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Medical marijuana is an insult to our intelligence

The Justice Department says it's backing off the prosecution of people who smoke pot or sell it in compliance with state laws that permit "medical marijuana." Attorney General Eric Holder says "it will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers." Party hardy! I mean -- let the healing begin!

I don't think the federal government should be spending a whole lot of time on small-time druggies, and I'm undecided about legalizing pot, which enjoys 44 percent support among the general public, according to a recent poll. Recreational use is not the wisest thing -- and if my 12-year-old son is reading this, that means you! -- but it's no more harmful than other drugs (e.g., alcohol) and impossible to eradicate. On the other hand, I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff. So I think we probably should have an open debate about decriminalization.

But it should be a real debate, about real decriminalization, and not clouded -- pardon the expression -- by hokum about "medical marijuana." To the extent it puts the attorney general's imprimatur on the notion that people are getting pot from "caregivers" to deal "with serious illnesses" -- as opposed to growing their own or flocking to "dispensaries" just to get high -- the Justice Department's move is not so constructive.

I do not deny that for some people, including some terminal cancer patients and pain-wracked AIDS sufferers, marijuana is a blessed relief. Let 'em smoke, I say, just as the Justice Department has usually ignored such cases since long before Holder spoke up. But if you believe there is any scientific evidence that smoked marijuana has the multiplicity of therapeutic uses that advocates claim -- well, I've got a bag of oregano I'd like to sell you.

Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful. In California and elsewhere, however, snake oil -- sorry, "medical marijuana" -- got on the market via a different route: popular referendum. The pot for sale in dispensaries is subject to none of the purity controls that actual pharmaceutical drugs must meet. Indeed, the new DOJ policy essentially recognizes a gray market for pot, leaving these supposedly seriously ill people at the mercy of their dealers -- I mean caregivers -- with respect to quality and efficacy.

What other substances should we handle this way? Cocaine? Laetrile? Didn't President Obama just sign a bill authorizing the FDA to regulate the nicotine content of tobacco? And I thought he promised to "restore science to its rightful place."

Under California's law, you don't even need a prescription to get pot (which would admittedly have been a problem, since the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency controls who gets a prescription pad, and not many doctors would use theirs to prescribe an illegal drug). All it takes is a "written or oral recommendation" from a physician.

A few years ago, a California woman called Angel Raich took her defense of medical pot all the way to the Supreme Court. She lost on the legal issue, which had nothing to do with the medical effectiveness of pot. Along the way, though, she claimed that she was suffering from "life-threatening" weight loss (due to a chronic inability to hold down food, which her doctors could not explain). She also cited chronic pain from scoliosis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, bruxism, endometriosis, headache, rotator cuff syndrome, uterine fibroids, and Schwannoma. The Latin names of these latter conditions might have snowed some judges, but physicians recognized each of them as a common, non-life-threatening problem for which conventional treatments were available. Raich listed a cornucopia of potent drugs, from Vicodin to Methadone, that she had tried previously and gotten no satisfaction.

This is not an isolated instance. According to a survey by NORML, the pro-"medical marijuana" organization, which can be expected to emphasize the desperate health of users, only 22 percent of California medical marijuana users suffer from AIDS-related disease. Most of the rest have more subjective maladies such as "chronic pain" or "mood disorders."

Raich's physician was Frank Lucido, a well-known Berkeley doctor and pro-pot activist -- he also makes money as an expert witness on "medical marijuana" -- whose Web site boasts that he was "investigated by the Medical Practices Board of California for cannabis evaluation practices in 2003, and fully exonerated." The case involved his recommendation of marijuana to treat attention deficit disorder in a 16-year-old boy, but, as I say, he was fully exonerated.

In a brilliant article (requires subscription) on this subject in the Hastings Center Report, a bioethics journal, lawyer and anesthesiologist Peter J. Cohen noted that "medical marijuana" groups have been notably passive about demanding FDA testing and approval for this purported elixir. Instead, they took their case to the people. As Cohen argued, this is no way to make health policy: "medical marijuana," he wrote, should be "subjected to the same scientific scrutiny as any drug proposed for use in medical therapy, rather than made legal for medical use by popular will." The "medical marijuana" movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence.

