Pubdate: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 Source: Anniston Star (AL) Copyright: 2012 Consolidated Publishing Contact: http://www.annistonstar.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/923 Author: Evan Haarbauer MEDICAL MARIJUANA HAS MERIT Don't "throw the baby out with the bathwater" in regards to medical marijuana in Alabama. Educated discussions and debates should continue as we move past the need to call it "pot." State Rep. K.L. Brown, R-Jacksonville, sponsors HB66, and Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, sponsors HB25. Each bill allows regulated medicinal marijuana to qualified patients who have a recommendation from a doctor. Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass comprehensive legislation. Medical conditions this pertains to include cancer, HIV/AIDS, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and others. Traditional medicines are not always effective for these conditions; in many cases, not at all. Disabled and terminally ill patients are prone to insufficient treatment and a diminished quality of life. Appropriate marijuana use offers treatment with limited side effects. Marijuana has fewer and less severe side effects than many anti-pain and anti-anxiety medicines. There have been no fatalities directly associated with marijuana, and there are methods of intake other than smoking, including salves and tinctures. The bills specify cultivation and distribution, laboratory testing and monitored services to limit abuse. Jobs would be created. Importantly, there would be legal protections for physicians and patients who choose legitimate means of health and recovery with marijuana. Evan Haarbauer Vestavia Hills - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.