Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Medical Marijuana
Tony Rogers

A bill that would legalize the use of medical marijuana is rapidly picking up bipartisan support in Albany and the New York City Council has passed a resolution expressing its support for a state medical marijuana bill. Experts believe that it is possible for the bill to be on the floor of the Assembly by the end of the year. A growing number of States have passed similar types of medical marijuana legislation including Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Maine, Michigan, California, Colorado, Hawaii and California

I join the growing numbers who consider the “Truth” to be a series of stories that lead to agreements that are then considered fact. When the stories change, the agreements change and what is considered fact and or the truth will also change. Think about the stories and agreements centered on America electing a Black president four years ago. The story and agreement that marijuana should not be considered safe as a medical option for life threatening health problems such as cancer is changing.

The use of Cannabis better know as marijuana (which is the Spanish name for the plants hemp fiber) became illegal in the United States in 1937 not because of a health concern, it was about economics. History shows that the 1937 law was passed due to an extensive propaganda campaign conducted by William Randolph Hearst and Lamont DuPont. Mr. Hearse was supplying most of America with paper made from wood pulp, at that time an eco-friendly concept of making paper from hemp threaten to cost the Hearse business millions. Lamont DuPont’s patented of making synthetic nylon from coal, would have also lost millions due to competition from national hemp clothing and other products.

It was never about health. In 1938 New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia appointed a committee of scientist to study the medical, sociological and psychological aspects of marihuana use in New York City. A detailed finding of this study was presented in 1944 under the title of “Marijuana Problem in the City of New York. Lester Grinspoon, M.D. and James B. Bakalar in their book “Marijuana the forbidden Medicine” suggest that the study was largely disregarded because it dispelled many of the myths that had been developed from the Reefer Madness propaganda campaign, the study also suggested a number of health benefits.

The current opposition to New States medical marijuana bill feel that marihuana is a harmful drug and passing such a bill would create more illegal use. This subject was debated last week on New York 1 by State Senators Martin Golden (R) Brooklyn and Thomas Duane (D) Manhattan.
Senator Duane stated that “research has shown marijuana to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in patients taking chemotherapy treatments”. It has also been proven effective in addressing depression, Glaucoma, Chronic pain and AIDS.

Studies have shown no proof of a dependency like drugs such as Cocaine and Amphetamines two drugs that U.S. Federal Law currently considers less harmful. The medical marijuana bill is structured to help very sick people with health options, these people are in most cases the only ones that have been deprived of this medical option. Is this issue focused on health or economics?

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