Sunday, April 15, 2007


Excited For a Cause
Current mood: nauseated

Medical marijuana group sues feds[Finally.]

WASHINGTON (BP)[Baptist Press]--An organization advocating legalization of marijuana for medical use is suing the federal government over alleged inaccurate information used to warn of the drug's dangers.

[The inaccuracy is alleged but not the dangers... I smell bias.]

Opponents of marijuana for medicinal purposes, however, note that there are justifiable reasons for not legalizing the drug in such instances.

[But fail to provide sound scientific evidence... allegedly... hence the dispute.  My own research has been quite disturbing.  I can find no proof of marijuana being dangerous.  It is addictive.  It can cause cancer if smoked... which is not unusual if someone is inhaling burnt plant matter.  There are ways to reduce or eliminate this risk.  One can use a vaporizer, or simply ingest the substance.]

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a pro-medical marijuana group, has filed a lawsuit citing the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration as defendants. The lawsuit calls for both HHS and the FDA to retract the claim "there have been no studies that have scientifically assessed the efficacy of marijuana for any medical condition." 
[this is accurate]

The FDA's stance "on medical cannabis is incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws requiring the government to base policy on sound science," said Joe Elford, chief counsel for ASA. 
[this is accurate]

The Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF), a foe of medical marijuana, has countered, "It is important to realize that the campaign to allow marijuana to be used as medicine is a tactical maneuver in an overall strategy to completely legalize all drugs." 

[Ad absurdem.  really.  ASA is an organization representing suffering individuals.  This appears to be a very general statement with no basis in truth.  They fail to provide rationale... which isn't necessary.  The christian presupposition(unfortunately) is one of us verses them.  There is little use for rationale... opposition is assumed and typically in a hyperpolar degree.  Therefore, it is easy to make statements that implicate strong agendas without substantiation.  We are a morally beligerent people.]

The DFAF is a non-governmental organization committed to developing global strategies and policies to reduce illegal drug use, drug addiction, drug-related injury and death. 

[Drug Free America Foundation is a Non-Govermental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.  I am ignorant as to how this could influence the organization's impartiality.  However, most Americans accept the government's indoctrination to a greater or lesser degree.  I am speaking with conviction, that the government originally used very strong statements about marijuana... claiming users could experience death, insanity, possession, that daughters would run off and have sex with negroes(Anslinger's choice of words, not mine), hispanics, or entertainers... I'm limiting myself, here.  DFAF might be inclined to take another stance if they were in possession of all the facts.]

Barrett Duke, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's vice president for public policy, expressed concern over the lack of knowledge about marijuana, citing 400 chemicals in the drug that scientists have very little information on. A longtime foe of medical marijuana, Duke said this means states do not have mechanisms in place to assure the quality of the drug that is being used or the knowledge to discern the effects of the chemicals on the human mind and body.

[THC is already dispensed legally, under the name Marinol.  It is impossible to identify and understand every chemical constituent of every plant.  Lack of information is not bad information... it is lack of information.  The humans who use cannabis have been studied, and experience the same healthy levels of activity in the central nervous system.  Cannabis can prevent alchohol related brain-cell death by up to 60%.  There are many benefits to be had aside from therapeutic use... but my aim, here, is to refute any inaccurate information rather than promote the use of cannabis.  And throw in my two cents.

A mislplaced fear of uncertainty is a powerful way to gather support.]

In response to such concerns, Kris Hermes, legal campaign director for ASA, said even if there are negative side effects from marijuana, the person who is suffering should be free to choose those consequences over living with the symptoms of his medical condition.

[Ah.  Libery.  I agree.  First, it must be determined whether cannabis is harmful.  This is what ASA is disputing.  If the adverse affects of cannabis are neglible, assuming there are any, then, I believe, any benefits would merit letting such a decision rest in the minds of reponsible Americans.]

As a basis for its suit, the ASA cited the Data Quality Act (DQA), an amendment passed in 2001 to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information disseminated by federal agencies. The ASA said multiple scientific studies confirm the medical efficacy of marijuana, as evidence of why HHS should retract its claims about marijuana.

[This is accurate.  The DQA puts the truth in American's hands.]

HHS has delayed requests filed under the amendment in the past, according to the ASA, which claimed it had no other option than to file a lawsuit asserting that the government's statements deter sick and dying people from obtaining the medical relief they need. 

[The Department of Health and Human Services has also refused appeals from ASA.  ASA is challenging the government to provide proof of it's claims.  The DQA was enacted for such purposes.  I find this reasonable and expected.]

The FDA does not comment on pending litigation, the agency's senior policy advisor, Kathleen Quinn, said in response to a Baptist Press request for reaction to the Feb. 21 lawsuit.  [ASA did release comments.]
Duke and Hermes also disagreed on the broader impact of medical marijuana.

The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes will reduce the drug's stigma[this is true, and everything should be viewed as it really is], resulting in many people becoming "more comfortable with the idea of its use[This is probable.  I have yet to hear a substantiated claim of why this would be a bad idea], and some of them will decide to experiment with it[Let every American choose whether they will break the law.. rather than bending the truth to nip it in the bud]," Duke said. "This experimentation will certainly lead to increases in drug use by all age groups, and especially by youth."

[Prove it.  Still, I have yet to find credible evidence to merit this caution.]

The ASA expressed no concern about this possibility, however.

"If ... Duke can show evidence in the states that have passed medical marijuana laws that such laws have directly increased drug use among the broader population, I might have a reason to comment," Hermes said.

The Drug Free America Foundation, meanwhile, has said medical marijuana initiatives and bills address protecting the rights, privacy and safety of the user, but that is only part of the issue. The DFAF warned such measures offer no explanation as to how states intend to keep marijuana cultivators and users from distributing to minors, driving under the influence, consuming in public places or endangering others they come in contact with.

[Much of this is addressed by looking at how alchohol and its use is regulated.  It's not complicated.  Set and enforce laws.  People will distribute to minors.  People already do.  The Lutheran church prompted a bill in 2006 that would legalize cannabis in the state of Nevada.  They believed that prohibition increases use by minors, because unscrupulous drug dealers do not discriminate between age groups.  They believed that legalizaton would remove much of cannabis from the black market... at least in Nevada.]

"Marijuana decriminalization legislation puts society at risk of drug-related injury, illness, addiction and death," the DFAF said.

[This is a serious statement.  Again, prove it.  People should exercise the same discretions with cannabis as they do with alchohol.  One shouldn't show up at work drunk.  Likewise with cannabis.  There is no proof of illness.  But, this is what ASA is disputing.  There is not one proveable incidence of death where cannabis was the sole factor.]

Eleven states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.
[Twelve states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.  New Mexico, recently.]

[This lawsuit holds promise for those who suffer.  While methamphetamines and ecstacy are classified as schedule II drugs, marijuana is scheduled more strictly: schedule I.  The difference, according to the powers that be, is that meth and ecstacy have accepted(albeit rarely utilized) medical value while cannabis does not.

A ruling is expected to return in summer.  If cannabis is determined to have accepted medicinal value, it will then be rescheduled.  This is good news. 

Thankyou for your time and consideration.]

[[Criticized by The Imposter.]]

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