Saturday, March 17, 2007

Medical Marijuana in the Land of Enchantment

SANTA FE, N.M. - Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.

"So what if it's risky? It's the right thing to do," said Richardson, one of the candidates in the crowded 2008 field. "What we're talking about is 160 people in deep pain. It only affects them."

The legislation would create a program under which some patients — with a doctor's recommendation — could use marijuana provided by the state health department. Lawmakers approved the bill Wednesday. The governor is expected to sign it in the next few weeks.

I'm all for the legalization of marijuana. It is an herb that creation has gifted us with for our spiritual growth, our growth in consciousness. Why should alcohol be legal? What if it wasn't? Would we have more or less crime? There are way too many people in our jails for mearly possessing pot, more people than are in jail in all of Europe for all crimes combined. Wouldn't this also ease tensions on our borders and especially in Mexico where drug related crime is a big problem?

Marijuana as wonder drug by Lester Grinspoon

A NEW STUDY in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine -- and US drug policy -- that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.

The study, from the University of California at San Francisco, found smoked marijuana to be effective at relieving the extreme pain of a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy. It was a study of HIV patients, but a similar type of pain caused by damage to nerves afflicts people with many other illnesses including diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Neuropathic pain is notoriously resistant to treatment with conventional pain drugs. Even powerful and addictive narcotics like morphine and OxyContin often provide little relief. This study leaves no doubt that marijuana can safely ease this type of pain.

Lester Grinspoon, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is the coauthor of "Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine."

Peace to all.

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