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MEDICINAL MARIJUANA: AN EXCUSE TO GET STONED?

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[+] serious ballot by mrrepublican

Should we give a person with lung cancer a spliff to smoke?

Typically, when a scientist discovers some beneficial drug/chemical found in a plant or organism they will extract it so they can produce a pill or some substance containing only that specific chemical and nothing else.

When aspirin was used centuries ago, there was no pure form of the drug. It was a substance that was contained in the bark of the willow tree. Whenever it was taken it had to be taken along with the bark which had a very bitter taste and would actually deter people from wanting to take it.

Then science progressed, and a scientist (the founder of Bayer Aspirin) was able to create a method of extracting only the aspirin drug and put it into a powder form. Thus humanity was saved from the bitter taste of the willow tree.

So, if there is some chemical within the Cannabis plant (and there are many chemicals, just as with tobacco) that supposedly provides relief to people with Glaucoma, Cancer etc, couldn’t that chemical be harnessed into a pill form instead of being smoked in a joint along with THC and all the other psychoactive drugs and dangerous chemicals?

Would people even want to use that pill instead of smoking marijuana, or would it take all the fun out of medicinal marijuana?

What if someone has a social anxiety disorder? Should we get the government to support their Vodka habit because they say it helps them? Or should we give them Xanax or Valium?

I believe that Medicinal Marijuana is just an excuse for addicts to find a legal or free government funded way of supporting their habit. What do you think?

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COMMENTS:
The active ingredient (delta-9 thc) will get you just as stoned in pill form as it does smoking it or otherwise.
I see no problem with those who choose to smoke or eat their medical marijuana. Many of these people are dying, and it seems unfair to deny them their only relief from the side effects of chemotherapy or HIV drugs. If six shots of bourbon whiskey did the same thing, why not? As long as their suffering is alleviated, I have no problem.
And yes, if vodka works for those with social anxiety disorders, then by all means let them take their vodka.
It would have to be made clear by their physician that they could be arrested for being under the influence while driving though. But that goes for any persciption narcotic or non-narcotic medication already.
Oddly enough, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of too much benadryl (a common otc allergy medication) if a police officer determines that you are a hazard to others. Even too much caffeine can technically get you into that kind of trouble.

I highly doubt that the psychoactive drug (THC) is the same drug that helps glaucoma. There are over 600 chemicals in marijuana. And are people with glaucoma dying?

And how would we be denying the people who have cancer any more than we would be denying the rest of society? Should they get special privlages because they have cancer? Where should we draw the line? Its problems like this where everything gets shady. And if one thing isn't so bad, why not the next, or the one after?

If the drug works, I see no problem. THC has indeed been recognized to work for relieving the symptoms of glaucoma. It may not work with all patients, but that can be said of just about every drug. There is no magic bullet for for everyone.
That being said, I don't see any reason why patients suffering from cancer to HIV be denied the use of marijuana if it helps them. This is provided they understand that it can and does impair motor coordination.
In terms of abuse, medically approved and prescribed drugs are abused far more than marijuana. They also result in far more lethal overdoses. As an aspiring police officer, I would arrest anyone impaired while under the influence if I caught them driving under the influence. It does not matter whether that drug is marijuana or cough syrup with codeine.

As a patient, you do have special priveleges, but the laws regarding the use of these drugs must be adhered to.
My wife has MS, she says it helps her, she has no reason to lie to me
by ABC [+]

mrrepublican-

You bring up some good points. Specifically the fact that in all likelihood there is a hidden agenda behind the medicinal movement (c'mon y'all want it legalized for beyond it's medicinal purposes). You also say, 'should we get the government to support...vodka...xanax, valium, etc...' All good points, and all resounding no's.

However, if we're agreed that the government has no right taking our money to fund highly addictive-marginally beneficial medications to patients prone to addiction, then can't you also see the folly in allowing the government to take our money to fund a self-defeating drug policy that is encapable of engendering no real change?

I'm refering chiefly (pardon the expression) to archaic statutes that govern marijuana possession and distribution. Science has proved it to be not significantly different in its effects from cigarrettes (lung cancer) and users are far less dependent on it than alcohol dependents. Its visibility around the world is huge and it has a widespread fanbase that cuts accross race, color, creed and socioeconomic background. Its popularity will not diminish in our life time, nor can we possibly accumulate the resources nor necessary popular support to stop it.

Meanwhile, urban areas of the United States are still controlled by gangs whose strength relies on the vitality of the underground marketplace. The 'tougher' the laws are, the stronger the gangs become financially. The only way we can cripple this system is by de-criminalizing the most popular illegal drug-marijuana. We put some drug dealers out of work and make more revenue of the taxes.

It would help when the governments illegal drug trade is shut down.The CIA piling in tons of cocaine and everything to the ghettos is done for various reasons
The Medical Mafia with their bizarre practices and false theories of disease are not the ones to be bothered with anyway when it comes to getting an opinion on health matters

If something is Illegal, for whatever reason, there will always be an underground providing the illegal services/products to the people. Remember reading about alcohol prohibition in the 1930’s? Many people, criminals, gangsters, kennedy’s made large amounts of money selling alcohol during those times.

The same is with marijuana. There is an underground, but to a lesser extent or severity. And what I mean is marijuana has been illegal for many, many decades, and there is/was no sudden prohibition causing large amounts of users to riot and protest. Marijuana wasn’t popular enough (until the 60’s the generation of druggies) to cause such an uproar! And all US pot smokers have lived with the fact that marijuana is illegal for their whole lives.

