Should Michigan legalize medical marijuana? All About Proposal 1

By chillinwill · Oct 22, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Michigan voters will have the opportunity to protect seriously ill patients from the threat of arrest and jail for using their doctor-recommended medicine. Voting "yes" on Proposal 1 is about compassion, common sense and providing a measure of relief for some of our sickest friends, neighbors and loved ones.

    Study after study has shown that medical marijuana can be remarkably effective at treating the symptoms of certain debilitating diseases and conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as countering the side effects of certain treatment regimens themselves. Indeed, medical marijuana often works for patients where conventional drugs fail.

    Medical marijuana laws are on the books in 12 other states, and the sky hasn't fallen. These compassionate programs protect patients who use medical marijuana under the recommendation of a licensed physician and are largely operating without the range of unintended consequences opponents of Proposal 1 like to invoke. What's more, Michigan has learned from these other states' experiences and has safeguards that are included under Proposal 1.

    For instance, unlike some of the earliest medical marijuana laws like California's, Proposal 1 requires a statewide registry of patients and ID cards so law enforcement can easily tell who is a legitimate patient. It also provides for steep penalties for fraudulent cards and false statements so that the law does exactly what it's intended to do: provide legal protection for the seriously ill while guarding against abuse.

    Also, unlike California, Proposal 1 does not allow for dispensaries, so the opposition's overheated rhetoric about "pot shops" is without basis.

    In addition, the existing medical marijuana states have not shown increases in teen use -- in fact, use has declined in many of them since the passage of their laws. Proposal 1 in no way affects existing regulations against public use, restrictions on employees or laws against driving under the influence.

    These objections are scare tactics meant to distract voters from the central issue: compassion for the sick and dying.

    More than 1,200 medical professionals in Michigan, as well as prominent groups like the Michigan Nurses Association, have publicly endorsed Proposal 1. The American College of Physicians, the largest specialty physician group in the country, has acknowledged and supported the efficacy and medical applications of marijuana, as have the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Public Health Association and many others.

    It's time we listened to these expert voices and exhibited real compassion for the seriously ill. If a physician feels medical marijuana is appropriate for a patient, the law shouldn't stand in the way. And for a limited number of suffering Michiganders, medical marijuana will provide safe and effective relief to the symptoms of hideous illnesses.

    We owe it to these most vulnerable members of our communities to vote "yes" to Proposal 1 on Nov. 4.

    Dr. George F. Wagoner is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist in Manistee.

    By Dr. George F. Wagoner
    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Share This Article


  1. infekt
    I Will be voting yes!
  2. chillinwill

    Everyone's excited for the election this Nov. 4, but there's a lot more to it than picking who our next president is going to be. The state of Michigan has two proposals on the ballot, and the first one is about medical marijuana. Hardly anyone I talk to knows what Proposal 1 is about, it seems as though the people who like marijuana don't like politics and the people who like politics don't like marijuana. But either way, people need to be informed about all the issues on the ballot.

    At the moment medical marijuana is already legal in 12 states and helps with quite a number of diseases, including glaucoma, arthritis, Tourette's syndrome, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, AIDs, cancer and Crohn's disease, which is a gastrointestinal disorder that has symptoms such as bloody diarrhea. I don't know about you, but if I had something like Crohn's disease, I'd try to take any treatment I could get. There are people who report that medical marijuana may have saved their lives.

    Of course, if medical marijuana does pass, there is always a chance of doctors going a bit overboard and writing prescriptions for far too many things. In California, a girl was prescribed medical marijuana for having high heel pain. But the U.S. federal government has never reported a single death of a marijuana overdose.

    Basically, Proposal 1 would change Michigan law and make it so seriously ill people could seek authorization from a doctor to grow up to a dozen marijuana plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces, strictly for personal use. Patients who are allowed to take medical marijuana will have identification cards that say that their doctors allowed them to possess it.

    Am I the only one who finds the mental image of cancer patients tending to marijuana plants incredibly amusing? I don't know why, but I keep on imagining all these terribly ill people running around with their twelve pot plants and trying to water them all.

    Proposal 1 would also protect the primary caregivers who handle marijuana for or administer marijuana to their sick friends or family. Of course, people taking medical marijuana wouldn't be allowed to drive under the influence of it or smoke it in public or near prisons or schools. So when you vote this election try to think about all the sick people out there who are searching for whatever treatment they can get. It's not like medical marijuana kills anyone, so what's the worst that could happen?

    Author: Jennifer Serwach
    Pubdate: Mon, 27 Oct 2008
    Source: Michigan Times, The (MI Edu)
    Copyright: 2008 The Michigan Times
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!