Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jan 2014
Source: Reporter, The (Lansdale, PA)
Copyright: 2014 The Reporter


We want to take a moment to discuss the growing controversy in 
Pennsylvania over the legalization of cannabis for medicinal 
purposes, and all the human wreckage it could create.

So give us a minute to get into the right frame of mind with an 
Adderall, and a maybe a few Oxycodone along with a Percoset we stole 
from our buddy's mother's medicine cabinet after she had her knee replacement.

We trust you see where we're going with this. The fact the legal 
medical cannabis represents a controversy defies all sense when we 
have so many problems with ease of access and subsequent abuse of 
narcotics cocktails.

But the state General Assembly seems more concerned with nitpicking. 
According to WITF in Harrisburg, a Senate committee reacted 
skeptically to the notion during Tuesday hearing based on - wait for 
it - the lack of U.S. research in a country that makes the drug 
difficult to research.

This is the kind of mindset that must change if we are to open a 
market for a drug that can help a lot people, a mindset that's 
already banished in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Senate Bill 1182 -The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act - 
would create an oversight system within the Departments of Health and 
Agriculture under which a special strain of cannabis could be 
purchased and used from licensed care centers, according to a 
legislative memo circulated by state Sens. Daylin Leach and Mike 
Folmer. The cannabis itself would be high in Cannabidiols (CBD), its 
antiinflammatory and antioxidant components, and very low in 
Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the psychoactive component that gets you 
high. It would be ingested and not smoked. Oversight comes from your 
doctor, and the state officials charged with making sure the 
dispensed cannabis meets the statutory requirements for buzz-free efficacy.

That doesn't sound very recreational to us. So much for love beads 
and Lava Lamps.

We'll just have to be merely satisfied with stopping seizures in 
children and easing the lives and treatments of diabetics, cancer 
patients and post-traumatic veterans. It would also be nice to avoid 
forcing parents into choosing between criminal activity and 
relocation to more enlightened states to provide their sick children 
with a treatment that can help them.

This issue suffers from a disconnect between what people remember of 
their own experiences with marijuana, and the model presented in this 
legislation. There's no feel-good munchies folk guitar happening 
here. We're talking about sick people - some desperately, terminally 
so - getting access to something that can help them or, even better, 
helping them escape a black market that already allows them to do so.

It's humane and sensible and supported by a lot of people. The 
entrenched opposition in our state government ought to consider what 
it means to do something positive for people they serve who could 
really use a break.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom