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Thousands of seriously ill patients benefit from cannabis

By Hempology | August 30, 2007

Press & Sun-Bulletin, NY
29 Aug 2007


We asked our readers: Should the state legalize medical use of marijuana? Here are your opinions:

Geoff Corey, Chenango Bridge

Marijuana should most definitely be legalized for medical use.  It has been proven in many studies that it can prolong life for elderly citizens suffering certain terminal illnesses.  For politicians to say that they truly care about our senior citizens, and then not support this, is hypocrisy.  However, what truly baffles my mind is that alcohol consumption can cause one to become disoriented, get sick, and become addicted and abusive.  Smoking marijuana can cause one to become disoriented.  Wait a minute …  you’re saying alcohol is legal?

Heather Luther, Endicott

New York should legalize marijuana.  I knew a lot of people in my past who used it for medical reasons.  I have never heard of a single death from it, and there probably never will be. 

Several people I know who have attention deficit disorder use it to calm their nerves.  Without it they’re a mess.  I also knew someone who had muscular dystrophy and could hardly see or walk before the age of 20.  It was the only thing that helped ease his pain.

Juli Brink, Port Crane

I fully agree that marijuana should be legalized in the United States, not just New York.  Here is a natural form of medicine that has few or no side effects ( as most drugs do ).  This type of medicine can be grown in your own home so the patient doesn’t have to pay those ridiculous prices to the drug companies.  Patients would be able to use as much as their doctor recommends without having the insurance companies saying, “We don’t know anything about you or your condition, but we think you don’t need as much as your doctor says, so you can only have what we want you to have.”

Or, “You can’t get the kind your doctor thinks will work best for you, but you can get this cheaper version that is almost as good” ( yeah, with more side effects ).

Douglas Carlson, Binghamton

The folks who want marijuana legalized for medical use hope it will become more available for themselves and their friends, as well as the sick.  Marijuana is addictive, and I have seen it ruin lives and destroy families.

There are anti-nausea drugs and pain killers available for those who need them.  Sorry, I don’t think pain and nausea give you a right to get stoned.

I suspect I’ll have verbal stones cast at me for uttering this opinion.

Ed Nizalowski, Newark Valley

I am very much in favor of legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana.  The benefits of this plant have been established for health purposes and have been documented for centuries.  It is time this country accepts the scientific data.  Once this takes place, I would hope our country moves in the direction of the production of industrial hemp.  This would help give us another homegrown crop that would increase our agricultural base and agricultural biodiversity, and help relieve our dependence on fossil fuels.  To my knowledge, we are the only industrialized country that makes the production of industrial hemp illegal.

Julie Steiner, Tioga Center

This is a simple answer: No! There is no way we want to circumvent consumer protection in the name of legalization.  Presently, three billionaires are spending a lot of money to support legalization.

They are using these poor, sick and dying people to further their cause and the organizations that are funded by these billionaires, such as the Marijuana Policy Project and the Drug Policy Alliance that are totally against any anti-drug policy, such as student drug testing and drug-free school zones, to name a few.

The drug legalizers and their followers just want crude marijuana as a medicine; the fact is, science is working on making marijuana a modern medicine.

Susan Haines, New York City

Why would I care? Who am I to deny a person whose doctor feels it would make their life easier the medical care they need? Their pain and their relief do not affect me.  I don’t have the right to impose my non-medical knowledge.

Hemant Tandi, Endicott

Only the narrow-minded can support legalizing marijuana anywhere.  Perhaps they see only a clinically remedial side of this narcotic substance.  This is just the tip of an iceberg.  The ghastly dark side is hidden.  Unfortunately, the terminally ill will never greatly benefit from its use except for a short-term high, which can cause innumerable sufferings to family members.

I come from a country where marijuana is not seriously considered a controlled substance.  It is accessible, from children to the old, for various fake reasons such as medical or religious.  It causes the mental faculties of such users to deteriorate day by day.  They are hooked before they are detected as psychopathic or mentally ill.  They have done irreparable harm to themselves and to society.  They occupy more jail time than any other offenders, at a huge cost to taxpayers.

There is no need to legally allow marijuana’s use.  Even though many legal precautions would be taken to control it, it would still get out of hand and into the hands of children.

Let’s stop its legalization.  For the sake of temporal pleasures of a few terminally ill patients, why invite another epidemic?

Nick Calderon, Red Hook

Thanks for your article on the poll showing that the majority of Conservative Party members support medical marijuana.  Since moving here from California, I can no longer use the medicine that works best to control the excruciating pain I have to life with, or risk arrest and imprisonment.

Meanwhile, I wonder what the state Senate is waiting for.

The state’s doctors, nurses and medical schools all support medical marijuana, and so do the vast majority of New Yorkers.  For thousands of seriously ill patients, marijuana provides effective and immediate relief from pain, nausea and a host of other ills.

Perhaps those in the Conservative Party majority understand that permitting seriously ill patients access to effective medication is the only compassionate thing to do.  We certainly don’t need to continue to criminalize the efforts of patients who only seek to ease their suffering.

It’s time for the Senate to act with bravery, and for the sake of so many seriously ill patients, with compassion.

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