Gov. Strickland Uses Ignorant Science Against Marijuana to Condemn Citizens to Pharmaceutical, Petrochemical and Police Control

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 09/15/2010 - 08:09.

There are few intelligent, informed, unbiased people still walking the Earth so ignorant or corrupt as to publicly preach against Marijuana, hemp, and their health and industrial benefits to society and the Earth, but the State of Ohio is ruled by such a Neanderthal - Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland - who is likely to lose his position of power to a Republican in the upcoming November election because he is such a cowardly, industry sell-out. His Lieutenant Governor, Lee Fisher - thinking he had some success in his work with Strickland that he should build-upon - seems positioned to hand an Ohio Senate Seat to a Republican for similar display of cowardice. And they certainly deserve to lose.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, about the progress of Ohio to join the civilized world allowing the sick to use marijuana to live better, our Governor is already a loser, and deserves to lose re-election... “The governor feels that the predominant opinion of the medical community is that there are existing medicines available that provide appropriate patient care,“ said a statement issued recently. “So based on that opinion and the current research, he feels this type of legislation doesn’t seem necessary or warranted.

As Ohio is so contaminated by pollution - especially from the heavy mining and industry Strickland and Fisher have supported here - the citizens here live unhealthy lives and die young, horrible deaths. To deny citizens access to any medicine to help comfort them - especially a medicine that may be grown for free - is criminal. Below is more from MPP about the pathetic leadership of Ohio, and what citizens may do about them - followed by a recent article by a doctor about the medical benefits of Marijuana - Andrew Weil: Medical Marijuana's Tremendous Potential for Curing Ailments - Cutting through all the government misinformation - and some of the politics around denying those benefits to citizens, as is perpetuated by sell-out mis-informers like our Ohio Governor Ted Strickland...

Rep. Kenny Yuko introduces medical marijuana bill, HB 478

Last update: May 5, 2010

Poll shows 73% of Ohioans support medical marijuana, tell your legislator you are one of them!

Once again, an Ohio legislator has introduced legislation that would protect seriously ill Ohioans from arrest for using marijuana in consultation with their physicians. This time advocates are armed with polling data showing 73% of Ohioan’s support allowing patients with debilitating illnesses to use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. Will it make a difference? It’s tough to say.

On the one hand, the issue does seem to be picking up some support among legislators in Columbus. State Rep. Dan Stewart (D-25) joined the bill as a first-time co-sponsor to a medical marijuana bill. On the other hand, Senate President Bill Harris has already signaled his opposition to the bill, as has Gov. Ted Strickland. “The governor feels that the predominant opinion of the medical community is that there are existing medicines available that provide appropriate patient care,“ said a statement issued recently. “So based on that opinion and the current research, he feels this type of legislation doesn’t seem necessary or warranted.“

Obviously, the governor and his staff haven’t done their homework. Even the Congressional Research Service would beg to differ. According to a recently released report, “approved medicines do not work for everyone. Many medical marijuana users report trying cannabis only reluctantly and as a last resort after exhausting all other treatment modalities. A distinct subpopulation of patients now relies on whole cannabis for a degree of relief that FDA-approved synthetic drugs do not provide.” The report goes on to state unequivocally, “[t]he therapeutic value of smoked marijuana is supported by existing research and experience.”

So what can you do to educate lawmakers still not aware of marijuana’s medical efficacy or political support? Communication with constituents is one of the most decisive factors for legislators when considering an issue. Start by taking just a minute to send your legislators an e-mail letting them know you are a voting constituent who supports the measure, but don’t stop there. Click here to find your state representative and senator, and give their offices a call. E-mails are often read by staffers rather than legislators themselves, but if you follow up with a call you’re more likely to get the message through. It’s also particularly important to contact members of the Health Committee to which the bill has been assigned. Take a look at the committee roster to see if your representative is a member. You can also head over to our “take action” page for tips on writing letters to the editor in your local paper.

Given the overwhelming support from the public, there’s no reason for Ohio to continue branding sick people as criminals simply for trying to alleviate their suffering. Please tell your elected officials to consider supporting this sensible alternative.

