Loading

“Unlike Law Enforcement, I Interact With Medical Marijuana Patients”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 16, 2008

    Lawmakers in New York continue to debate legislation that seeks to legalize medical cannabis for qualified patients. Meanwhile, opponents of this compassionate and common sense measure argue that acknowledging the known therapeutic benefits of cannabis and protecting those who could benefit from its use inexplicably “exploits” the seriously ill.

    Unlike medi-pot opponents, I actually interact with cannabis patients. Often, they seek me out — writing me testimonials like the one below. Perhaps if more politicians and, God forbid, members of law enforcement shared in these sort of one-on-one interactions, they’d change their tune. Or perhaps, they would do what Presidential hopeful John McCain did, and simply turn their backs.

    Letters for June 16, 2008
    via The Oneonta Daily Star

    Marijuana works as a medicine

    Kudos for your editorial support in favor of legally protecting patients who use cannabis therapy under the guidance of their physician (“Medical marijuana makes sense,” June 7).

    While authoring the recent publication, “Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature” (NORML Foundation 2008), I reviewed more than 150 clinical and preclinical studies assessing the therapeutic value of cannabis and its active compounds to treat symptoms — and in some cases moderate disease progression — in a variety of illness, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, diabetes and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Nearly all of the studies cited in my work were published within the past eight years.

    Unlike many politicians and law enforcement officials, I frequently interact with medical marijuana patients. Many of them write to me daily, as do their physicians. Often they tell me stories like this: “I was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor inside the left temporal lobe of my brain. I had surgery, and I’ve just started chemotherapy and radiation. The surgeon actually apologized for the fact that he could not write me a prescription for marijuana, but he told me it was safe to smoke. … Marijuana is saving my life right now; it has helped to kill my seizures, nausea, dizziness, and calm my headaches. If marijuana can help me with all my other problems in addition to possibly reducing the size of my tumor and extending my life, then why on earth would our government not allow me to have it?”

    Why indeed?

    Paul Armentano

    Washington, D.C.

    Armentano is deputy director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. 

    Television ads in favor of pending medical cannabis legislation are now airing in select markets of New York state. To view the ad, click here. To learn more about what you can do to support efforts to legalize medical marijuana in New York, please click here.

    4 Responses to ““Unlike Law Enforcement, I Interact With Medical Marijuana Patients””

    1. […] Nick wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptLawmakers in New York continue to debate legislation that seeks to legalize medical cannabis for qualified patients. Meanwhile, opponents of this compassionate and common sense measure argue that acknowledging the known therapeutic … […]

    2. I tend to disagree with legalizing cannabis I think unscrupulous physicians will make a kill out of giving phony prescriptions.
      —————————–
      Carol Smith
      http://www.treatmentcenters.org/alabama/
      Alabama Treatment Centers

    3. Anonymous says:

      I understand from an audiostash last week, there are 30,000 people listening to the audiostash broadcast every day. How about having a once-a-week emphasis on “write your congressperson to support HR such-and-such”? If only 10% of the listeners responded, that would be 3,000 letters a week. Elected officials are greatly concerned with staying in office, so they really do listen to polite, friendly letters. A weekly write-your-elected-officials activity would go a long way toward helping to clarify where the voting public really stands on a variety of issues. Your broadcast is in a unique opportunity to catalyze this kind of grass-roots activity.

    4. Woahjahowitz says:

      Carol above says, “I tend to disagree with legalizing cannabis I think unscrupulous physicians will make a kill out of giving phony prescriptions.” While all the time she is making a killing at her Treatment center using govt funding and insurance. She is just taking advantage of the opposite side. When parents of a 16-18yr old who has been found to be using marijuana commit him to treatment and take him out of school and god knows what else and put him in the system because he is a “Drug Addict” Because he smoked a joint.. well she is almost worse than that doctor who writes a false script. I applaud your attempts to help those who truly need it, and frown upon your openness to treat those who don’t just for the $$.

    Leave a Reply