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Do you support the legalization of medical marijuana?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 10, 2007

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Photo of Chris Brennan

“Yeah. Although some of the science has been controversial, there has been more than enough personal testament, especially by cancer patients, that using marijuana to relieve pain is far preferable to using heavy narcotics.”

Photo of Chris Black

“Of course. I believe that some medications have such horrible side effects that using marijuana is the best option for patients.”

Photo of Kabir Kapoor

“Yes. If someone is chronically ill, then they should be able to decide how they can best treat their illness.”

Photo of Tracy Nevels

“Yes. If you are dying from cancer and it helps to ease your suffering, then why not?”

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Comments

trinity 7 years, 7 months ago

abso-freakin'-lutely. and THEN some. the pharmaceutical companies will never go for it tho-legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes would cut in to their profits.

davidnta 7 years, 7 months ago

I would go ahead and say that we should completely leagalize marijuana and get on to bigger and better things.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm all for the use of mary jane for those who suffer from cancer. I'm just as strong a supporter for the use of Ben & Jerry's for the treatment of daily stress.

perkins 7 years, 7 months ago

Let's have a breather before another marijuana topic, eh Journal-World?

packrat 7 years, 7 months ago

I think it should be legalized.

Personal choice issue.

sgtwolverine 7 years, 7 months ago

It's already 9:00 (eastern time), and this is still civil? What's wrong? I was expecting my eyebrows to be singed when I opened this page.

trinity 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL sgt...welllll maybe everybody's already mellow? ;-)

friday friday friDAY friday friday friDAY friday friday friDAYYYYYYYY! (and a great day to indulge in Klondike Bars!)

acg 7 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely. I support the legalilzation of all marijuana and the promotion of industrialized hemp. I can't understand why it's illegal in the first place, when you consider that the high that stems from pot is basically innocuous when compared to the dangers of alcohol. I also don't understand why pot continues to be illegal and cigarettes are legal when cigarettes are the only product on the market that if used in the way they were intended will most likely kill you or make you seriously ill. I also can't wrap my brain around telling a dying group of people that they can't have some little plant that eases their pain and helps them keep down food. Why would you ever withhold comfort from the sick and dying? What could possible be the gain from that, other than a sheer want to control the masses?

werekoala 7 years, 7 months ago

The stupidity of keeping marijuana illegal for recreational consumption aside;

there is absolutely no good reason to prefer high-dose narcotics over marijuana as a painkiller for the chronically or terminally ill.

That also sets aside the many anecdotal stories about how it helps relieve the nausea associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy much better than the mainstream treatments, which to me is a much more profound rationale.

My take is that there is a legacy of vilification of the plant, especially among the regulatory classes; and there is no money in changing it. I know that the alcohol and pharmaceutical lobbies spend a great deal of time and money maintaining the status quo.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't understand. In any poll taken the vast majority of Americans on both sides of the political spectrum (not counting the crazy fundie rightwingers who are fast becoming a small minority along with Phred Phelps) want medical marijuana legalized. Yet our legislators, those people we elect to make our laws and LISTEN to us just don't seem to be getting it. I remember reading a story about a man dieing from AIDS who was busted for using medical marijuana. The judge made a snide comment about "nobody dies from not having marijuana" and threw him in jail. That night, while in jail, because he was denied the use of the marijuana that had been keeping his nausea at bay, he vomited, aspirated on it...and died. I know this story is on the 'net and I can find the citations if people like. However, even if Kansas legalizes medical marijuana it's not going to make any difference. It's still going to be against Federal law and it's going to trump any law the state passes. California, which has legalized medical marijuana, has ran into this right and left. Recently the very last provider of medical marijuana has shut down his shop under threat of Federal prosecution. And please DON'T bring up how there are substitutes on the market that are legal. I'm a nurse and I have administered Marinol. Believe me it's no viable substitute. It's synthetic THC that has been gutted of the very properties that make marijuana useful in end of life situations.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

If it is legalized, and someone should feel the need for medication while dining, will that fall under the city's smoking ban?

Woodduck_5363 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, I say yes it is about time. Has the State and goverment found a way to get their money too, after all these years?

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 7 months ago

If it is legalized, and someone should feel the need for medication while dining, will that fall under the city's smoking ban?

