Thursday, May 03, 2007

Medicine-You-Can-Smoke and the FC

Claremont, San Dimas, and a whole bunch of the FC are dealing with regulating medical pot centers. See the comments on medical marijuana developing beneath this post.

Frankly, the issue bores me. If we were to treat marijuana like any other pain killer from the opiate family or otherwise, we would let scientists isolate the good properties from the bad and make medicine by putting the good into pill form the best they can. In fact, they have already done so, its perfectly legal, and the drug is called Marinol. So 1) I support continued research by scientists to develop drugs that use the THC or whatever else is in pot that can help people suffering with pain. 2) I have sympathy with those who argue that the federal government should leave this issue up to the states.

Given those two provisos, the problem is that many in our state want to smoke their "medicine" in massive amounts. As it currently stands, you can get a prescription for pot because you tell the right doctor that your feet hurt from wearing high heels. Come on, people.

I'm no fan of the feds, but I think this position paper has it largely right:

There are no FDA-approved medications that are smoked. For one thing, smoking is generally a poor way to deliver medicine. It is difficult to administer safe, regulated dosages of medicines in smoked form . . . Morphine, for example, has proven to be a medically valuable drug, but the FDA does not endorse the smoking of opium or heroin. Instead, scientists have extracted active ingredients from opium, which are sold as pharmaceutical products like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone or oxycodone. In a similar vein, the FDA has not approved smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, but has approved the active ingredient-THC-in the form of scientifically regulated Marinol.

I'm willing to treat pot as a potential resource for medicine the same way as we treat everything else in nature. But that's not good enough for the vast majority of marijuana advocates in this state. They'd like to ignore the basic precepts of western medicine so they can smoke their pain-killer. And yes, kids, it is true that there are lots of other things that are worse for you than pot, but this doesn't change the fact that it does have some harmful side effects.

I'm not willing to play a shell game with science for the sake of an underlying legalization agenda. And that's what is really behind a lot of this politicized "medical" debate—the notion that pot is some kind of miracle drug with no harmful side effects that should be legalized. And that debate is perfectly legitimate in its own right. I don't want to get into that debate here, I just want people to be honest about where they really stand while they are posturing for the sake of the medicine they want to smoke.

In any event, I think when the FC consider whether or not they should allow such clinics, the issue should be a no-brainer. As the LAT blog said recently, our state law on the issue is being abused. And, as I obviously see it, it was a screwy law to begin with.

(Scroll through our Claremont archives for more on the issue.)


Anonymous said...

Actually, if you had done more research into Medical Marijuana, instead of just reading what the government tells you, you would know that consuming Medical Marijuana in food form is now a very popular way of medicating with Medical Marijuana without smoking it. Vaporizers are also a way to use Medical Marijuana without smoking it as well.
I'm surprised with all your "knowledge" on the subject you forgot to point this out.
As for scientists.... Well, why don't you just come out and say it? Pharmaceutical company scientists. The pharmaceutical companies spent over 190 million dollars lobbying in Washington just last year alone. Think how much your last prescription would have cost you if they hadn't spent that much money in Washington...
Opium is a man produced substance, so it is quite easy to isolate the "good" parts of it. While Marijuana is produced by only one manufacturer.
Do you really thing pharmaceutical companies are pleased with the fact that a medicine better than anything they can reproduce can be grown in your own backyard?
And I might point out that you can get just about any antidepressant you want from your local HMO simply because your kids, your spouse, your job, is driving you "crazy". Or that you can get a nice amount of pain killers because you "hurt" your back while working in the yard this weekend. Does it have to be in a pill form to be correct? Are you that well trained?
Come on people indeed....
Once again, you parrot the federal government quite nicely while claiming to be no fan of them.
If you do a google search of morphine deaths compared to Medical Marijuana deaths, you might be surprised.
And I would love to know where you got your information saying that "many in our state want to smoke their "medicine" in massive amounts."
Could you point out where you got this information please?
I'm sorry you are bored with this subject. Pointing out your inaccuracies and half truths is a bit boring as well.

Anonymous said...

Also instead of reading the information (propaganda) from the company that produces Marinol, I suggest you check out Marinol on Wikipedia.
Apparently, your description is just slightly different than, oh, what is it?
Oh yes, the truth.

Publius said...

"consuming Medical Marijuana in food form is now a very popular way of medicating with Medical Marijuana without smoking it. Vaporizers are also a way to use Medical Marijuana without smoking it as well."

