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Archive for Friday, August 10, 2007

Coalition seeks marijuana legalization

August 10, 2007

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Woman seeks to change state marijuana laws

A Lawrence woman who helped change the way marijuana cases are handled in Lawrence is now leading a group that will seek a state law to legalize the drug for medical reasons. Enlarge video

— A Lawrence woman who helped change the way marijuana cases are handled in Lawrence is leading a group that will seek a state law to legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons.

"Our objectives are simple: to allow physicians - not politicians - to make decisions about what is best for patients, and to protect citizens from the risk of arrest simply because they're trying to gain relief from a major medical problem," said Laura Green, director of the Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition.

Twelve states that comprise 22 percent of the U.S. population have enacted laws that allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes, she said. An estimated 115,000 Americans have obtained physician recommendations to use marijuana for medical purposes in those states, she said.

New Mexico was the most recent state to approve such legislation with Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat who is running for president, signing the measure into law in April.

At the time he said, "This law will provide much-needed relief for New Mexicans suffering from debilitating diseases."

In Kansas, marijuana is illegal even for medical purposes for ill people. "Not all need to use marijuana, but for those who do, we believe these patients shouldn't be criminally sanctioned," Green said Thursday.

She said allowing marijuana for medical use is picking up support as people become more informed about the issue.

"They're able to make the distinction between recreational use and medical use," Green said.

A 2006 poll commissioned by the coalition found that 62 percent of Kansans would not oppose changing state law to allow marijuana use by someone with a serious medical condition if it was recommended by a physician.

Although many pain medications exist, marijuana should be allowed as an option because some patients respond better to it, she said.

Green served as executive director of the Drug Policy Forum of Kansas, which lobbied for passage of an ordinance in Lawrence that allows some marijuana cases to be handled in Municipal Court instead of District Court. That group, however, said the $200 minimum fine set for first-time marijuana possession was too high.

The coalition wanting to legalize medical marijuana has 400 members and chapters in Lawrence and Wichita, Green said. She said the group will work on legislation when the 2008 legislative session starts in January.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 4 months ago

This is a very controversial topic. That marijuana can be used for.... hey, cheetos.

And am I the only one that found the talking dog anti-marijuana commercial to be messed up? In real life you know she would be going "Dude! This is some good stuff. I could have sworn I just heard my dog talk. Whoahhh..".

leadrain 7 years, 4 months ago

I think it would be a good idea to totally decriminalize the use of marajauna. Perhaps package them like cigarettes, or by the gram, and just have a hefty tax. I was in L.A. and visited " Ziggy's Head Shop" on Hollywood Blvd. and right behind the counter were pictures of the owners with their arms around an apparently " elevated " Montel Williams, who we all know is suffering from MS and other ailments. To even think to stop someone from easing their physical torture is a slap in the face, and in my oppinion, the true torture itself. The Government allows the sale of known cancer causing tobacco products but throw up roadblocks when it comes to medicinal grass. They should be ashamed of themselves. Dopers are Dopey, but the sick and dying are in great need of affordable, effective medication. Many would have a greater quality of life as they deal with thier illnesses.

Bubbles 7 years, 4 months ago

Ban smoking but legalize pot? Another fine example of liberal logic.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 4 months ago

Bubbles, are you even paying attention? We're talking about medical pot, not everyday pot. And if you can prove to us that smoking cancer sticks can provide medical assistance, then by all means we should repeal the smoking ban.

oldvet 7 years, 4 months ago

"Our objectives are simple: to allow physicians - not politicians - to make decisions about what is best for patients, and to protect citizens from the risk of arrest simply because they're trying to gain relief from a major medical problem," said Laura Green, director of the Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian agrees totally with this statement...

cowboy 7 years, 4 months ago

Big Pharma will not allow it , think of all the really crappy medication that marijuana could replace

KansasPerson 7 years, 4 months ago

Why is everyone on this board assuming that marijuana is actually more effective than anything else in relieving symptoms?