Clarification: An earlier version of this posting said Angel Raich claimed that each of the medical conditions cited in her lawsuit was life-threatening. She asked me to explain that she only contended that one of her conditions -- chronic weight loss due to an inability to keep food down -- was life-threatening. I am happy to oblige. She is about to undergo an operation to reduce her Schwannoma, which is a benign brain tumor.

By Charles Lane  | October 20, 2009; 5:56 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Comments

When alcohol and tobacco have legal status, the stench of hypocrisy that emanates from the likes of you complaining about "Medical Marijuana" being an insult is unbearable.

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | October 20, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Should the U.S. legalize the selling of marijuana to cure budget woes?
http://www.polladium.com/poll.php?poll_id=191&location_id=1

Take a second and vote anonymously.

Posted by: tonystamos | October 20, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like it, don't smoke it, and worry about your own damn kid.

Posted by: osiuerer | October 20, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of us out here who have had it up past our eyeballs with Doctors, pills, tests, and surgery. There are a lot of us out here who just want to be left alone to use natural medicines including acupuncture, chamomile tea, Epsom salts, and yes medical marijuana amongst many other naturally occurring remedies and eastern medicine. If the writer of this 'marijuana insult' column here thinks that we should all be like him and suck up the corporate BS like good little 'sheeple', he has another guess coming. He needs to talk open and honestly to his 12 year old son too and not bring him into this debate of marijuana which is an adult decision. Paying hundreds and thousands a month for big pharma pills and treatments is not a cure, it's not 'right', and just because you are brainwashed into thinking they are all right doesn't mean it's so.
I personally am deeply angered by our system of health care to the point where I would rather stand on a train track with a live train than go in a hospital so I can catch MRSA and be treated like crap all along the way. I hate doctors, I hate pills, and I hate all the straight out liars which are known to you as 'the drug companies'. I hate them SO MUCH that it has literally DRIVEN me to medical marijuana and like or not, this sentiment is starting to catch on too.

Posted by: lynnzy | October 20, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

So many preach so often on a subject they know nothing about! How can this poor column writer know? How can ANYONE know more about pot, since Big Brother will not allow scientific study, use, etc?

Let's see...over 40% use it. What does this say about the so-called "war on drugs," continued expenses of millions of dollars for which there is so little to show?

First, separate pot from other drugs. If you want a valid comparison, begin by comparing pot to wine. Though ingested differently, (oh, and yes, of course...wine is LEGAL) the person who smoked the weed suffered less in all respects!

Save your preaching for Sunday's column; if you are going to write about anything, make it something you personally KNOW about! (Ah, but with the stigma attached to doing that, you'd have to use a different name to write your column, right?)

Posted by: Silvermoon1 | October 20, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

My mother has Multiple Sclerosis, which recently has made her legs at night feel like they are literally on fire. She can't sleep, none of the drugs prescribed by doctors have helped with the symptoms. Only cannabis has provided her relief from these horrible symptoms.

Every time I read ignorant crap like this posting, it makes my blood boil. This filth has no place in a paper as famous as the Post for its journalistic integrity.

Posted by: cv_collins | October 20, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

The PROHIBITION of cannabis is what is an insult, to our logic, our intelligence, and our liberty.

"Medical" use really is mostly a bunch of hooey, but maybe we will notice that there is no corresponding increase in homicidal insanity, or white girls fornicating with Negro jazz musicians - - because those are the solid reasons behind prohibition...

Posted by: BudG024 | October 20, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I am a psychologist in a state that has medical marijuana. The number of people using it for bogus reasons or for conditions which are probably made worse by it is mind boggling. It is rarely used for AIDS, cancer, MS or other conditions for which its use makes sense. There are doctors who will sign a form allowing just about anyone to use it. I agree with the writer of this column. This is a separate issue from whether pot should be legalized but is about the legitimacy of calling it a "medical" use.