Oh, well that solves everything. Screw the pharmaceutical companies, let's let everyone go back to the source of their medicine and dose themselves! They can just grow coca plants in their backyard and make pixie sticks to their hearts delight! Or whatever they want.

The problem isn't just the smoking, its the dosage. Of course, the very notion of a proper dose is absurd here, because there isn't enough data on its effects. How many other medicines do you know that are taken in brownie form? Bwahhahhaah...

"Opium is a man produced substance, so it is quite easy to isolate the "good" parts of it."

Um, it does come from God to at some point, doesn't it? Sure, we take stuff out of a plant to make it...just like with...

"While Marijuana is produced by only one manufacturer. God."

Mmm. hmm. Thats why High Times magazine has all the articles on cultivation, eh? All natural?!?! Are you kidding? All potheads DO is tweak mother nature to produce pot with absurd levels of THC and enormous buds. You think thats natural? Bwhahahaha...

Plus, you can't just roll up the plant and eat it. You have to take a few steps before you make brownies and whatnot, just as with opium. The same principle applies to both plants/drugs.

Again, even the LA Times blog I've linked to repeatedly makes some of my same points as far as massive amounts being consumed. Any honest person who goes to the vast majority of pot centers will find that the vast majority of sick people look suspiciously like potheads. An honest person must admit that it is pretty easy to get as much as you, personally--at least--could ever want to smoke. Why can't we just be honest about it?

I don't deny there are some sick people there as well, but I'm simply being realistic. Watch the video I linked to of all the "sick" people waiting to get their prescription. Pointing to other examples of this abuse of the system happening isn't an argument FOR medical marijuana for pete's sake.

I tire of the argument because it comes down to a debate over whether you think the overall, normal effects of pot are good for human beings or bad. I find that one of the effects of the drug is to make its habitual users claim it does nothing but good, even as it kills brain cells in their frontal lobe. (And yes, other things kill brain cells too, but again, this isn't an argument FOR marijuana.) The drug promotes itself in its user's minds in ways that are astounding. Centerfolds--for a plant--in High Times, now that's a trip. Claiming that the plant will totally transform the economy, etc., etc.

Look. Pot's not the worst thing in the world by a long shot either, but lets get real. I find people who advocate for marijuana in most cases are a little bit on the extreme side.

Personally, from watching in my own life and that of those around me, and from all the scientific data I've seen, its effects ain't too good overall. As far as pain killers go, we already have plenty, and they work better than pot, but if we can proceed with pot like we do with all the other drugs and get some benefit from it, then sure, I'm not against that.

I'm pretty sure that I agree partially with Centinel--the feds probably shouldn't, theoretically speaking, have the power they do in the matter. Regardless, as a matter of state policy, our medical pot laws are a joke both medically and legally.

I apologize in advance for my sarcasm, I can't help it. Besides, to you I am just an ignorant, stubborn person who can't open their mind on the subject.

Publius said...

Yes, I know, marijuana advocates think differently about Marinol. On the one hand, "it's the exact same as pot so why isn't pot legal?" On the other hand, "it sucks compared to smoking pot." Yes, yes.

Wikipedia does not, unfortunately, = truth all the time. Again, why are we treating pot different than we do with all the other drugs?

I posit that MAYBE this has something to do with the fact that many people like to get high.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually to make some nice consumable Medical Marijuana medicine, you do need to use some materials.
Ummm, Ice and water I believe. Then of course, you do need a nice brownie mix.
I don't mind you being ignorant and stubborn. But it does impact the lives of a lot of very sick people, and this I do mind.
As for almost everyone looking like pot heads, wow.....
Can we add bigoted to ignorant and stubborn? Do you always judge others by what they look like?
That's a very poor practice to engage in my friend. But maybe it's good that you finally show where your real problem originates from.

Publius said...

I can honestly say that I'm not anti-sick people. And personally, I'm not into judging people by their looks. But when I go to these places and when I see them on TV, I see a lot of adult males who look like people who stereotypically use pot. Is this scientific? No, of course, not.

Maybe our readers disagree with me. I'm just telling you that because of what I see, hear and read, it sure seems like a heck of lot of the people and organizations involved with medical marijuana are people who just want to get high.

Again, lets use it as medicine in the same way and under the same processes that we do with every other pain killer.

Anonymous said...

"Again, lets use it as medicine in the same way and under the same processes that we do with every other pain killer."
Does that mean we have to wait while the pharmaceutical companies learn to make a couple of billion dollars off of it first?

Anonymous said...

