Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marijuana and the Presidential Candidates

In the past finding out that a candidate or person already holding an office, smoked marijuana was a disaster. Reputable individuals would be harangued by the media, booted out of office, and ostracized by the community. Much of this stems from the faulty perception Americans originally had about marijuana. For many years it was just something the “crazy Mexicans” across the border where smoking.

As racial divides have begun to soften and research has progressed, ideas about marijuana have started to change. Open minded transparent candidates like Barack Obama, now openly admit to smoking marijuana. In fact, in the video above, he admits to “inhaling frequently” going on to say “that was kind of the point (inhaling).” Barack Obama is the only candidate that has proposed the decriminalization of marijuana and supports medical marijuana. Hillary Clinton has said more research needs to be done on medical marijuana and seems to be relatively open minded.

Political stances on marijuana do more than just tell a person about how a candidate feels in relation to marijuana. It can also act as an indicator as to the type of thinker a candidate might be. Any candidate, like McCain, that can look dying patients in the face and tell them he knows better than their own experience with marijuana, should not have a shot at the presidency. We need someone that is going to boot Bush- appointed Michele Leonhart out of the DEA and appoint someone that will tell the American people the truth about marijuana.

Alcohol Lobbyists Fight Marijuana Legalization

In the prior blog I briefly discussed the idea that the DEA and other government agencies have been influenced by special interests in Washington D.C.. As a result, in spite of a preponderance of information and support for the legalization of marijuana, legislation has failed time and time again. Upon further research I found that alcohol-industry lobby groups made “campaign contributions” totaling a whopping 10 million dollars. Logic and research would show that the alcohol companies, especially beer companies, oppose marijuana legalization because it could cut into the profits derived from the sale of its own recreational drug. So I wonder how much of Michelle Leonhart’s marijuana policy has been influenced indirectly by alcohol lobbyists?

The opposition of marijuana legalization isn’t always that well hidden either. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) received 3,000 from Anheuser-Busch, 6,000 from Altria/Phillip Morris, and 10,000 from the National Beer Association in “contributions” in 2005-2006. Interesting that Marilyn Musgrave was, and is, a chief proponent of decriminalization for personal use. In 2006 an amendment was proposed that would prevent the federal government(DEA) from raiding legal marijuana clinics, it falied. Almost half of those that voted against the amendment recieve "contributions" from the alcohol companies on a regular basis.

I'm on to Harder Drugs, like Caffeine

Thus far no drug company has developed a drug to treat dependence upon marijuana. The chief reason for this is that there has been no research to conclusively show that marijuana creates a physical dependence in its users. Withdrawal symptoms associated with ceasing to use marijuana are on par with the irritation that one would get from breaking any basic habit. Symptoms range from slight insomnia to irritability, and are almost always miniscule.

Dr. Jack E. Henningfield Ph.D. (in Psychopharmacology) and formerly of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz MD of the University of San Francisco ranked six common substances in five problem areas. Of all of the substances tested marijuana was found to be the least addictive, less so than caffeine. Alcohol on the other hand was found to be more addictive than heroine and cocaine. The only substance tested that was found to be more addictive than alcohol was nicotine. It is interesting that the two most addictive substances, of those tested, are the only two that can be purchased legally.

The fact of the matter is that Michelle Leonhart and the DEA are under pressure form Washington D.C. to fabricate reasons to continue to fight the war on marijuana. Why you may ask? With so many special interests being represented in Washington D.C., is it any wonder that alcohol companies employ thousands of lobbyists to fight the legislation that would legalize marijuana? If marijuana becomes legal the alcohol companies all take a huge hit, and somehow I think they’d say and do anything to retain their profit margin.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

John McCain Should Learn to Read

John McCain in the video above, basically told the lady questioning him that he wouldn’t support medical marijuana because he had been told by doctors that other pain relievers worked better. Have you actually ever read any of the research McCain? And he trusts those doctors over the physicians that claim the opposite why? And furthermore, firsthand experience counts for nothing? Why would medical marijuana patients take the time to advocate a drug that doesn’t work for them? Many of these people are dying. I really don’t care if you give them black tar heroine, if it helps it helps. Senator McCain seems to be as dimissive with his research, as he is with his body language in this video.

When a person takes a pain pill it can take up to 45 minutes for the subject to get relief. If a person is in more pain than usual they might take two pills instead of one, their pain might be fully relieved but they are half asleep, groggy and can’t function. When a pain reliever like marijuana is smoked however, because the effects are almost instantaneous the user can regulate exactly how they feel. Marijuana allows them to function, it gives them their life back.

Oh and Senator McCain you atated that you, nor anyone you know, had heard of the government arresting sick and dying people, I have a name for you, Robin Prosser. Prosser could not use traditional pain medication due to a deadly autoimmune disease that gave her allergic and dangerous reactions to most pharmaceutical painkillers; as a result she was prescribed marijuana. Prosser was arrested by the DEA in 2004 for possession of marijuana that she used to treat her horrible pain, even though it was legal in her state. After the DEA raided marijuana clinics in her home state she was forced to search for weed elsewhere. When, as a respectable and dying woman, she was unable to get the medicine she needed she took her own life.