I say yes. They can do their bong hits on the patio. Would you want thai stick smoke blowing in your baby's face?

purplesage 7 years, 7 months ago

Keep it illegal. If there are valid medical uses, put it in the pharmaceutical, make it availabe with a prescription as a controlled substance. Make alcohol illegal and treat it the same way.

PapaB 7 years, 7 months ago

Great, I already have some girl at my work who smokes while 5 months pregnant, so now she'll be smoking weed while pregnant.

The only argument I have for legalizing everything is that it's hard to just say "it's my body, I can do whatever I want to it!" when you're forcing it on a little one inside you or the people around you. Just as much as people have the right to smoke, others have the right to not smoke, especially babies who lack the capacity to choose.

Crossfire 7 years, 7 months ago

...Chong Bongs on sale at Walgreens. ...cool.

lounger 7 years, 7 months ago

YEs -yes and yes again. Medical marijuana is most helpful without the horrible side effects that plague the pharmaceuticals.

acg 7 years, 7 months ago

check out purplesage's previous posts. If she (are you a she purplesage?) had her way, they'd take away our booze, ciggies, weed, guns, drugs, they'd kill off all of the homosexuals and make prayer and bible study mandatory.

halfgreengirl 7 years, 7 months ago

Well...of course... Not to mention I support it just not being illegal at all. Besides, I've never been convinced that marijuana is a "bad drug". Think of all the crack and cocaine addicts running around doing crazy things. Now, tell me the last time you heard of someone smoking a bowl and then turning to the person next to them and saying "Geez, now I just wanna go kill people and destroy things." Um...that doesn't happen. Heroin - probably a good idea it's illegal. Marijuana? - Oh please. Just give us our herb and let us be happy listening to our Bob Marley LPs.

snoozey 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, it would be great for the local economy - forget farming for wheat, beans and corn. With more local revenue we could acquire even more T-buses for our citizens not to ride on. Maybe even build a few more roundabouts for the empty buses to have to negotiate. Heck, the sky is the limit..

sgtwolverine 7 years, 7 months ago

Using marijuana may be the only way to be happy while listening to Bob Marley. Every time I've heard him without the aid of the hazy leafy greens, I've just been bored.

TheGCW 7 years, 7 months ago

Caging humans for using what God (The Ecologician) says is good on literally the very 1st page of the Bible (see Gen 1:11-12 and 29-30) is luciferous.

The only Biblical restriction placed on cannabis is that it be used with thankfulness (see 1 Timothy 4:1-5).

Jesus Christ risked going to jail in order to heal the sick.

Christ God Our Father teaches that to "love one another" is to obey all the commandments (see John 14-16 & 1 John). You can not love someone and cage them for using what God says is good at the same time.

"But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (see: 1 John 3:17).

Many people believe cannabis (kaneh bosm) is the tree of life and the very last page of the Bible indicates the leaves of the tree of live are for the healing of the nations. (see Rev. 22:1-5 etc.)

What kind of a person supports caging humans for using a God-given plant?

What kind of "Christian" supports caging humans for using cannabis? Disobedient Christians. Those who claim Christ but support such sin are exposed.

Cannabis prohibition is Biblically known as the "Sin of the Priests" as subtitled in Malachi 1:6-14. (N.A.S.B.)

The Green Collar Worker

geekin_topekan 7 years, 7 months ago

I imagine that the lumber,pharmacutical,textile companies have many lobbiest that are paid huge salaries to keep MJ out of the hands of citizens. Legalize it and remove the criminal element?That wouldnt be any fun.Where would the fear element that is so essential to effective government come from? I wonder why Dolly Madison and Taco John's don't have lobbiests?They would stand to make a killing with legal pot.

fedup 7 years, 7 months ago

Ala Jimmy Swaggart, Rush Limbaugh and all the other holier than thou criminals this is clearly a case where the more you oppose something the more you need the medicine.

dolphin1985 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes, I agree that it should be legalized. If it helps do it man. Look at oxycontin it is much more addictive than marijuana. I mean its out there and around anyway they are going to do it whether it is legal or not.

smokey 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm getting the munchies, anyone wanta go to taco bell

sgtwolverine 7 years, 7 months ago

Independent of the marijuana issue, but I have to say it:

"They are going to do it whether it is legal or not" is among the worst arguments for anything.

Jaminrawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Of course it should be legal.

If marijuana was a taxed product regulated by the government, like alcohol is, it would go a long way towards fixing a lot of problems. Pot could be made cheaper with government involvement thus ridding bad areas of drug dealers and cutting funding to drug lords that get a profit off of marijuana sales. Farmers might be able utilize marijuana and hemp as a new means of revenue on failing farms. Possibly less drunk drivers on the streets. Less passed out and/or vomiting drunks on the streets after last call. Etc.

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

Legalize It All.
End the Drug War on American citizens. Grow Industrail Hemp to make sustainable products and fuels to reduce our dependence on Oil!

kmat 7 years, 7 months ago

"It's already taxed: Has been since 1937."

Do you understand the tax law regarding this? It's to make sure that you can't legally have the drug. Check out anyone that gets busted. They are charged with possession and failure to have tax stamps. To get the tax stamps, you have to prove you have the pot. You prove you have the pot, you're arrested for possession. See the nice little trick the govt likes to play???

Legalize it and tax it like cigs and maybe we can pay the 2 billion dollar per week price tag for this damned war. Legalize prostitution at the same time and tax it and we won't have a deficit and everyone can have health care.

Pot is illegal because hemp would kill the timber, textile, pharma and some of the oil industry. They throw out biased studies to show how bad pot supposedly is as a cover to keep it illegal.

I suffer from migraines and pot would allow me to not have to take barbituates and narcotics to control the pain and nausea, but my govt would prefer I take much harsher prescription drugs that actually can and do harm my body. Same thing when my sister was getting chemo treatments. Take all kinds of harsh drugs that hurt her even more, but no pot for you (even though she had a very slight chance of surviving her cancer - pot was still deemed to be too bad for her health).

Bud Stagg 7 years, 7 months ago

Why isn't weed legal now? I think the supporters just aren't that motivated.

trinity 7 years, 7 months ago

lakotachick-what you called a "rant" was in fact a brilliant post&i thank you for it. :)

gogoplata 7 years, 7 months ago

Get rid of prohibition on drugs. It doesn't seem to work to well. Seems to create more problems than it solves.

gogoplata 7 years, 7 months ago

Vote Ron Paul for president in 2008. He wants to get rid of prohibition on drugs and end the drug war.

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 7 months ago

I lived in Humboldt County, California, for about a year. Never before had I lived in a place with no fewer than 6 hydroponics stores within a ten mile radius. If you want to see the results of the war on marijuana, just go to Humboldt or Mendocino counties in California. Authorities estimate that marijuana contributes about $5 billion to the Mendocino County economy. This figure was arrived at by estimating that annually only 10% of the total crop is seized. Indeed, if the government ever really decided to crack down on the area, the economies would probably collapse. There is a thriving medical marijuana industry there. I don't remember who posted that the last medical dispensary had been closed, but I know for absolute fact that this is not true. People were still standing in line for their medicine two weeks ago when I was last there. Mike Thompson (D-California) has repeatedly tried introducing a bill to get pot legalized in California for the purpose of taxing the multi-billion dollar crop (California's most profitable crop even with all those other things they grow there--it's even bigger than wine). He can't even get the bill heard on the floor of Congress. Fortunately, more and more states are passing medical programs. When it comes to easing laws for pot, politicians see the topic as a lightning rod during a thunderstorm in the middle of the open prairie. They know it is dangerous for them, so they don't address it. The funny thing is that with the baby boomer generation getting older and getting elected, many of our elected officials have tried pot in the past and probably realize how exaggerated the dangers are. But I could go on. So I won't.

redmorgan 7 years, 7 months ago

If it ever is legalized, then I want to be a farmer!

kucourtsider 7 years, 7 months ago

When I was younger, I smoked my fair share of marijauna. But, I honestly have to say, I've had more of a buzz from Vidodin than I've had from marijuana. Legalize the sh*t!

oneflewover 7 years, 7 months ago

Medical use yes. For recreational use absolutely not. As a small business owner, my biggest challenge is drugs and alcahol. If neither existed, I guarantee that my employees would be to work, and ready to work on a much more regular basis. I start people at around $8.00 per hour with a definite ability to work up in pay based on productivity. How many of them strive to make more? Very few. I know exactly why and have seen it over and over. Pot makes people lazy. Not everyone but the vast majority. I am sick of it and wish there would be a crack down.