You know, you can't watch tv for more than a few minutes without seeing a commercial for some new prescription drug. And the part where they tell you about the possible side effects, liver damage, heart attacks, strokes, etc, is almost as long as the part where they tout the benefits of the drug.
Possible? You do know that in order to say that, it means somebody had a heart attack, liver damage, a stroke, because of using that particular drug in the companies testing of the same drug, right?
Now, how many drugs this year alone was it found out that the pharmaceutical company had doctored test results? But, of course, only after a certain number of people had died. These are the people you expect us to let develop a "Medical Marijuana Pill"?
Another thing, I don't know if anyone remembers this or not, but Medical Marijuana was voted legal by the people of California. Proposition 215. And then later the law was refined by California Senate Bill 420.
I don't understand how so many people who probably consider themselves to be law abiding people, can just decide that this law, this law we don't like and therefore wont abide by it. Normally a conservative like yourself would be shouting to high heaven about anarchy and chaos in the streets.
No drug is 100% safe. And yes, Medical Marijuana is a drug. You point out any drug, prescription or over the counter that is 100% safe. How many people die from the effects of Chemotherapy ever year? Overdose purposely on simple Aspirin?
Anytime you put a foreign substance in your body there is a risk.
But with any medicine there is the argument as to whether the good outweighs the bad. Is it worth the the risk of dying from the side effects of Chemotherapy if you can kill the cancer that is killing you? Is it worth the risk of "serious liver damage" to control a bladder that wont behave as it should?
Understand this, people who truly need Medical Marijuana are sick. Some are dying. These are the people that understand the risk, which many consider to be very small, to be worth the risk.
If you want to mention the people who don't really require Medical Marijuana and just want to get high, I would point out according to the Federal Governments own statistics that over 12 million people took pharmaceutical drugs for recreational use last year. That comes out to around 240,000 per state. I gave states like Montana who probably don't have a big a population as say California a break and counted them equally.
If you believe the Federal Governments numbers, one out every 158 Californians is abusing Pharmaceuticals. And by that they mean Narcotics.
If you want to get upset about something, don't you think you have missed something just a little more important to worry about?
And I am curious, exactly how many Dispensaries have you visited? How did you get inside? Or, do all of your observations come from what you have seen on tv? Biased tv shows that you watch because they confirm what you think you already know? You know, that we are all "potheads"?
I've been inside a few myself. Would you like to hear about 50 year old women vomiting on the floor from Chemotherapy, that are there to buy Medical Marijuana because they want to live long enough to see their children graduate High School, get married? Elderly people wracked with extremely advanced arthritis that just can't stomach the pain medication anymore? Somehow, they don't seem to be as concerned with the side effects of Medical Marijuana as you seem to be.

Anonymous said...

This Tuesday, the Claremont City Council plans on making a wacky kind of move. They will not be making any ruling on Medical Marijuana. Instead, they will be introducing an ordinance regarding the prohibition of businesses that contravene state and/or federal law. Way to go Mayor Yao!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Finally found a use for your impotent little blog!

Publius said...

Wow, someone's had their medicine today, I see...

If you want to "use" us by posting the same comment over and over again on all our Claremont posts, hey, be our guest. We don't mind people who disagree voicing their opinions (or announcing news items or events) in the slightest.



Anonymous said...

Medical Marijuana going to Pot?

I am sickened over this recent raid in West Covina simply for the fact that West Covina should allow it since the West Covina Mayors brother Dave Touhey has two illegal unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Pomona and Diamond Bar "Farm Assist Caregivers". The city attorney for West Covina is the same attorney for Pomona,I've heard.

Claremont is discussing a complete ban on dispensaries after Touheys partner Darrell Kruse opened in Claremont to stop any competition to their Pomona location. The plan worked according to the Claremont Courier a moratorium banning any dispensaries was enacted. Tonight they move to establish a permanent Ban on dispensaries.

There has been numerous closures in San Gabriel Valley including Alhambra, Bassett,Covina,Claremont,Hacienda Heights,San Dimas and now West Covina. Patients need their medicine and should not be limited to where to get it. West Hollywood, which allows Medical Marijuana is a far commute for most patients and it is very costly considering gas prices. Compassionate caregivers should be allowed to open in these cities after all the State of California voted for it.
There has never been 1 death or overdose from mariujuana. The only bad side effects would be increased appetite or a little sleepy. The FDA says marijuana has no medicinal value yet they approve a synthetic form of marijuana.

USA had it right in the late 1800's when cannabis was highly used as an effective medicine even for children. Thats right the worlds safest medicine! Asprin causes over 800 deaths per year ,Marijuana not ONE! Now lets consider the deaths from Alcohol since prohibition.

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