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 4 months ago

The deal with marijuana being a better choice comes down to side effects and cost. I guarantee the pharmaceuticals have a longer list of side effects than marijuana. Also, you can administer pot sublingually or by respiration (smoking or vaporizing). Pharmaceuticals for nausea, on the other hand, usually need to be swallowed to take advantage of their anti-nausea properties, which doesn't really make sense somehow. Also, in terms of narcotics for pain, pot won't cause physical addiction and withdrawal symptoms. In many mild to moderate cases, I think that marijuana is the most effecatious option. But there are a lot of people out there who hate their lives and don't want anyone to have any fun, especially when the fun involves releiving chronic pain or debilitating nausea with the fewest side effects and least financial cost. Because people who use for those reasons are just having fun, right? I'm not sure who the criminals are.

cowboy 7 years, 4 months ago

releives nausea , minor pain , aches , arthritus discomfort , digestive issues , glaucoma , chemo discomfort , anxiety , sleep disorders , on and on , side effects your grocery bill may go up and there will be periods where you are dumber than a post.

chet_larock 7 years, 4 months ago

"and there will be periods where you are dumber than a post."

This can also be considered a side effect of drinking alcohol =)

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 4 months ago

Causes emphyzema, bronchitis, inflamation of lungs, cancer, skin disorders and temporary bowel discomfort and flatulence.

Ragingbear 7 years, 4 months ago

Kneejerkreaction. WTF are you talking about? Seriously. There is not a single study that marijuana is linked to any of those issues you listed. Studies comparing tobacco and marijuana have always noted that Emphysema is absent. Bronchitis is a relative term that also means an inflammation of the lungs and perhaps additional mucous production. Most people that smoke it do not have this issue. It would stand to reason that a person suffering from a chronic condition like this should not be inhaling and holding any sort of smoke in their lungs.

There are no links to cancer either. In fact, some reports link certain cannibinoids found in marijuana to have the potential of slowing it down or reversing certain types of cancer. Never heard of a skin disorder from marijuana either.

And the temporary bowel discomfort and flatulence are not from the marijuana. It's caused by somebody that loses control and goes on a munchie binge.

I would like to see some links or something testifying to these assertions you made. Otherwise, I would advise you to go get yourself some and try it before you pollute the LJW blog with more made up trash perpetuated by Alcohol lobbyist.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 4 months ago

Another benefit to Medical Mary Jane is the short time it takes to become effective. Pills need 20-30 minutes to enter the blood stream and offer releif, at least. Because it is inhaled, maijuana's effects are felt quickly.

It should be legal all the way around - anyone who wants it can get it so we might as well make some revenue off ot it - but if we can't have that at least have it for the folks who need it.

livingkate 7 years, 4 months ago

Would you rather pump your body full of harsh chemicals, or use a PLANT to achieve the same purpose? The double standard for prescription drugs and marijuana is mind boggling. Its okay as long as it has a corporation's logo slapped on the package.

And people wonder why their children are caught popping Vicodin like candy...

thevidman 7 years, 4 months ago

"... 2006 poll commissioned by the coalition found that 62 percent of Kansans would not oppose changing state law..."

Do you think a vote would result the same?

Sounds like it should to me.

storm 7 years, 4 months ago

Governor Bill Richardson for President!

jonnypotseed4all 7 years, 4 months ago

Compassion? can any naysayer here understand the meaning of the word? give the sick and dying any comfort they ask for, to do otherwise is a true sin.

bgood 6 years, 8 months ago

i guess i don't understand how wiskey etc. which when drank in excess causes fights and hyper behaviour is legal but pot done in excess causes sleep and drowsiness and is not.Lets see,fighting vs relaxation,uhhh,it takes no dummy to see that crime would lessen.think about it,meth will cause aggression same as whiskey and crank.so why is pot illegal when whiskey is not?(Understand I enjoy a shot of whiskey as much as anyone else.)and when used as a RECREATIONAL DRUG it is quite relaxing.

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