Posted by: Psych1 | October 20, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

you are a true pot-bigot, or shall we say PIGOT.

Medical Marijuana keeps more people alive than that are worth jailing them instead.

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 20, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Charles Lane,

"The "medical marijuana" movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence."

Three of your own fingers are pointing back at you! If you are completely unaware of recent medical publications scientifically showcasing the medical applications of marijuana, then how intelligent are you? Or are you simply ignorantly blissful?

Nature Magazine (www.Nature.com) has published a study outlining the cancer fighting properties of THC among many other studies. Do you have a computer? Are you connected to the internet? If so, you can read all this information on-line, for free!

If you do this, then you would know, after study, that you have made a complete arse of yourself with above article.

Posted by: matthew14 | October 20, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Lane, if you are writing this editorial on behalf of big pharma, I can understand where your opinions are coming from. But if you are attempting to do true journalistic reporting shame on you for not doing your research. Start with traditional Chinese medical writings from many centuries before allopathic medicine was even being practiced. I would guess that thousands of years of human use would suffice to the efficacy and safety of any substance, and would certainly be more reassuring than an 18 month FDA study, like the one that green-lighted Vioxx. Your article is an insult to our intelligence.

Posted by: prairiernnr | October 20, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

These posts laced with vitriol and violent tendencies are a great example of why recreational drugs are a big mistake. Legalize medical use of marijuana? Who cares? In fact why don't we start offering pistols and bullets as medical options too?

Posted by: YouMustBeJoking | October 20, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XorlUPNQqq8

IOWA STATE BOARD OF PHARMACY FINAL PUBLIC HEARING NOV 4
COUNCIL BLUFF IOWA HARRAH'S CASINO(of all places)

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 20, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

As one who has benefited from the use of medical marijuana to cope with two years of chemotherapy I can, with authority, state without reservation that Charles Lane doesn't have a clue.

Chemotherapy consisted of infusions and weekly injections of medication that left me ill for several days afterward. I started this without using marijuana, because like Lane, I believed the right wing BS. After several weeks I had had enough and gave in to a coworker's suggestion. Funny how when it's happening to you, perspectives can change.

The results were far better than I could have imagined. I felt human again.

I hope that Lane never finds himself in a position or circumstance where he learns just how wrong he is, but if he should, I pray that right wing idiots like him have not dropped the hammer on what could very easily be his salvation

Posted by: rolandson | October 20, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Your self righteous, ignorant musings are causing me direct harm by denying me legal access to a harmless herb. Why is this still tolerated in this day and age? I'm not seeking to deny you your alcohol cocktail that you use to self-medicate yourself nightly. (By the way, how many driving deaths are caused annually by driving under the influence of pot? None, or the government would have been reporting those figures--as it does for alcohol--for decades.) Why do you claim the right to criminalize my choice?

Posted by: gbeckmann9 | October 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

" In fact why don't we start offering pistols and bullets as medical options too?"
....see Gonzalez vs. Oregon (assist suicide w/lethal drugs)

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's talk about people who are against gun control. Should we use this kind of infantile quotation mark enclosure for things like that too? Like talking about the "right" to keep and bear arms for "self defense"? Because some people, or even MOST people who own guns have no legitimate lawful need for them, are we going to ridicule those who are simply trying to exercise a liberty? How about "Christian" conservatives? This is fun!

As you say, you aren't a doctor. And there is a reason for medical privacy laws: IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what people's maladies are or how they go about treating them. They don't need to justify it to you. And it's not their fault in the slightest that the laws written to allow them access to what eases their pain, helps them keep food down, or manages the side effects of "legitimate" medication, are exploited by people who don't have these problems. Oh, and maybe the problems just aren't serious enough for you. Really? What kind of soulless godless person are you to think about other people like that? Life is supposed to be painful, right?

