HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Flint Pot Vote Raises Awareness
Pubdate: Sun, 04 Mar 2007
Source: Saginaw News (MI)
Copyright: 2007 The Saginaw News
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


MEDICAL MARIJUANA advocates are hailing -- or is it inhaling? -- a 
victory Feb. 27. By a 1,777-1,101 vote, Flint became the fifth 
Michigan city to approve legally puffing pot for health reasons. Use 
remains illegal under state and federal law. Officials reminded Flint 
residents not to start loading up their hookah pipes -- or face the 

Other Michigan cities that have approved medical pot-use measures are 
Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale and Traverse City. Lansing is the next 
target, says NORML, a pro-marijuana outfit, and the goal is to get a 
medical dope initiative on the statewide ballot.

Medical marijuana use is legal in 11 states. Pass the Cheetos.

Whether marijuana is safer or a more effective painkiller than, say, 
OxyContin is debatable, but some users think so. Cancer patients who 
have tried it say pot works best at inducing appetite. It has 
beneficial uses, and we're sympathetic to those who use it legally.

The biggest fear coming from law enforcement circles is that 
legalized medical marijuana use could lead to additional abuse and 
wider recreational use. Yet the abuse of prescription drugs, the 
International Narcotics Control Board said last week, is about to 
exceed the use of "practically all illicit drugs with the exception 
of cannibis." The board, an offshoot of the United Nations, said the 
number of Americans abusing prescription drugs nearly doubled between 
1992 and 2003, to 15.1 million from 7.8 million people.

Marijuana's link to the drug culture of the 1960s and '70s, the 
hippies, and its potential as a gateway to other more potent illicit 
drugs, has colored many Americans' perception of "weed." As Americans 
are inclined to relegate cigarette smokers to the streets for solid 
health reasons, recreational pot use is unwise.

Medical uses, however, are another matter. A free and compassionate 
society ought to understand common sense trumps perceptions of a drug 
that may be less dangerous than prescriptions. It's time to take a 
deep breath -- inhale -- and place sick people ahead of ideology.

The Flint vote and the others before it indicate that more people 
realize marijuana, like other drugs used properly, is not always evil. 
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