

    Marijuana has no recorded examples (in more than 5000 years of recorded use) of causing cancer, death or illness.

    (This is likely why big pharma pays the gov a lot of money to continue to lie to the world about it. Cancer is big business.)

    Nicotine, by the way, promotes cancer cell growth. This is why normal tobacco is so bad for you. Not because of the smoked delivery system which is mildly carcinogenetic but overall negligible with regards to health. More things medical people should know.

    Marijuana has shown to have no effect on intelligence. Positive or negative. (Genetics defines these things don’t they?)

    Marijuana has shown no indications of making people sedentary or lazy.

    Your whole list of other “side effects” is just plain nonsense designed to scare people. I’m surprised you didn't pound the schizophrenic myth drum, too. I won't go through them all one by one. I have had to do it hundreds of times before and, frankly, I’m tired of trying to educate stubborn people who don't want to learn.

    Google- Nixon, marijuana – and you’ll find the transcripts of what our own government studies determined about marijuana (harmless to individuals and society) and how Nixon didn’t care. He hated the Hippies and the anti war movement. Marijuana became a symbol of that and got caught in the crossfire.

    Google -marijuana reform- yourself. There are a lot of good places with factual information out there (none of them have a .gov web address).

    The Lancet has done many studies over the years. You can choose to believe the articles written by scientists and doctors from all over the world or you can choose to believe articles written by government paper pushers with an agenda to scare you into submission.

    Remember when Nixon was given the reports on marijuana during his Reign? He threw the pages across his desk and said” I don’t care what it says!”

    Glad to see such care was given before the decision to oppress and incarcerate half the American public.

    Somehow I'm guessing your one of those people who have closed their minds to any new information. You’ll go to your grave with 1930's reefer madness.


    Marijuana is one of the most therapeutic and beneficial plants we have on our planet. It belongs in herbal supplement stores. It belongs in universities for further study. It deserves a more positive public opinion.

    One last thing

    I love this comment you made.

    “Of course painkillers have side effects, but they are also prescribed, regulated, monitored under a doctor's care, and distributed at a pharmacy. Also not smoked. Apples and oranges man.”

    So your saying that dangerous drugs that are bad for you are ok as long as big corporations make money from it as dealers and distributors?


  45. I believe that it's a step taken toward the legalization of marijuana. Kind of a softening in the public eye of marijuana use. You should see CA, there's litterally billboards that say “I love Pot!” call Dr Kush and get your card today!

    Also it's widely abused, since I work in recording studios I see tons of clients that have these prescriptions and they aren't in any pain or glaucoma or whatever.

    It's just another way of slowing legalizing it and/or softening our cultures ideas of drug use.

    A friend of mine died about two years ago due to heroin use. I remember he had a bad family life, hung out with the wrong people, eventually started smoking marijuana at a young age, then a few years later he got arrested selling something worse and was put on probation. He was fully clean for years, then a few months after he got off probation he was found dead from a heroin OD. I also had a aquintance in middleschool that used to use marijuana alot. And during highschool summer break he got into angel dust and went into his parent's back shed and shot himself dead through the mouth. Need anymore proof that it's a gateway drug?

  46. Maybe it could help the economy? People would be buying more food or “munchies!” Hostess and McDonald's stock would skyrocket from Hohos and Chicken Nuggets!

  47. Possibly, Josh, possibly, you just may be onto something. I wouldn't be surprised if that provision was tucked away somewhere in that stimulus bill nobody read.

  48. Please research this via any information source that need be– Marijuana by definition is not even remotely toxic.

  49. We in America do not treat pain – just tough it out. I have painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy and have tried most legal narcotic pain killers – with little or no relief. The few times I tried Marijuana (and DID INHALE) I got real relief. So until you have had severe, recurring pain, then keep your opinions (yes they are just unsupported opinions) to yourself. If you want something that you can be mad at, (my poor English) think Alcohol. (The proof is on the container.)

  50. Josh,

    We have all the scientific study we need. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. There is, in fact, no such thing as a gateway drug. Nobody takes one drug then suddenly craves another. I bet your friend took asperine in his life, too. By your own logic we should determin asperine is also a gateway to destruction. Absurd!

    The gateway to your friends hard drug use was prohibition. His hard life. Exposure to substances that are hideously bad for you without having prior information about the damages of those substances.

    The usage rate for those hard drugs is tiny, by the way. Most people who use marijuana are not using anything else. Not even alcohol.

    People who use heroin or other hard drugs have problems with or without drugs. Their profiles do not resemble the profiles of marijuana users in any way.

  51. Shane,

    I got news for you. Your the minority all over the world and not just here on your blog. As Obama found out during his town hall meeting, the number one question on the minds of the American public is marijuana reform. People are more informed and the corrupt DEA is having a hard time continuing to lie to people. Watch us put all the DEA thugs out of jobs (with education and votes).

    Also, why call people, who have a different view than your own, trolls? I am a tax paying American citizen with an opinion backed up by facts and science. I work hard and employ 5 people. I resent that troll remark. You posted bad information and I correct it for any readers out there who may be too lazy to research it themselves.

    Maybe you and Vanessa are the prohibitionist trolls who want a totalitarian fascist government? That would make you fairly un-American by my account.

    One thing you do have right is that the goal is full legalization and it is coming like an unstoppable juggernaut. Medical is indeed a stepping stone. It isn ‘t a secret.

    The damage the DEA and our government officials have done (by the will of 3 major lobbies, tobacco, alcohol and pharma) over the years is going to take time to repair. We have to de-program the public whose heads are full of nonsense and unwarranted fear. It will take some time and some people will never be able to grasp that the government lied to them and everything they have believed their whole lives is B.S. Some states have more ignorant populations than others and will lag behind progress but the dominoes will fall never-the-less.

  52. There are many pros and cons to the use of medical marijuana. One of the positive uses of pot is in medical purposes. Marijuana may help people who have serious medical ailments with pain management. An example is the presence of marijuana clubs that cater to patients using medical marijuana for treatment. For more on this topic visit . Most importantly pot is known to help reduce cell growth in cancer patients.

  53. i think marijuana can do a lot more than just meds because it takes your mind off your pain and on the other hand pills just make u sit and wait and still think about your pain. i think marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes and i feel it should be legalized nation wide and just have laws of being under the influence and driving just like we do with beer and so on, so LEGALIZE IT OBAMA

  54. I disagree completely. I am a disabled Iowan who knows that most prescription drugs are hard on your body, not to mention the side effects. Marijuana is natural, and don’t leave you feeling like shit. Sounds like somebody supports the big prescription drugg market and is scared because the sale of marijuana will mean less money for your over priced garbage. Fuck off unless you are the one in pain.

    1. name one drug that has less side effects than medical marijuana. ive taken pills for bipolar, seizure, insomnia and sweating disorder and i take pills and the list of side effects is huge. i used to smoke marijuana and it helped me sleep. it controlled my depression and i didn’t sweat when i smoked it. it helped me in every aspect of my diseases. there’s not one pill that’s better than medical marijuana. theres not one medical marijuana patient that will tell u they wanna go back to pills. it should not be banned. it should be embraced as a miracle drug!

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