If you would bother to do five minutes of research before running your mouth, you'd find that the reason why there is so little medical research data on marijuana is because our government intentionally makes it difficult or impossible to do. Allowing the states to do their own thing is a first step for many reforms in this country. It's a laboratory for law and public policy for the rest of the country; ideas can be tried out in one area without adversely affecting others. And maybe some of those ideas will work and spread elsewhere.

Once upon a time "conservative" actually meant a philosophy of leaving people alone who aren't harming others. So the Administration is taking the conservative approach here. Perhaps you should take his lead and worry about more pressing matters?

Posted by: BrandonAbell | October 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow. First of all, get the name right. The medicine you are referring to is Cannabis. Are you a journalist or newspaper jockey? Ironically, it was Hearst's yellow journalism that got us in this mess in the first place, but I am sure an irony is lost on you.

You want a plant that has been an integral part of the human experience to undergo FDA testing? That is patently absurd.

This article is an excellent example of how the war on drugs has caused Americans to lose all perspective on something so natural as smoking cannabis. The FDA process is in place for people selling fancy concoctions and tonics, not plants that grow in the ground.

Now I am all for more testing of Cannabis and many other drugs. The results of those tests should be made available to doctors to discuss with their patients. But there is no reason that the federal government should get between me and a plant that has been documented to have medicinal properties since humans could write.

I hope you find yourself suffering from an ailment that could be eased by smoking a plant that grows like a weed but are unable to because the medical establishment bans it because they can't patent it and sell it for 100x the cost.

Get a clue.

Posted by: snowbank | October 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

You sir are an ignorant human being. Do not judge until you have walked a mile in my shoes. Where do you get your information from? Do you just make random assumptions about everything in life? Until you have been through a couple rounds of chemo you have no business commenting on these matters. The fact is medical marijuana works and it is because of self important people such as yourself that people who need this medication are being denied access to it. Well guess what...we're winning and there's nothing you can do about it.
I would thank you to keep your opinions safely stowed under the rock from which you crawled.

Posted by: brianf77 | October 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

This article is way too thick with his own biased speculation to be taken the least bit serious.

How are alcohol and tobacoo not schedule I drugs when they are highly addictive and have absolutely no medical value. Pound for Pound, marijuana is less lethal than water. I do not understand how you can say that a plant which has evolved with our species needs the same rigorus testing as a brand new synthesized chemical.

Even if people are flying under the radar with medical cards that have no serious illness, who cares! That should show you how silly the law is in the first place. Do a little research and find out WHY it was made illegal in the first place. It was not for the well-being of anyone, but for profit.

It has been in use 1000's of years, this little criminalization blip in history will pass and things will go back to the way they were and losers like this will be forced to find something else to piss and moan about.

Posted by: wildmonkey12 | October 20, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't the oath Obama took to "faithfully execute the office of President of the Unite States" involve, you know, enforcing federal statutes? If he doesn't like the law he should ask Congress to repeal it. We are still, at least for now, a nation of laws.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 20, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

All you have to do is go back to the history of cannibis, it has been helping humans for centuries. Eli Lilly sold it for heavens sake. The pharma companies cringe at the thought of cannibis being legal as they can't make any money off of it and it will replace so many of the drugs they currently prescribe. I assure you big money pharmas are the reason it isn't legal today. Well that and misguided articles like this. Although we can agree on one thing. Lets get cannibis tested and see if there are any benefits from it..which as a MS patient..duh..The politicians and their benefactor drug companies they fill their coffers from will never go for that test. It would cost them billions if it was ever legalized.

Posted by: TBOregon | October 20, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

It is my belief that all the drug laws are ridiculous. Police spend so much time and so many resources enforcing drug laws that issues concerning missing children, sex offenders and violent offenders take a back door. Taking the profit from illicit drugs will diffuse gangs, add new revenue and reduce the cost of health care by eliminating the process of acquiring prescription drugs.

