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Friday, May 22, 2009

Chronic City: Yes, I'm A Medical Marijuana Patient. No, I'm Not Sorry.

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2009 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge Not bad medicine...
  • Not bad medicine...

There are many among us who obviously harbor some enormous moral judgments about Marijuana and about those who legally use it as medicine -- as if we should somehow feel guilty about the relief that is afforded us through using this herb.

As a legal medical Marijuana patient myself, I take exception to this moralistic, judgmental, and willfully ignorant tone.

Such anti-Marijuana zealots often assert that "statistics strongly suggest" that more Californians use Marijuana as a result of Proposition 215, which the voters passed 13 years ago, when in fact statistics suggest no such thing.

When the medical Marijuana law passed in 1996, adult Californians  used Marijuana at a rate 50 percent higher than the national rate. I don't think that should come as shocking or remarkable news to anyone.

The difference is, now those who can show a medical need for cannabis -- and who have a physician's recommendation to use pot to alleviate their symptoms -- no longer have to fear being arrested and jailed for treating themselves with the medicine which they've learned works best.

The urine testing of which anti-Marijuana activists and some employers are apparently so fond means nothing when it comes to measuring actual impairment. Marijuana can be detected in the urine for 30-45 days after last ingestion -- so the broad net of urine testing still captures
those who only use medically, never at the workplace, with the result that they are discriminated against even though they never broke the law.

I can't understand why anyone would look nostalgically back at the bad old days when those who need and use medical Marijuana were jailed and deemed unemployable. Medical Marijuana users deserve discrimination no more than those who use any other legal medicine.

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Steve Elliott

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