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  1. Alfa
    THE GREAT POT DEBATE

    Fight Over Medical Marijuana Goes National

    The line dividing recreational drugs and legitimate medical drug is growing
    increasingly blurry. Legal drugs can be abused, and illicit drugs can often
    be successfully used to treat medical conditions.

    Heroin, for example, was once sold by the Bayer Corporation for use as a
    cough suppressant and to aid recovery from morphine addiction. Of course
    the drug was rapidly banned once health officials and doctors recognized
    that it was highly addictive. Most would argue that this was a smart move,
    but perhaps the arguments are not so clear for other drugs.

    For instance, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a study at
    Harvard that will look into whether or not ecstasy can improve the
    emotional health of terminally ill patients. Other researchers have
    investigated the active ingredients in "magic mushrooms" and how they can
    help people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. So where does one
    draw the line between helping a select group of sick patients and creating
    a national drug abuse problem?

    Nowhere is this controversy more alive than in the debate over the
    legalization of medical marijuana -- a battle based right here in
    California. State Proposition 215, enacted in 1996, allows doctors to
    recommend medical marijuana on a case-by-case basis. The drug is typically
    used to relieve patients with chronic pain, increase appetite in AIDS
    patients, treat mood disorders and reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy.

    Many doctors believe it works. One Harvard study of 2,000 physicians found
    that over 40 percent of oncologists recommend the use of marijuana
    following chemotherapy treatments.

    Prop. 215 allows patients to claim exemption from the law if they can
    provide evidence of special medical circumstances. However, since buying
    marijuana is still illegal in California, patients must grow their own. In
    Sonoma County, for example, those who are exempt may cultivate up to 99
    plants and can possess up to three pounds of marijuana at any one time.
    Those who cannot grow their own supply often make special arrangements
    through "Cannabis Clubs," using a special "club card."

    Despite Prop. 215, tension still exists between law enforcement and
    medicinal marijuana users, particularly because marijuana is illegal under
    federal law, which is interpreted by some to trump state law. As a result,
    cannabis clubs and even patients' homes continue to be raided by police.

    Yet this spring, one Supreme Court case might change everything. The case
    concerns a California mother of two, Angel McClary Raich, who suffers from
    a number of medical problems, including tumors in her brain and uterus. She
    began using marijuana when no other medication allowed her to function. In
    2002, Raich, along with another patient and two caregivers, sued the United
    States government to prevent federal authorities from interfering with her
    use of medical marijuana. If the Supreme Court rules against Raich, the
    federal government will have the final say on the legalization of the drug.

    But enough legal talk. This is a health page, and the real question
    remains: Do the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the costs?

    To start off, let's go over what happens to your body when you smoke a
    joint. Marijuana is composed of thousands of chemical compounds. The one
    that causes users to feel "high" is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol, also
    known as THC. When you inhale from a pipe or a joint, THC enters your
    lungs, dissolves into your bloodstream and eventually makes its way to your
    brain. THC binds to specific sites known as cannabinoid receptors, which
    are found in regions of the brain related to pleasure, thought,
    concentration, memory, perception of sensations and time and movement. As a
    result, when you feel high, your memory, thought and concentration are also
    impaired.

    Additionally, with each inhalation, carcinogenic compounds make their way
    into your body, many of which can irritate your mouth, throat and lungs.
    Marijuana is unique in that it is nowhere near as addictive as other drugs
    -- including legal drugs. Even so, long-term use has the potential to lead
    to addiction.

    What about the medical benefits? As mentioned, marijuana can help people
    with severe pain, cancer patients suffering from side effects of
    chemotherapy and AIDS patients who have no appetite. In some cases,
    marijuana can help people conquer a day full of pain, nausea or extreme
    fatigue.

    Law enforcement and public health officials fear that if medical marijuana
    is completely legalized across the nation, use -- both prescribed and
    recreational -- will skyrocket.

    There is evidence to support this concern. After Oregon made use of medical
    marijuana legal in 1998, the number of users spiked much higher than
    expected. Today, 10,000 Oregonians hold medical marijuana cards. Some
    question whether all cases are legitimate -- and whether patients share
    their marijuana with non-patients.

    But do a few people abusing the system justify denying everyone who needs
    the drug for legitimate medical reasons? If a handful of people overdose on
    morphine, should this important analgesic be banned entirely?

    The decision no longer lies in the hands of Californians -- or any other
    common citizens, for that matter. We can only watch and wait to see what
    the court decides this spring.

Comments

  1. Alicia
    JUST relised wrong place to post this will make new thread in weed section:

    I know this may of been covered, but has there been any incidents of mouth and throat cancer? with weed directly not concerned with lung cancer. some of the drug sites will say it does which is quite conflicting to what swia reads else where.

    Maybe swims paranoid, occasionally having thought she may end like her friend. Who has throat and mouth cancer but he did smoke tobacco alot , drink etc. Are mouth and throat cancer rare? comparing to lung cancer?

    Swia herself doesn't smoke tobacco. she did in her 15's up 19's. She doesn't smoke joints very often as she prefers to to chug back her pollen or weed in one go in one hit. Hold it in then slowly exhale and in envelop in the warm weed high. This is sometimes repeated depending on tolarance 3-8 times a day not all day long. I know there are vaporiser out there and water bongs. But nothing compares to a lung. In how high ti makes swia feel any response greatly appreciate the boyo also smokes pretty much in the same fashion as swia.

    Any help at all, opinions etc

    swia doc and dentist always laugh everytime i get them to check my throat,. lol

    WE know the obvious thing would be to not smoke, or eat it.
  2. sadskills1987
    this is true in the short-term. marijuana use will skyrocket in the beginning although exactly how many people are not counted as users in the first place, could the initial "skyrocket" just mostly be users coming out of the closet? although many will feel a desire to try it because of its new legal status(which will also contribute to the new influx of users), this will fade with time, unless we become a new amsterdam. legalization gets rid of some of the allure, you just gotta give it time to let the feeling wear off.
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