Medical marijuana may have a valid role in medicine. Whether it is a gateway to other drugs is a moot point. Open legal dram shops on a limited trial basis and give this concept a valid test. There is so much drug related crime, the prisons are significantly over-burdened with low level drug offenders, and police are needed in a multitude of more important arenas that changes must occur.

I am not a user, but I do understand that alcohol, which is condoned by our culture, causes and aggravates a wide range of serious health problems. With this in mind, the anti-drug arguments seem misplaced. Tobacco is a known killer. Nevertheless, it, like alcohol, can be purchased almost anywhere. I do not condone the use of any drug. However, I am weary of gangs, drug wars, and drug terrorists. Let the users do it to themselves in peace.

Posted by: hitechcleaning5 | October 20, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Just to add...
" As Cohen argued, this is no way to make health policy: "medical marijuana," he wrote, should be "subjected to the same scientific scrutiny as any drug proposed for use in medical therapy, rather than made legal for medical use by popular will." The "medical marijuana" movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence."

This is the typical western reductionist approach to medicine. The reason it is flawed in this case is that this process should be applied to treatments developed in a lab. There is no reason to treat cannabis this way since it has been documented to have medicinal qualities for thousands of years and it is plant that would grow like a weed if we let it.

And your gateway drug argument... are you serious? is this 1950? get a clue man. Have you read anything about the effect of decrim in Netherlands? the biggest problem they have is Brits and Yankess coming over to get high. Their youth drug rates are lower than ours.

I wonder it is like to be so callous about relieving the suffering of millions of people?

Posted by: snowbank | October 20, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

And I hope your child is not arrested for using pot (and, after all, there is virtually no chance that he will not have used it by the time he completes college). But the family trauma that will inflict on you would be a form of poetic justice

Posted by: gbeckmann9 | October 20, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

The lack of purity, safety and efficacy information with respect to marijuana is a valid concern, but hardly a valid argument against the medical use of the substance.

If critics of medical marijuana are really concerned as to the safety and efficacy of marijuana dispensed for medical reasons, then legalize and regulate the cultivation of marijuana for medical use. That, by the way, would also answer the argument that sales of medical marijuana enrich criminal drug syndicates.

The fact is that DEA has a schizophrenic institutional attitude - its medical advisers have for some time stated in study after study that pain medications in general, including prescriotion opiate derivatives, are under-prescribed and under-used. Their enforcement professionals, however, continue to prosecute licensed medical professionals for exercising their judgment.

This cognitive dissonance extends to the DEA's attitude toward marijuana. Their medical professionals and even some of their administrative law judges continue to rail against the enforcement arm's zero-tolerance attitude on marijuana.

While I disagree on nearly every other controversial stance taken by the Obama administration, this decision of theirs is a step toward the rationalization of our country's laws on marijuana.

A truly rational stance would be real safety and efficacy studies of marijuana performed on the same basis as other new drug candidates - studies not controlled by the same agency for which enforcement of our current marijuana laws is just as great a cash cow as illicit sales of marijuana are for crime syndicates.

It's time to settle this question once and for all, one way or the other.

Posted by: loupgarous | October 20, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

My,my, you dope smokers certainly are passionate about your "right" to destroy your minds and your brain cells!

While I'm not the least bit interested in legally prosecuting people for smoking weed-I'd rather see a billionaire speculator who funds legalization, i.e., George Soros, incarcercated-I do know that billionaires like Soros, and his oligarchical buddies, love to see Americans, and people generally, getting high and not using their minds. They love to see people passionate about the right to smoke weed, while the whole world financial system and economy are melting down, millions are dying of disease, famine, and war, or natural disasters (due to lack of infrastructure).

British/Soros puppet Obama and his advisors, like the Emmanuel brothers, want to kill old folks so they can have more money to bail out Wall Street, blue collar workers are losing their jobs and homes and having their pensions ripped off by the speculators, etc. etc., and you want to scream about the right to get high!

Give me a Break! This has nothing to do with right or left wings, it has to do with sanity.

