A Smoky Haze over the Medical Marijuana Law

There’s a very thin line that’s pretty easy to cross when we’re debating the legality of drugs. While most people associate the illegal use of drugs with substances like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and similar others, the biggest problem we face as a society is the abuse of prescription drugs, the ones that are legitimately available with, and sometimes even without a prescription. People use drugs even when they don’t really need it – to relax before a stressful situation, to sleep on a flight that takes several hours to reach their destination, and even to stay awake and alert while pulling all-nighters during examinations.

But then, we as a human race, decide to focus not on such indiscretions, but on the fact that marijuana is being legally prescribed. We conveniently forget that people want this marijuana not for their pleasure, but to eliminate pain and improve the quality of their life. Marijuana has been proved to have various medicinal properties, and is especially beneficial in relieving intense pain associated with various chronic medical conditions and terminal diseases like cancer. But even as states like California, Colorado, Oregon and others allow marijuana to be sold through medical dispensaries on the basis of a prescription from a licensed doctor, the federal authorities are against this practice. And what with the tug-of-war going on between the state and the fed, it’s those who are in real need of this drug who stand to lose the most.

Marijuana is approved for medical usage in various countries including Australia, Belgium, Israel, Netherlands and Canada. However, it is only in the USA that the debate rages on as regards its usage, simply because the laws that govern this subject are murky at best and incomprehensible at worst. As of now, 14 states in the US permit cannabis to be sold for medicinal purposes. Even so, the DEA considers that it has the right to raid medical marijuana dispensaries and even the homes of patients who have been prescribed the drug to treat medical conditions. Where does the authority of the state end and where does that of the fed begin? The smoke continues to be as hazy as ever.

While we cannot deny the fact that marijuana does have intoxicating properties, the fact remains that it has been proved to have effective medicinal values. So the least the federal government can do is regulate its sale in states that have approved its usage for medicinal purposes. This way, they would be cracking down on those who are abusing it, even as they allow those who really need it to continue to do so without the fear of harassment or arrest.

But then, in a country where perception is everything, where people see things in black and white without understanding that there are times when shades of grey make the most sense, the very mention of the word marijuana is enough to draw flak. We don’t stop to look beyond the drug and see why and how it is being used; we don’t think and come up with ways to regulate its usage so that it does not fall into the wrong hands; instead, we jump to conclusions that it is being used for the wrong reasons, and because of this, those who are in pain continue to be in pain even as they know that there’s a way out.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Kathy Wilson, who writes on the topic of x-ray technician schools . She welcomes your comments at her email id: kathywilson1983@gmail.com

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Comments

  1. medical marijuana harassment!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010Harassment over medical marijuana.

    three days ago my 4 1/2 year old stepson came home from a three week trip with his father. not an hour after he was dropped off a police officer arrived at our front door doing a wellfare check per fathers request because the possibility of drugs being done in front of him. none are. the next morning three more officers arrived at my home for the same reason.

    The officers told me that the childs father and grandmother called about me being a patient. After the officers left our child asked us if the cops were going to shoot her with their guns or if they were taking the two of us to jail. the following morning while i the patient was not home child protective services arrived at my home.

    My wife let them in as we are legal and have nothing to hide. As a state official though the person should know that they can not discuss my medical business with out my presence or approval. She pressed my wife about me and about my grow. She actually asked someone other than me to be let into my grow. which is a breach of initiative 148.

    I understand that laws on this are “unclear” as some may say, but inthe mean time I am protected and have a right to privacy. All three officers stated that me being a patient is public record, and according to initiative 148 it’s not. A list of patients is available in Helena and is ONLY made available to other state agencies to verify that I am indeed a registered card holder.

    Now tell me this, why do I have to HIDE my medicine from my children? I dont mean let them play in it or nor do I endorse children using. But by forcing patients to HIDE things that are SUPPOSED to be considered MEDICAL, causes children to distrust parents because i am hiding something from them. this to me seems more criminal minded and creating a bad stigma which i thought we are trying to steer away from.

    By teaching our children that it is medicine, but as with any other medicine it is also a drug and cant be abused. where is the line of patient privacy and rights? I know do you. mine have been clearly violated and my family is distraut and my baby boy is haveing trouble with all these people coming by. people smoke cigarettes in font of children every day, they drink and take their other doctor prescribed medicine in front of them, but this is ok. and with people smokin and driving… dont when I got my card I was told i could get a DUI.

    So i dont know where any discrepency is there and to try and say again that probationers cant have a card shouldnt even be a subject because a suit has already been won in Montana and prescendence has been set. It cant be brought up again, stop wasting your breath and ink people.

    Pills that the VA gave my dad almost killed him, it tore his insides apart, with Marijuana his health is returnig. Who are these people who judge who whould and shoulnt have a card. In the post on the 19th a guy complains that guys at a convention were playing catch. So what, aids patients can still play right? why judge who are you? and as for short visits and no documents, BS I had several visits and documents that they had me bring and fax ahead of time.

    Forcing caregivers to move to ungodly places only puts harm on us as patients by making my medicine unavailable. Get over yourselves this law is about the patients, not caregivers, money, and whiners. Back to the harassment for anybody that has read initiative 148 would know that my rights have been breached by multiple people. and who does anything about it? no one. just because people dont agree with the law.

    Well its a law and i have rules as does everybody else but no body enforces it. Well i dont agree with alot of things but i have to follow it. Harassment and discussing people as patients is not ok and is punishable of up to 6months in jail and or 1000$ fine. something has to be done.

    Thanks for listening have a good day dont let this happen to you. This is a fight for our rights. if people wanted to cry they should have 6 f*%$in years ago when the vote went in.

  2. It looks like the movement to legalize medical marijuana is gaining steam in the US.

    How will this effect the workplace remains to be seen. Many workplaces require employees to pass a drug test before they are allowed on the job. I imagine the drug testing industry will soar upon approval of these laws.

  3. B.C. Mounties have busted what amounts to a marijuana grow op on steroids — 23,000 plants, some measuring as tall as a teenager.

    The RCMP say officers had been monitoring Carpenter Lake near Lillooet, northeast of Vancouver, since last year after seeing some suspicious activities on the lake.

    When they checked again last weekend they spotted marijuana plants growing along the shore and eventually found a total of 23,000 plants ranging up to 1.5 metres in height.

    The massive outdoor grow operation was on Crown land and included a sophisticated watering system with pumps, gravity fed water lines and kilometres of hoses.

    Police say the plants were mature and would likely have been harvested within the next few weeks.

    No one was on the property at the time and no arrests have been made but the RCMP say they are still investigating.

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