Skip to comments.Albany can prevent patients from becoming perps to treat their illness (Leagalize Marijuana Now)
Posted on 05/01/2009 3:04:07 PM PDT by presidio9
Numerous scientific studies have provided compelling evidence that marijuana is effective in treating chronic pain and other symptoms.
Now, the New York State Senate and Assembly are considering legislation that would allow patients suffering from specific diseases such as cancer or HIV-related illness to obtain a certification from their doctor that would allow them to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 12 plants.
This legislation must pass.
It is patently unfair to deny anyone access to any effective treatment, as well as potentially take away their livelihood, for simply trying to relieve the suffering caused by serious illness.
As one of those patients, I have a special interest in this proposal.
Six years ago, when I was only 34 and in the prime of my life, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, one of those chronic illnesses for which marijuana has been proven to provide relief.
I learned from my neurologist that my immune system was attacking something called myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The nerve fibers themselves are damaged. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a variety of symptoms.
For me, that means tremors, numbness and pain in my lower extremities and torso as well as fatigue. I rely on several extremely expensive drugs to slow the disease's progression, but none of these medications deal with the neuropathic pain, which I experience as burning, aching and girdling around my body (known not-so-affectionately as "the MS hug").
From speaking to other people with MS and reviewing medical literature, I learned that marijuana has been found to effectively mitigate many of my symptoms. Marijuana is illegal in New York even if recommended by a doctor. As a result, I do not have the option of trying marijuana to see if it will help my pain and tremors.
It is not so much the fear of arrest that deters me from using marijuana, but the fact that I am a lawyer working for an elected official. I risk losing my license to practice law and would likely bring negative attention to my employer if I were criminally charged.
With a new presidential administration, one which has stated publicly that it will respect the decisions of states that have enacted medical marijuana programs, our state Legislature can act without the fear of federal preemption.
New York should join the growing number of states that empower patients and doctors to decide based on science, experience and compassion to choose marijuana as an option to provide relief. No one should face jail time for trying to cope with serious illness.
Sewell is the counsel to City Councilman Oliver Koppell. He is admitted to practice law in New York and lives in the Bronx.
I printed this story because I thought it was so obviously goofy. For those reading this out of state, Koppell once filled a vacant seat for Attorney General, but lost it later in election. Among those he beat out was a teenaged pretty-boy named Elliot Spitzer. Koppell has frequently advocated for legalized marijuana over the years.
I say this article is goofy, because Sewell is too dishonest to say that he is advocating more as a lawyer than as an MS sufferer. He did not say that he consulted with a doctor on the benefits of medical marijuana. He does not indicate that he inquired as to what other remedies are available for his symptoms. He knew pot was illegal, and some potheads told him that it might help, so of course he set his sights there. As a matter of fact, there are no symptoms currently being treated by medical marijuana that can’t be treated with other perscriptions. Including chronic pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. I know many MS sufferers. Not one uses marijuana. As a matter of fact, my sister-in-law has had the disease for over ten years. She was not above getting high in college. She has never used pot to treat her systems, and gets by just fine on the drugs her doctor gives her.
I haven't bought the one about global warmer, so why should I believe this one. LOL
Also, numerous scientists insist that there is a “gay gene,” which has never been found, does not run in families, managages to propagate itself homosexually, and has not been extinguished by the gay male’s 24-year life expectancy in this the safest and most prosperous culture in the history of mankind.
I think an MD should be free to prescribe any preparation he sees fit. We trust them to dose out much more dangerous drugs then THP.