Posted by: maggierose57 | October 20, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

1st I am not a Medical Person (dr comes from computer abilities)

As a 100% Disabled Veteran (USMC 73-74) I am treated with time release morphine (2x daily/60tabs mo), and Oxycodone (as needed 40 tabs).This has gone on for years. They also have to constantly check my liver and kidneys for damage.
Marijuana studies have been done for over 50 years. The results have proved that personality and genetics have more to do with addiction. As far as moving to stronger… you must never drink alcohol (including beer and wine) as I am sure you will end up in a gutter after consuming Everclear (190 proof / 95%), nor should you take any aspirin or similar product (in your way of thinking, you will end up on opiates). As far as overdose. You can’t… you’ll just go to sleep. The rats did!
In conclusion. Spend a year in someone’s shoes, that lives in a “Qualifying” condition.
Or just think of your son having to live in it. (also, we are a Village,… but teaching values is still primarily the immediate families responsibility).
I pray you never get in the position of needing it.

Posted by: drmwjay | October 20, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Please spare me from your nonsense. If you were a C5-6 Quadriplegic like me with bladder spasms, muscle spasms and stiff neck muscles and you could feel how fast just one puff of Medical marijuana melts away these symptoms you would have a complete reversal of the effectiveness of Medical marijuana as a treatment option. I used to drink alcohol and there is no comparison as to how hard it is on the body compared to marijuana. It’s similar to comparing the effects of downing a bottle of Everclear 190 proof to downing a bottle of Near beer. I have explained my use to my ten and fifteen year old sons and they understand I use like other patients use prescription drugs. It is sad when a reported is so clueless when it comes to a drug that has been so recklessly demonized.

Posted by: J-Dub | October 20, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

So legalize weed. I know more mopes going down with booze than weed. This article is nonsense. Idiocy. On one hand, he minimizes the "badness" of weed, and throws out the herring of medical inspiration as his objection. Face it folks, weed's nice, coke's nice, booze is nice. If you abuse any of them, you die early. But that doesn't justify the expense of enforcement. If folks wanna go down the drain with the drug of their own choosing, who cares?

Posted by: JamesChristian | October 20, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane's stance on this issue seems to be generated by the need for a "hook" in his column title. To address specific claims in his little screed would require rebutting almost every "point" he made (none of which were substantiated).
Since when would it have been the responsibility of the "medical marijuana crowd" to ask for FDA testing? Alcohol is available to the public via popular referendum. Any drug is subject to abuse (alcohol and tobacco notably so). Of course we don't want our 12 year old drinking or smoking or smoking pot or doing pharmaceutical drugs raided from daddy's cabinet. A very good examination of the issue from the other end of the spectrum is found in a documentary called "Union". That program, while biased, at least offers some substantiation for their claims. Get it from your favorite dvd mail order company!

Posted by: dankelleypr | October 20, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

_____v '''' for you Charles Lane......

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 20, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

For me it practically eliminates my Tourette's Syndrome, the acute version, no verbal tics. It's not on our approved conditions list in Denver so I claim spastic disorder instead. There's plenty of research that proves its benefits for Toutette’s and that’s actually how I found it 6 years ago. Also why I moved to Denver.

I suppose there are some folks out there with no real reason other than they like the way it makes them feel. Is there really anything wrong with that? Society has forced their hand this way but you want to point fingers at them. Let’s face it, marijuana makes a lot of things more fun and interesting, even this article. ;-)

Posted by: GuyinDenver | October 20, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Gateway drugs? Sounds like cigarettes to me. Perhaps we need to abolish monopolistic practices of agencies, like the FDA, which has been captured by phrma to sanction drug company exclusionary practices. Free to choose? Let the markets decide, not government. As Barry said, "keep gov't. out of my pockets, away from my bedroom, and off my back."