But just because that government attempts to wipe out the marijuana trade underground have failed, does that mean we should we legalize it? Should the government be “trendy” and keep up with the times and legalize whatever it fails at abolishing? Is that the purpose of government? What is the purpose of laws? Was marijuana made illegal in the first place just because people did not know enough about it and were afraid of it? If so, what were they afraid of?

Let’s imagine marijuana was legal. Would the drug underground be gone? No, it would just go to other drugs such as cocaine and heroine and yes there still would be crime. Would more people be smoking it? Probably. Would it be easier for kids to get a hold of? Yes. Would it benefit the US in any way other than making a tax profit, or would it just benefit you, the pot smoker, and that’s all that matters?

And let’s not go comparing marijuana with cigarettes and alcohol and caffeine. If you take enough of anything, it can have hazardous effects. But marijuana, for most people, is so potent that after two or three hits you would be flying sky high, all glassy eyed and lazy, paranoid, stupefied, saying “Dude! DUDE! Woah dude!” and chewing on hard candies and french fries. Is that your idea of a good time? Do you need that to have fun? I’ve seen it all before (and have done it) and I guess they don’t call it dope without reason! I suppose I’m just afraid of America becoming a nation of lazy zombies with the munchies. That’s a scary thought! Or maybe America already is? Call me an idiot or whatever you like, but I care about the future of my country, and the world.

There are one or two points I'd like to make, if I may.

First of all, it is not possible for us to have a truly legitimate discussion about the potential medicinal value of marijuana, because there simply hasn't been enough research. As was mentioned, there are hundreds of lesser cannabinoids besides THC which exist in pot. Their function and precise mechanisms are poorly documented at best. What we need, quite simply, is unbiased, scientific research that has either been sanctioned or approved of by the government and/or credible organizations, bringing to light some cold, hard, FACTS.

Second, smoking and modern medicine are not compatible. The idea of smoking ANYTHING to feel better is absurd, from a medical standpoint - because smoking is bad for you. No question about that - save for exactly HOW bad it is for you, depending on what you're smoking. So the manner in which marijuana is consumed is part of the argument against it, and not without good reason. On the other hand, smoking a drug is the fastest way to deliver it into the body (including injection) - so it provides nearly instantaneous relief for someone who is suffering. I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone mention VAPORIZING the pot, which is a well-known practice among illicit marijuana smokers. It is very simple and inexpensive. It involves heating the pot to a point that the THC and other cannabinoids melt and turn into vapor, without burning the plant matter, which contains the carcinogens. The vapor is collected in a glass bell, and inhaled through a tube. A bit cumbersome, but so much healthier that it renders smoking-related illness a non-issue. Interestingly enough, there HAS been a synthetic THC pill on the market for a number of years (Marinol), but people report that it doesn't have nearly the same efficacy as smoking pot, for the obvious reasons I have mentioned.

Third, I do not favor legalizing marijuana, but I do favor decriminalizing it in the instances of simple possession of small amounts. Selling, growing, driver under the influence, smoking publicly or in the vicinity of children would still be illegal. And think about the number of people who are sitting in jail right now for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses. I don't have the exact figure, but it's got to be at least 200,000. Now consider the fact that it costs between $25,000 and $50,000 a year to house an inmate. I'll let you do the math, and feel free to lowball-it. So you see, I am a little biased to begin with. But that does not invalidate my argument for medicinal marijuana, because we are regarding the opinions of those who are suffering (constant pain, terminal illness) as anecdotal.

On the other hand, I can tell that mrrepublican is also a little biased (hey, who isn't) when he/you use terms like "druggies". What exactly does that mean? Alcohol is a narcotic drug (I know, it has been used so long and kept seperate from every other drug that the notion is ridiculous), but it is true. But alcohol is a beverage - easily consumed, and virtually REQUIRED in many social situations. Wouldn't that make most of the world drug-addicts? Or do you honestly believe that because something is legal, then it is O.K. morally..? And comparing marijuana and alcohol is valid in the context that they are in the same ballpark, versus comparing, say, alcohol and morphine. Well, maybe not. If the worst behavior that comes from pot-smoking is apathy, then the worst that comes from alcohol is violence and death. Alcohol can lead to overdose, pot cannot (realistically). Alcohol causes neurons to die, pot affects the levels of neurotransmitter(s) in your brain. Alcohol has a greater addiction potential than marijuana. Alcohol does not reach a saturation point in the blood, beyond which you cannot get more drunk (without dying) - unlike marijuana. Alcohol can cause people to lose control of themselves, marijuana also hijacks the decision-making process, but not in a way that causes people to become belligerent, embarrass themselves, or break down emotionally. All this is simply to say that there is a double-standard in our society and our laws, which is quite simply unjust.

Finally, there are always going to be people who take advantage of the system. I think most recreational pot-smokers would be lying if they said they aren't delighted by the progress medicinal marijuana has made, and/or look at it as a stepping stone to legalization. So in answer to your first question: Yes, some people will use medical marijuana as an excuse to get stoned - but I do not believe that will be the majority, nor do I believe it is fair to deny people who actually seem to benefit from it on that basis. And, (personal belief), as far as I'm concerned, people who are literally on their death-bed can do ANYTHING they want, as long as it doesn't harm others.

Is that it then? Is it "all over"? I'd love to hear some feedback from somebody.
"Marijuana has far more lethal poisons and carcinogens than cigarettes."

Not true. While pot contains SOME irritants and carcinogens, the amount is nowhere near the nearly 6000 (!)chemical compounds found in burning commercially processed tobacco, many of which DO contain carcinogens.
Also, marijauna smokers smoke much less than the average tobacco smoker.
How can you say that marijuana contains far more lethal poisons, when smoking cigarettes are one of the leading causes of cancer deaths the world over. There are no documented cases of marijuana-related cancer deaths.






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