Post by Ask Jan on Aug 21, 2011 18:08:35 GMT -8
This article was written by an honorably discharged Army veteran suffering from severe service connected illness Multiple Sclerosis. Submitted by Ask Jan.
"I feel safe here in NY; I am a born New Yorker; Disabled Veterans Who benefit from Medical Marijuana cant in the states they served to protect. Despite the work of patients and advocates, seriously ill patients such as myself are sadly still awaiting for all states to have medical marijuana laws along with regulated dispensary systems, so patients have safe and reliable access to the doctor-recommended medicine. Just as many Americans have access to Oxycodone, Lortab, Tylenol, and other doctor-recommended medicines. Why continue to criminalize the ill? Many Multiple sclerosis, cancer, & AIDS patients are choosing not to waste away. An estimated 350,000 people in the United States are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a painful, debilitating and sometimes fatal disorder of the central nervous system. MS is the most common debilitating neurological disease of young people, appearing between the ages of 20 and 40, and affecting more women than men. Symptoms vary considerably from person to person; however, one frequently noted is spasticity, which causes pain, spasms and loss of function. Anecdotal reports cannabis has demonstrated effects on immune function that shows potential of reducing the autoimmune attack that is thought to be the underlying pathogenic process in MS. Many MS patients like me report that cannabis has a profound effect on muscle spasms, tremors, balance, bladder control, speech and eyesight. Lastly I was a wheelchair – bound patient, and am able to walk unaided when I have smoked cannabis. There are hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients like me in this country whom would benefit when they are able to purchase their medicine from safe, reliable and regulated establishments. In a New York study, marijuana was shown to help more than three-quarters of nauseated chemotherapy patients who did not respond to other medicines. It has also been associated with tripling the chances that AIDS and hepatitis C patients will be able to stay on their life-saving medicines. Last but most important to me, the needles to administer MS medications hurt, I don’t like needles, nor do I like using them to administer my medication. I no longer use them.
Unlike Oxycodone, Lortab, Tylenol, Hydrocodone and even water, marijuana has never caused an overdose or death. Seriously ill patients should not be arrested for using medical marijuana according to their doctors' recommendations. Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing for the medical use of marijuana by individuals with qualifying conditions. These laws are protecting sick and dying patients like me to continue to evolve and improve. The newest laws are successfully regulating access to marijuana medicine through state-licensed dispensaries, though not legal federally, why not? Severely Disabled Veterans need The Controlled Substances Act to recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of marijuana! These laws are generally applied only against persons who possess, cultivate, or distribute large quantities of marijuana. Under federal law, marijuana is treated like every other controlled substance, such as cocaine and heroin; classified as a Schedule I drug, which means that the federal government views marijuana as highly addictive and having no medical value. I am living proof, and The American public Health Association and American Nurses Association have noted its extremely wide margin of safety, there is zero evidence stating or supporting overdoes or death cause by Cannabis (Marijuana). On May 25, three bills related to protecting medical marijuana patients and providers were introduced in the U.S. House. The first, H.R. 1983, would change federal law so that individuals acting in clear compliance with state medical marijuana laws would be protected from federal arrest and prosecution. In states with regulated dispensary systems, patients have safe and reliable access to the doctor-recommended medicine that works best for them. Why should the federal government or this state force responsible medical marijuana users to suffer without their medicine or to retreat back to the criminal market where regulation and oversight is impossible? This would also bring in money to the states along with many job opportunities.
NYS Senate Bill S2774 has been introduced to allow the doctor-advised use of marijuana by the very ill. Patients like me have suffered for too long. I am begging, asking for you to stand up for ill patients and this legislation so that 2011 will finally be the year in which we protect all of our veterans, no matter what medicine they need to use. Lastly according to a February 2010 Quinnipiac poll, 71% of New Yorkers support allowing medical marijuana, as does the vast majority of the state's medical community. This is a case where evidence and compassion are on the same side.
Doctors may not "prescribe" marijuana for medical use under federal law, though they can "recommend" its use under the First Amendment. The Drug Enforcement administration (DEA), charged with enforcing federal drug laws, has taken a substantial interest in medical marijuana patients and caregivers in general and large cultivation and distribution operations more specifically. Over the past few years, dozens of people have been targets of federal enforcement actions. Many of them have either been arrested or had property seized. More than a hundred are currently in prison or are facing charges or ongoing criminal or civil investigations for their cultivation or distribution of medical marijuana. The DEA, like local enforcement agencies, can choose how to make the best use of its time. Ideally, the DEA will leave medical marijuana patients and their caregivers alone so they say???... But federal law does not yet recognize medical marijuana and should!!!!
Again why continue to criminalize the ill? Medical Marijuana is not available in all states for the severely disabled veterans like me, but should being I served and was honorably discharged due to server service connected disability. I urge you to support legislation that would allow the state with medical marijuana laws to carry out their programs without federal interference. Also please work on making federal laws allowing Marijuana to be used medically, since again there is zero evidence stating or supporting overdoes or death cause by Cannabis (Marijuana). Freedom, Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to for all right? I am one of many asking and begging for you to please be a voice, for now, you can show your recognition of the difference between medical and recreational use of marijuana. Medical Marijuana is needed in NYS. Your support is needed and will be greatly appreciated. Also I am very interested in your responsive views on this issue, Thank you for your time."
Name withheld - AKA, Coca Chanel on the Sensi Social Network
Disabled U.S. Army Veteran - Honorably Discharged 2007