Posted by: marromi | October 20, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

To BrandonAbell: Changing the topic to cover gun control is a cheap, mindless rhetorical trick. It's not a matter of "I'll violate your rights if you violate mine," Mr. Abell. I DO have a Constitutionally-protected right keep and bear arms, and if you don't like that, work to get the law changed. Just look for me on the other side of the debate, defending my Constitutional rights avidly.

Posted by: loupgarous | October 20, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

maggierose57:

Seems from your post that a hit would do you good, and it might help the obvious schizophrenia that your ramblings demonstrate.

Posted by: gbeckmann9 | October 20, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

You cover a lot here. I will touch on a few.

I don't smoke pot, but...

->FDA approved.

Been plenty of those that have hurt and killed people. Currently, acetaminophen springs to mind.

->subjective maladies such as "chronic pain" or "mood disorders."

I will add stress, insomnia and anxiety.

Pretty sure even my doctor, dentist or shrink would give me something stronger than pot for those. Plenty of folks also self medicate with alcohol.

->gateway to harder stuff

Since the people who are currently dealing pot will cross-sell.

In summary:

If you want you and your family to be sober, fine, otherwise you can choose alcohol, ambien and xanax, then leave other people alone.

Some advice, MYOB.

Posted by: foofoodog | October 20, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, truly spoken like a man who doesn't have a clue.

Get a clue, then speak. You will seem more intelligent that way.

The greatest insult to our intelligence is this: to start with, we keep drugs illegal rather than making them legal and open dispensaries where the government provides the supplies to users. Countries that do this have seen drug abuse drop by 50 percent. Why? Because those who can get off hard drugs will. People start using hard drugs because their friends do; its fun, new and exciting, but once addicted the fun stops.

Pot is not the reason people use hard drugs. It would be like saying people who drink beer become hard core alcoholics.

We keep filling our jails, wasting tax dollars on all fronts by staying ignorant. So Lane, get smart and try to promote smarter info to be relavant. Otherwise, shut up.

Posted by: morenews1 | October 20, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Charles Lane is tring have a conversation that has already taken place. We just don't have time to explain this stuff to people that should have been up on this topic by now.

Posted by: kevin56 | October 20, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Lane. An insult to our intellegence is accurate. If someone wants to make pot legal then fine, but one must sign a legal form that they aren't going to try to sue the government for their stupid choices when they get cancer from inhaling all that crap into their lungs. And really I don't want to subsidize anyone's sorry ass too when they have to go on disability because they are too ----ed up to do their job. And I don't want to spend money on rehab either. As a chemotherapy recipient, there are great drugs for nausea out there.

Posted by: mary37 | October 20, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Say YES to medical marijuana -- don't let the Gubmint get between you and your spliff!

Posted by: pkotta | October 20, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I find as a nurse that this article is "an insult to my intelligence".

Doesn't the author know that most medications are derived from plants?

I work with hospice patients, people with nerve damage, and muscular disorders and many are on pain medications, thankfully make from plants.

If marijuana helps them feel better and be able to function more normally with less pain or spasm why are you so critical?

Do you drink wine, beer, or any alcohol beverage? Just because alcohol is legal it is so damaging to the body why attack a plant that doesn't cause these problems?

Perhaps cigaretts and alcohol should also be regulated by prescription or have the feds raid homes with wine cellars, etc...

If this sounds crazy...your article sounds crazy to me...get out of your office and volunteer and see what medical suffering looks like!

Posted by: deborahzaki | October 20, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

My state allows for medical marijuana. You just don't go buy it. You have to have a prescription. Your ignorance of medical marijuana laws is patently obvious if you think anyone who simply wants to get high can just stroll in and purchase some. Educate yourself before you make stupid assumptions.

Posted by: catpurrson | October 20, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

While reading the comments posted on here I have thought about both sides..
I agree that it should be legal for no reason other than it is senseless to keep it illegal.
I also agree that if they want to change the law they need to do it the right way.
How much longer are we as a country going to allow the president and his cronies to circumvent the correct way of doing things?
Another thing I have noticed is the vile spewing from the mouths of those who want to berate a journalist for giving his personal opinions on the subject.. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU! It's a free country he can say what he likes and just because he doesnt agree with your views is no reason to insult like 5 year-olds.. I don't know the political affiliation with those posting but I certainly hope you are NOT Obama supporters because if you are? Well, you all need to check your attitudes or change your political agenda from the one of 'supposed tolerance' to the one that is fascist.. Oh wait you already are..