 

Marijuana laws in Ohio

Did you know that Ohio is a “decrim” state? Possession of less than 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) is a “minor misdemeanor?” That means you can only be punished with a fine of up to $150 without the possibility of jail time. However, possession of drug paraphernalia, such as a marijuana pipe is a 4th degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

You can read more about Ohio’s marijuana laws, including statistics and enforcement trends, in this excellent summary by John Gettman, Ph.D.  For example, did you know that, despite similar use rates, the arrest rate for marijuana possession charges for blacks in Ohio is about 3.5 times higher than that of whites?

Andrew Weil: Medical Marijuana's Tremendous Potential for Curing Ailments


Cutting through all the government misinformation.


 

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If an American doctor of the late 19th century stepped into a time warp and emerged in 2010, he would be shocked by the multitude of pharmaceuticals that today's physicians use. But as he pondered this array (and wondered, as I do, whether most are really necessary), he would soon notice an equally surprising omission, and exclaim, "Where's my Cannabis indica?"

No wonder -- the poor fellow would feel nearly helpless without it. In his day, labor pains, asthma, nervous disorders and even colicky babies were treated with a fluid extract of Cannabis indica, also known as "Indian hemp." (Cannabis is generally seen as having three species -- sativa, indica and ruderalis -- but crossbreeding is common, especially between sativa and indica.) At least 100 scientific papers published in the 19th century backed up such uses.

Then the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made possession or transfer of Cannabis illegal in the U.S. except for certain medical and industrial uses, which were heavily taxed. The legislation began a long process of making Cannabis use illegal altogether. Many historians have examined this sorry chapter in American legislative history, and the dubious evidence for Cannabis addiction and violent behavior used to secure the bill's passage. "Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs" by Preston Peet makes a persuasive case that the Act's real purpose was to quash the hemp industry, making synthetic fibers more valuable for industrialists who owned the patents.

Meanwhile, as a medical doctor and botanist, my aim has always been to filter out the cultural noise surrounding the genus Cannabis and see it dispassionately: as a plant with bioactivity in human beings that may have therapeutic value. From this perspective, what can it offer us?

As it turns out, a great deal. Research into possible medical uses of Cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease and anorexia nervosa.

But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention. A number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animal models. In part, this is achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. What's more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells. If these findings hold true as research progresses, cannabinoids would demonstrate a huge advantage over conventional chemotherapy agents, which too often destroy normal cells as well as cancer cells.

As long ago as 1975, researchers reported that cannabinoids inhibited the growth of a certain type of lung cancer cell in test tubes and in mice. Since then, laboratory studies have shown that cannabinoids have effects against tumor cells from glioblastoma (a deadly type of brain cancer) as well as those from thyroid cancer¸ leukemia/lymphoma, and skin, uterus, breast, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

So far, the only human test of cannabinoids against cancer was performed in Spain, and was designed to determine if treatment was safe, not whether it was effective. (In studies on humans, such "phase one trials," are focused on establishing the safety of a new drug, as well as the right dosage.) In the Spanish study, reported in 2006, the dose was administered intracranially, directly into the tumors of patients with recurrent brain cancer. The investigation established the safety of the dose and showed that the compound used decreased cell proliferation in at least two of nine patients studied.

It is not clear that smoking marijuana achieves blood levels high enough to have these anticancer effects. We need more human research, including well-designed studies to find the best mode of administration.

If you want to learn more about this subject, I recommend an excellent documentary film, "What If Cannabis Cured Cancer," by Len Richmond, which summarizes the remarkable research findings of recent years. Most medical doctors are not aware of this information and its implications for cancer prevention and treatment. The film presents compelling evidence that our current policy on Cannabis is counterproductive.

Another reliable source of information is the chapter on cannabinoids and cancer in "Integrative Oncology" (Oxford University Press, 2009), a textbook I edited with integrative oncologist Donald I. Abrams, M.D. (Learn more about integrative cancer treatment from Dr. Abrams.)

After more than 70 years of misinformation about this botanical remedy, I am delighted that we are finally gaining a mature understanding of its immense therapeutic potential.