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Bill could bring relief

N.Y. poised to OK marijuana for medicinal use

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Richard Williams smokes marijuana regularly. But he doesn’t consider himself a criminal, and doesn’t think he should be treated like one. The 46-year-old Richmondville resident has been HIV positive for two decades. Smoking marijuana, he said, relieves the pain in his joints and helps him cope with persistent bouts of nausea. He has hepatitis C and a damaged liver, so he doesn’t want to take pain medication, which is processed by the liver. Williams supports ...

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June 15, 2008
10:05 p.m.

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It is cruel and senseless to criminalize the seriously ill and injured for treating their debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions according to their doctors’ recommendations. Seventy-six percent of New Yorkers support allowing medical marijuana, as does the vast majority of the state's medical community -- including the state's medical schools, nurses association, and medical society.

To ask your state senator to enact the Assembly’s tightly crafted medical marijuana bill, visit . To watch Burton's ad, visit .

June 16, 2008
9:16 a.m.
(Comment was removed by moderator for not meeting the Daily Gazette's community standards.)
June 16, 2008
10:46 a.m.

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This bill is good legislation.

It protects patients who are using medical marijuana upon the advice of their physician. Under the bill, only the seriously ill who could benefit from the medical use of marijuana are allowed to possess and use it.

It is not only a sad waste of tax money, but also a tragic miscarriage of justice to arrest and harass sick and dying people for using the medicine which works best to alleviate their symptoms.

Sara Foss, great job on the story! Thank you for caring enough to talk to the patients.

June 16, 2008
12:21 p.m.

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The registration part is wrong. Its against our constitutional rights.
1.) Our right to privacy
Why do I need to be in a registry available to the public for whats done in the privacy of my home?
A pain patient already has to alter there life. Why should they give up their privacy just because they may be sick? We shouldn't be pointing them out of a group, but allowing them to try and live a normal life and not stick out on any lists. they didn't do anything wrong, just had bad luck.

2.) Our right to not incriminate ourselves
It may become "legal" in NY under certain circumstances, but federal law can still provide a hindrance.

I don't see cigar and cigarette smokers, or alcoholics in a registered database...well, unless you count those who are diagnosed with an illness related to there habits which will be made known to an insurance company. Or if a crime is committed, then your registered for something or another.

But lets just go with you being a good citizen that pays your taxes, and you have a clean record. Why should you suddenly be on a list if you didn't do anything morally wrong to anybody else?
"Its against the law"
Yeah, and everytime you J-Walk in albany, or do an illegal u-turn, or litter, whatever the case, you don't think its a big deal , because you didn't hurt anybody. So why should it be a big deal if a weed smoker isn't hurting anybody.
"Because they could hurt somebody under the influence"
Oh you mean like the alcoholics who drink and drive, The smokers who bring about second hand smoke whenever I leave a building? Or lets go with the past examples. That illegal u-turn you made, caused other drivers to brake suddenly, and caused an accident. The guy j-walking, is hit by a car that is doing the speed limit and abiding traffic laws. And that litter you threw polluted the environment just alittle more, or it was a cigarette butt and caused a large forest fire, just cause you thought it was something small and wasn't safe.
I've gone alittle off topic.

Take from this what you want.

Heres a good question, how the politicians making money off this? Thats the only benefit they have, is making money and/or gaining public support to further there agenda to move up in there career, and guess what , get more money.

June 16, 2008
12:46 p.m.

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In response to thecircusb0y: The registry would not be publicly available. It would be confidential.

The purpose is to have some way for police to verify that a person is truly a qualified patient that does not entail (often futilely) trying to reach the doctor off-hours, while the patient waits in police custody. This way the patient can quickly be on his/her way after the officer quickly verifies the card with the department of health (who would be the only ones who could access the information). It also prevents against fraud, since a recommendation alone would be hard to verify (especially off-hours). Also, were there a very rare case of a patient or caregiver violating the law, the card could be revoked, maintaining the integrity of the system.