ihatelv 7 years, 7 months ago

Rember this day folks.... I totally agree with Sceenbooster and the rest of you... Legalize it! I actually wrote my senior thesis in high school about why they should legalize it......

lakotachick 7 years, 7 months ago

"acg (Anonymous) says:

Absolutely. I support the legalization of all marijuana and the promotion of industrialized hemp. I can't understand why it's illegal in the first place, when you consider that the high that stems from pot is basically innocuous when compared to the dangers of alcohol. I also don't understand why pot continues to be illegal and cigarettes are legal when cigarettes are the only product on the market that if used in the way they were intended will most likely kill you or make you seriously ill. I also can't wrap my brain around telling a dying group of people that they can't have some little plant that eases their pain and helps them keep down food. Why would you ever withhold comfort from the sick and dying? What could possible be the gain from that, other than a sheer want to control the masses?"

I totally agree with acg!!! You never hear of a "stoned driver" killing anyone like a "drunk driver" does EVERYDAY.

My 69 year old dad in Arizona uses Marijuana for the constant shaking he suffers due to his Parkinson's disease. He uses it at bedtime to help him fall asleep. I would hate to see him go to jail for "using an illegal drug." I'm so glad that my stepsister is a "pothead", so she can get him this medicine! It's unbelievable that our government classifies Marijuana in the same category as hard drugs.

Our government is so hypocritical in the fact that farmers in the U.S. can't grow hemp to support their families, but George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers, and the early drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written on hemp paper!!! Not only that, but the first American flag was made of hemp cloth!!!

Some members of my tribe, The Oglala Sioux Tribe, (a sovereign nation, by the way) of The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota (one of the poorest areas in the United States) have been trying to grow industrial hemp since 2000, only to have the DEA destroy their crops every year, even though it is legal on the reservation (a sovereign nation) to farm hemp, per the tribe's constitution. for more information on this go to www.standingsilentnation.com...It was featured on PBS on the POV series in a documentary...

"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?" - Henry Ford

check it out!! http://www.ecomall.com/biz/hemp.htm

thanks for reading my rant! make love not war...

Mkh 7 years, 7 months ago

"Some members of my tribe, The Oglala Sioux Tribe, (a sovereign nation, by the way) of The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota (one of the poorest areas in the United States) have been trying to grow industrial hemp since 2000, only to have the DEA destroy their crops every year, even though it is legal on the reservation (a sovereign nation) to farm hemp, per the tribe's constitution. for more information on this go to www.standingsilentnation.com:It was featured on PBS on the POV series in a documentary:"


Lakotachick,

Great post! I have seen that documentary and strongly recommend that folks watch it. This story needs to be told. Hemp is a wonderful opprotunity for every state and community but especially for poor communities like Pine Ridge which cannot grow anything else.

This is the latest atrocity committed by the US Government on the Lakota people and it needs to end!

jonas 7 years, 7 months ago

Of course. I'll leave it at that, all the other good answers have been taken at this late hour.

Bill Chapman 7 years, 7 months ago

The major problem with medical marijuana is not the effect of the drug, but the way in which it effects different people. Marijuana does not seem to effect me as much as it does others, in fact, the few times I have had it, it does not do much more than make me hungry. I do not experience any of the mental effects many say it gives them. For some one under going chemotherapy, or some other drastic medical treatment, I would not deny someone the ability to lessen the side effects by marijuana use. The other problem with marijuana is: it is a natural substance. As such, it CAN NOT be copyrighted(or licensed by the FDA), which would give a company the right to manufacture/ produce marijuana. - I say put it under the government protection. Make the government the sole legal distributor(with doctors being the middleman), this would allow for product control(I have heard tales of marijuana cut with stink weed, you name it) and give the government the taxes from the sell of it (not to mention the revenue from fines to illegal producers). This would also allow the DEA to focus on the more harmful drugs, like LSD, meth, cocaine, ice cocaine, heroin, etc.

jonnypotseed4all 7 years, 7 months ago

Give the sick and dying whatever comfort they seek, to deny them is un Christian and a sin.

