KS: Medical Pot’s Backers, Critics Speak At Capitol

—– Original Message —–
From: "Richard Lake" <rlake@mapinc.org>
To: <mmjlist@cannabismd.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 5:12 PM
Subject: [mmjlist] US KS: Medical Pot’s Backers, Critics Speak At Capitol

> Newshawk: http://www.NoExtradition.net
> Pubdate: Tue, 12 Feb 2008
> Source: Wichita Eagle (KS)
> Copyright: 2008 The Wichita Eagle
> Contact: letters@wichitaeagle.com
> Website: http://www.wichitaeagle.com/
> Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/680
> Author: Jeannine Koranda
> Referenced: Medical Marijuana Defense Act
> http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2008/556.pdf
> Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition http://ksccc.org/
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Marijuana – Medicinal)
>
> MEDICAL POT’S BACKERS, CRITICS SPEAK AT CAPITOL
>
> TOPEKA – Several people urged lawmakers Monday to approve a measure that
> would allow some patients to use a note from their physician as a defense
> for possessing marijuana.
>
> Opponents, including law enforcement, the Pharmacy Board and the Kansas
> Medical Society, questioned the plant’s efficacy in treating symptoms of
> disease such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
>
> The measure, SB 556, dubbed the Medical Marijuana Defense Act, would allow
> people with diseases such as glaucoma, cancer or multiple sclerosis to use
> a note from their doctor as a defense to possessing marijuana and related
> paraphernalia.
>
> Eleven states have some form of a medical marijuana program, according to
> the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
>
> The idea drew a lot of attention, but the committee is unlikely to vote on
> it.
>
> Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, the committee’s chairwoman, said the
> medicines used to treat pain and nausea for cancer patients have come a
> long way.
>
> "I don’t see it as something that is necessary in this day and age," she
> said.
>
> Eric Voth, chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy, said the
> measure would create a "get out of jail free card" for people who could
> convince a physician they needed marijuana.
>
> "Marijuana is a sorry excuse for medicine," he told the committee,
> claiming the legislation was part of a national push to legalize the drug.
>
> "Extensive studies have not proven the claim that it helps in any way, and
> the harm that it would do to our society as a whole makes this bill not in
> the best interest of the state," said Jeff Brandau, special agent in
> charge of the Topeka Regional Special Operations Division for the Kansas
> Bureau of Investigation.
>
> Other opponents said the measure would make it hard to tell children that
> marijuana was harmful and expressed fear about the possibility of
> street-corner pot shops. However, patients with certain diseases and their
> families see marijuana as a relief to their suffering.
>
> When her son was suffering from multiple sclerosis, smoking marijuana
> stopped his screaming, said Bette Hulser of Topeka.
>
> "After seeing my son I knew then I would never do anything to stop him
> from smoking marijuana," said Hulser, who described herself as "pretty
> straight-laced."
>
> Laura Green, the director for Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition, said
> she’d heard from hundreds of people whose family members had used
> marijuana to relieve their suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis.
>
> "We cannot continue to let these vulnerable people be convicted of illegal
> drug use when they are simply trying to gain relief from pain and
> suffering with their doctor’s support," she said.
>
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