This law would treat marijuana similarly to prescription medication, within the framework of what is allowed under federal law, not like alcohol and tobacco. It is a narrow, *medical* marijuana bill. Patients who get prescriptions do have to present a doctor's prescription to the pharmacist. Because the law cannot be set up exactly like prescriptions, due to federal law, police need some way to verify that patients are allowed to have the medical marijuana. A confidential ID card allows patients to do just that.

Also, this bill does not require people to register. Patients would only register if they choose to: if they would like to be excepted from New York's marijuana laws (within set parameters) to use medical marijuana. Why deny patients the option to choose to register to be protected from arrest?

Registry ID systems are in place in ten of the 12 medical marijuana states.

June 17, 2008
12:56 a.m.

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I needed to leave New York and move to one of the 12 medical marijuana legal states, in order to get consistent access to quality medical marijuana - to treat the symptoms from a highly rare, genetic disorder. With the draconian Rockefeller laws still poisoning NY, I couldn't risk being locked up for decades for using one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man. So, I left my birth state and home, simply to get medicine.

But it was worth the journey. Now that I'm in a medical marijuana legal state, I can talk to my competent physicians about medical marijuana; and my physicians can respond & even RECOMMEND, without worrying about losing their licenses. I use a fraction of the more dangerous medications that I was prescribed in NY, and I have fewer negative side-effects.

I am state-registered & have the support of 5 different physicians to use medical marijuana, and my state law is behind me trying to get better, not against me. Knowing that my state law protects me from unfair state prosecution is comforting and aids in my healing (patient shouldn't have to worry about being caged for using a doctor-recommended medicine).

Many of my doctors in NY seemed as if they knew the truth about medical marijuana, but were fearful of talking about it, which is understandable, considering they need licenses to practice (and the DEA is already breathing down their necks).

I'd love to journey back to the Finger Lakes in the future & buy a home there some day, so I hope the behind-the-scenes Albany B.S. doesn't trump medicine and compassion again.

" Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known … The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for [the] DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance."

— The Honorable Francis L. Young, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, 1988

Here is a link/web address to a summary of the rest of Judge Young's landmark decision (that the DEA ignored):

June 17, 2008
8:08 a.m.

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Actually I think they should just go ahead and make it legal.Whats the point in regulating it? Pharms just want the profit criminals make when they sell it.The plant can not be patented. We made potatoes legal and corn legal.If we made every thing illegal because of its potential miss use No fruit would be in the American diet because of its potential to create alcohol.If they want it illegal because it might hurt a person then we should just go ahead and make it illegal to breathe in New York City.In Jefferson's time it was illegal not to have marijuana growing in your garden.I read a story that told of marijuana killing cancer cells .Who in their right mind would keep such a plant illegal?Only those who wish to depopulate possibly?Only those who feel threatened by it's potential to help the health of humanity?Or is it that so much can be done with the plant other than easing pain ? God forbid any one should mess with the elitist agenda's to "disappear" any thing that interferes with their global domination and depopulation plan.We should make chemtrails illegal.We should make having 5 kids illegal.We should make war with out cause illegal.There are lots of things more dangerous and deadly than marijuana, Americans should consider making illegal,Take all those opium poppies growing in Afghanistan.What's up with that?In stead of burning this deadly crop to the ground I understand
it is being aloud to flourish under armed guard.

June 17, 2008
2:21 p.m.

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There is a steadily growing, strong body of evidence that suggests cannabis does indeed have anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects.

In fact, back in 1974, a study at the Medical College of Virginia found that marijuana's psychoactive component, THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent." (Quote from Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post)

Too bad the government kept the Virginia study under wraps, for less than scientific reasons.

Just this past January (2008), investigators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that the administration of cannabinoids halted the spread of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.

Given cannabis can uniquely target malignant cells while ignoring healthy cells; and given cannabis is essentially non-toxic, cannabis offers significant advantages over standard chemotherapy treatments, according to this recent study from U. of Wisconsin.

