Pubdate: Fri, 18 Apr 2008
Source: Edmond Sun, The (OK)
Copyright: 2008 The Edmond Sun
Author: Courtney Bryce
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


EDMOND -- A few research studies have shown that  marijuana can 
shrink some cancers and prevent some  types of Alzheimer's. Despite 
this, medical marijuana  is legal in only 12 states.

The Drug Policy Forum of Oklahoma and the Drug Policy  Reform Network 
of Oklahoma will team up to present  "Marijuana is Medicine" from 
2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday at  the Edmond Library, 10 S. Boulevard.

The forum will include presentations by a doctor,  registered nurse 
and several Oklahoma residents who  would qualify for medical 
marijuana if it was legal. A  question-and-answer session will follow.

Ron Shewey, president of The Drug Policy Forum of  Oklahoma, said 
they have tried to legalize medical  marijuana for three years. He 
said the forum passed out  a proposal to every member of the 
Legislature and could  not even gain a study session.

Shewey said marijuana has been used as medicine since  2400 BCE but 
was prohibited in 1937 when the Marijuana  Stamp Act was passed. He 
said the government is afraid  if they legalize medical marijuana it 
could lead to  opening doors for recreational marijuana.

Currently, Shewey knows of two cases in Oklahoma where  people have 
used medical marijuana and are now being  prosecuted. The most famous 
Oklahoma case sentenced  38-year-old Will Foster to prison for 93 
years because  he was cultivating marijuana to use for his crippling arthritis.

Bill Humphries, an Edmond registered nurse, said  marijuana is used 
medically for a variety of illnesses  and diseases. It can be used as 
an anti-medic for  nausea and often is used to relieve pain for 
cancer and  hepatitis patients. He said the American 
Psychiatric  Association supports the use of marijuana to treat 
mood  disorders.

While 12 states have legalized medical marijuana,  Humphries said it 
still is federally illegal.  Technically, if a medical marijuana user 
was pulled  over by a federal officer they could be prosecuted even 
though it is legal in that state.

"We need more states to legalize medical marijuana," he said.

FOR MORE information about the forum, call 714-1236.
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