4TheWorldNotMe 7 years, 7 months ago

Everybody don't worry, Medical Marijuana is going to be legalized. We are in what i like to call the Selfish, Rich right, Corporation age of the US. People like George Bush are in Charge and all the members of congress and the senate are doing everything right now for themselves because of ties to corporations. Soon it'll be the new age when we the people of the 70s through 90s will rule this country, and we all know whats going to happen. The new leaders are going to actually know the reasons for the coming of the US. Everything we think now is what we will abide by in the short future.

Its all a matter of time......

swamp_rat 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes they need to legalize it.

"Nobody ever went nuts and killed anybody using it." Exactly, it just makes you happy and gives you the munchies. What's wrong with that? (Uh,.. or so I've been told!)

I think the "munchie " side effect is great for cancer patients. Would help them with the nausia thereby helping keep the weight on.

person184 7 years, 7 months ago

faceit (Anonymous) says:

Parents who smoked pot may wonder why so many kids have Autism.


Really dumb and ill-informed.

sissezz 7 years, 7 months ago

Ok , medical Mary Jane.that sounds great. But to legalize it for public use........not so great. I don't want my Doctor operating on me or my babysitter smokin a doobie then watchin my kids. How would you control it??

usesomesense 7 years, 7 months ago

'Medical Marijuana' is an absurd contradiction of terms for the pharmaceutical industry. To suggest a plant that anyone can grow can be safe and effective as a treatment of ANY kind contradicts the majority of the medical/pharmaceutical industry's primary goal - PROFIT.

To allow an untraceable, naturally occuring 'Medicine' to be available to the public would potentially cut them out of the loop. Their big fear is that if ANY marijuana is available legally it will make it easier to have illegal marijuana too.

While taxation may seem an attractive incentive for the state, I believe their fear is that people will just grow their own to circumvent it

As far as the 'Gateway' drug is concerned - the only difference is that since marijuana is illegal it makes people wonder about other illegal drugs. Certainly nicotine and alcohol are far more addictive (not to mention narcotics available with a prescription).

Being intoxicated is just that - I expect my surgeon to not be drunk or on crack when he operates on me. I expect drivers to be sober. Same rules apply no matter what the drug is. No matter your reason for taking them.

It's not about what's right or wrong for people, it's about where the money is.

introversion 7 years, 7 months ago

I wonder why so many kids have autism... sometimes I wonder about that while I'm eating, sleeping, or on my way to go somewhere.

Lets talk more about Autism when the new coal plants are built. Not that they have anything to do with weed, but neither does Autism, so I guess it's all good then.

lakotachick 7 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for the kind words, Mkh and trinity...:)

Crispian Paul 7 years, 7 months ago

RETICENT_IRREVERENT (Anonymous) says:

T_O_B,

It's already taxed: Has been since 1937. http://marijuanastamps.com/images/Kansas: http://www.cannabisculture.com/forums/up:

Argument null and void. Throw out another:.

I think what he was getting at is tax it for the purposes of regulating it and making it legal. As it stands right now, possessing marijuana in and of itself is federally illegal. IN ADDITION, not paying for the tax stamp is an added charge. However, there is no legal way to purchase the tax stamp because to do so is admitting possession or intended possession of an illegal substance. Argument null and void in the context of the discussion. This is what's called a "catch 22".....Your turn.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 7 months ago

faceit (Anonymous) says:

Parents who smoked pot may wonder why so many kids have Autism

Oh, frick and frack. No one, not even autism "EXPERTS" know what causes autism or accounts for the increased rates of diagnosis. Same goes for ADD/ADHD, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue....the list goes on and on. Really, virtually every person of my parents generation smoked pot at one point or another and we (gen x) don't have higher than "normal" rates of autism. Seems a little like an agenda issue to me....

Crispian Paul 7 years, 7 months ago

The_Original_Bob (Anonymous) says:

"Eventually it could go the way of Claritin®, and you could buy it at Wal-mart at 6th & Wak." RI

Perhaps it will be one of their $4 drugs.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!1

hawklet21 7 years, 7 months ago

lakotachick- You are awesome, and I agree. prospector- You, too, are awesome, and I laughed my a$$ off at that story.

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