This study reinforced the findings from other studies:

"Exposure of leukemia cells to cannabidiol led to CB2-mediated reduction in cell viability and induction in apoptosis … [and] a significant decrease in tumor burden and an increase in apoptotic tumors in vivo."
— McKallip, Robert J., et al., "Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells: A Novel Role of Cannabidiol in the Regulation of p22phox and Nox4 Expression," Molecular Pharmacology, June 5, 2006

"A strong and statistically significant anti-tumor effect was observed … In particular, for a highly malignant human breast carcinoma cell line … cannabidiol and a cannabidiol-rich extract counteract cell growth both in vivo and in vitro as well as tumor metastasis in vivo."
— Ligresti, Alessia, et al., "Anti-Tumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma," Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics, May 25, 2006

"[THC] inhibited tumour-cell proliferation in vitro and decreased tumour-cell Ki67 immunostaining.”
— Guzman, M., et al., "A Pilot Clinical Study of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Patients With Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme," British Journal of Cancer, July 2006

June 17, 2008
2:28 p.m.

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“There is recent evidence from cell culture systems and animal models that 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and other cannabinoids may inhibit the growth of some tumors by modulating key signaling pathways leading to growth arrest and cell death, as well as inhibiting tumor angiogenesis…antitumoral associations have been observed for several types of malignancies including brain, prostate, thyroid, lung, and breast.”

— Tashkin, D., et al., “Marijuana Use and the Risk of Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancers: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control Study,” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, October 2006


June 17, 2008
2:52 p.m.

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"A CLEAR DISCORD exists between the scientific community and federal legal and regulatory agencies over the medicinal value of marijuana, which impedes the expansion of research..."


"The science on medical marijuana should not be obscured or hindered by the debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana for general use."

- Reference: "Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana" Released January 2008. Here's a link to the whole landmark position paper:

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group in the United States, representing 124,000 member doctors specializing in internal medicine and related subspecialties, including cardiology, neurology, pulmonary disease, oncology and infectious diseases.

The ACP publishes "Annals of Internal Medicine," the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing the ACP knows a little more about medicine than our lawmakers.

Shouldn't we be listening to the Docs?

June 17, 2008
3:24 p.m.

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In addition to its anti-tumoral/anti-cancer properties, cannabis also has analgesic (pain inhibiting); antispasmodic; anxiolytic (anxiety relieving); antidepressant; antipsychotic; anti-emetic; anti-rheumatoid arthritic; anti-inflammatory; antioxidative; anti-excitotoxic (slows nerve cell death) and even anti-convulsant properties, to name just a few of its blessings.

Because of this amazing array of healing properties, cannabis is used in the treatment of many conditions.


Here is a link to an incredibly informative, well researched, and well-sourced summary of "Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 - 2006" - Paul Armentano, Senior Policy Analyst, NORML.

This summary covers therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids for 17 separate clinical conditions: Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Diabetes mellitus, Dystonia, Fibromyalgia, Gastrointestinal disorders, Gliomas, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hypertension, Incontinence, Multiple sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Pruritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sleep apnea, and Tourette’s syndrome.

Keep in mind this report reviews some of the more popular applications for cannabis & cannabinoids, but there are quite a few more applications for cannabis.

In fact, I thought cannabis' wide-array of healing properties sounded too good to be true, until I delved into the research.

June 17, 2008
3:44 p.m.

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Here's a great link to "Marijuana's History as a Medicine," by Lester Grinspoon, M.D. This history/expert testimony was prepared for the 2005 DEA hearings regarding medical marijuana research:


"Dr Grinspoon served for 40 years as Senior Psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. A Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychiatric Association, he was the founding editor of both the Annual Review of Psychiatry and the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

He is the author or coauthor of over 160 journal articles or chapters and 12 books. A major area of interest has been 'illicit' drugs.

His first book, "Marihuana Reconsidered," originally published in 1971 by Harvard University Press, was recently republished as a classic. His latest book, "Marihuana, the Forbidden Medicine," co- authored with James B. Bakalar, was published by Yale University Press in 1993 (revised and expanded edition, 1997) and has now been translated into ten languages." (CCLE)

May 19, 2009
8:55 a.m.

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i have bad anxiety and copnstent nausea,acid reflux,its hard to eat i throw up every morning i constantly have stomach problems..and honestly the only way i feel better is by u really think this is going to happen? and would my symptoms be medical reasons to get prescribed cannibis?