Monday, June 4, 2012

Is Medical Marijuana Legal or Not?

There are seventeen states, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C., where the use of marijuana is considered legal for a variety of medical reasons ranging from ALS to terminal cancer.

The use of marijuana has been found by proponents to reduce stress, pain, increase appetite as it decreases nausea, and according to some, increase well being.

Opponents say there are 20 times the carcinogenic properties in the smoke of marijuana vs. cigarette smoke.  They also say it is a gateway to more serious drugs like cocaine, meth, or even heroin.

That being said, many states are in the process of making marijuana legal for medical purposes.  New York is considering not its legality for medical purposes right now, but making the possession of small amounts of marijuana a finable violation vs. a misdemeanor which is a jailable offense.  But that is another subject.

I heard on the radio that a man was arrested in California for the possession of medical marijuana, where the substance is currently considered legal for medical use.  I was confused, so I looked it up.  Having a recommendation from a physician means you have been approved to USE marijuana for your current medical condition, it does not mean you can't be arrested for the possession, possession for sale, transporting a legal substance, and it would be your responsibility to prove your possession was for medical purposes.

The amount you are allowed to possess varies from state to state, the smallest being one oz. usable product, (Alaska, Montana, Nevada) to 24 oz. usable product (Washington and Oregon).  And 14 of the 17 states  also allow for personal cultivation.

I don't have a problem with this drug being used medicinally. There are plenty of drugs with side effects and notoriety that are currently in use today that in my opinion, are far more problematic than marijuana.  There is a drug out there now that is used for psoriasis that hinders your immune system--it basically induces an autoimmune state.  Some of the warnings attached to this drug caution the user of the possibility of infections, increases in certain cancers and tuberculosis.  Many pain-killers have an addictive quality and can also cause the patient problems. 

We would never consider taking pain-killers away from the population that needs them, but we cannot seem to agree that it is OK to give marijuana to the sufferers of chemotherapy side effects, intense pressure of glaucoma, certain types of pain, MS, AIDS, HIV, or seizures. Could this because of the stigma attached to it left over from the 60s? 

So, it is safe to say marijuana is legal for certain medical conditions.  In certain places.  Just don't get caught with it driving home from the clinic.


  1. I agree with it being used medically. The federal government does not. They arrest the medically approved patient and close up shops that have been approved by certain local governments in California. Since it was a federal arrest, they are charged in a federal court. The federal judge rules for the government. It's a Catch 22 for all involved.

  2. It IS crazy Mari.
    I wonder if these poor people know what they could be getting themselves into.
    Does it come with a disclaimer and full disclosure?
    It really is sad to me.
    I have a condition that causes pain, and I wonder sometimes if this would help.
    Then I wonder if the repercussions would be worth it.

  3. Cris Ericson, United States
    Marijuana Party, has been
    certified by the Secretary of
    State Elections Division
    in Vermont to be
    on the Nov. 6, 2012
    General Election ballot
    as a candidate running for
    United States Senator of
    Vermont and also
    for Governor of Vermont.

    Cris Ericson is looking for
    campaign fundraisers,
    and out-of-state donations
    are legal.

    She would be happy to hear
    from pro-bono attorneys on
    how to go about legal

    One source says:
    "Independent contractor
    fund raisers
    are just that. If you say
    you pay them 20%
    then you pay them 20%
    of what they raise.
    You file your FEC reports
    with the money they raise
    as revenue and you
    file their cut
    as expenditures."

    Cris Ericson would be
    thrilled if corporations would
    create SuperPACs to
    promote her campaign!

    Cris Ericson
    879 Church Street
    Chester, Vermont 05143

    Learn campaign finance law:
    Out of state campaign
    donations are legal.

  4. I have no problem with the total legalization of marijuana. I certainly have no problem with it being prescribed by doctors, who undoubtedly know more about the issues being treated than I, non-doctor, can possibly know. I suspect that big drug companies and drug researchers probably won't get behind this: they make their livings off of coming up with new pills to cure what ails us. I'm grateful to them, because their products have saved my life numerous times. Yet I can see them feeling a little less than welcoming of something that people could grow on their own, and which would possibly cut into purchases of other drugs. I have no numbers or research, so this is mere opinion. But, a possible factor could be drug lobby, and the political/financial pressure to keep things as they are.

  5. I think you are right.
    And I think it's sad.
    Although I am not sure about the efficacy of homeopathic products and natural hormones the situation is the same--there is no profit to be made from these products unless they are first tweaked to make them "lisencable" from a pharmaceutical company.

  6. Rock on, medical Mary Jane! :-) I reckon if the gov made it all A-OK, some drug companies would jump on the opportunity to make money off it.

    Also, thanks for the list of states; will prove helpful if I ever move out of NY. ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  7. Right Mina?
    They sure would--and they would probably change one molecule so they could claim it as a new substance that they could charge for.
    Part of me wants it to just be legal in general--much less drama.
    Just make sure you don't order a 32oz. drink from 7-11 Mina--Bloomberg will find you!!

  8. Yeah, I was pretty surprised when I heard about that Catch 22 in California (and other states) as well. Although it's pretty screwy to say it's okay on one hand and then slap you with the other, I'm guessing the guy in California must've had a serious amount, perhaps over the limit (and up to 24 ounces? whoa.). I had a friend who got pulled over in California with some marijuana (and not for medical use) and the cop let him go without even a ticket. They have much bigger fish to fry, such as those other drugs which marijuana is supposedly a gateway drug to.

    Great point about pain killers. The pharmaceutical companies would never allow them to be outlawed (talk about a racket. I've also had friends who were pharmaceutical reps, but that's a rant for another day). I've never heard of marijuana for pain, but given the connection of mind and body, I suppose if you ease the mind, it would certainly go a long way towards easing any potential psychosomatic pain as well.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  9. Amazing stuff, right Paul?
    Maybe we should write that pharmaceutical rep rant together.
    And as for getting pulled over and getting busted or not, it depends on the day, who is doing the pulling, whether you are famous or not, whether they want to make an example of you or let you go because you are a star...
    Look at David Diehl--CLEARLY drunk, staggering, driving and hitting parked cars and they put him BACK in the car. The crowd was yelling 'don't let him drive.' No arrets made until more police were called.
    Don't think that would have been the same scenario for your average Joe.

  10. Because of its medical attributes, it should be legalized.

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