Everyone else realizes it but you guys..

Posted by: causticknowledge | October 20, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I use marijuana to help with some symptoms of mmy advanced cancer. But it is not going to cure me. I also used marijuana off and on for many years before I had cancer. Truth be told, I resumed use of marijuna because my oncologist said it would not hurt and it calms me and boosts appetite.

But I have no fervor on this issue and agree with you that the medical marijuana umbrella is used to cover the vast majority of useres who have no medical use.

Call it what it is. Should marijuana, relative.y minor intoxicant compared to many others, be legalized? Please do not conceal the real issue by calling it medicinal.

Posted by: FineChina | October 20, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I have multiple sclerosis. I use cannabis legally with a prescription from a doctor.
I have tried many other methods of pain management, but nothing comes close to helping as well as this natural remedy.
I work full time and am offended by this article.

Posted by: kirkwood75 | October 20, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Many remedies--herbal and otherwise--have never undergone testing because they have been proven safe and effective through centuries of use. Furthermore, FDA testing, by necessity, has such small sample sizes that dangerous side-effects are often not detected until widespread use. Efficacy and safety are often far better known for traditional remedies.

The notion that medical marijuana is ineffective is even more ridiculous if you consider that there is an FDA-approved drug (THC) that consists of the active ingredient of marijuana. In fact, many (possibly most) other FDA-approved proprietary drugs are just variations of known natural remedies.

Mr. Lane--you're a drug addict; you're addicted to costly, proprietary drugs, a pill popper. People like you are bankrupting our health care system. Get off your behind, exercise, eat healthy, and try inexpensive, proven herbal remedies first.

Posted by: ats0j8 | October 20, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Started to write something to tell this self righteous Lane character off. Something about page 2 of the Bible. maybe a little more about how long his doctors have been prescribing high powered pain killers with side effects like ... death to him so that he was able to decide that time proven therapies that mankind has used (opiates about 5000 years, cannabis over 18000 years) should not be used but rather some crap that came out of an oil well and was pushed through a multi billion dollar drug corporation's non-testing because they are dying to make more billions and they don't care who it hurts. I guess you really did your research on this one ...
"Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful."
Oh Brother ... but then I saw lynnzy's post and all I really have to say is ... I second every last syllable she said +++++

One last thing, Lane. How do you sleep at night? (JL)

Posted by: Mitchster | October 20, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The perspective of this article is grossly uninformed and wrong on many counts, gateway drug is propaganda, no where near as dangerous as legal intoxicants. Every one who uses is self medicating for something, it's impossible to overdose on the stuff. The laws against it are the result of corporate/government corruption based on prejudice bigotry and small mindedness. The criminalization of a herb should insult the intelligence of just about everyone on the planet. I see you think differently and get paid for it sadly this is an unenlightened piece of work base on petty fear and misinformation. A single acre of pine trees will produce in twenty years the same yield in paper hemp can in a single season. Our government subsides the pine trees because its wealthy land owners want them to at the expense of the rest of us.

Posted by: cvroach | October 20, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Interesting... I've read this article several times and I'm just not getting that Lane is against legalizing pot. I'm reading that he is asking us to have a more intelligent discussion about it rather than hide behind the bogus title of "medical" need. If we want to legalize it then just legalize it. Stop BS'ing about it. Of all of the people that I know that smoke pot there are only a very very small handful that actually use it for a true medical condition. We are creating a society of liars if we only legalize it medically and all of you recreational smokers will have to come up with bogus medical conditions to legally use. That's just silly. Once it's legalized you can smoke it for whatever reason you would like, recreation, illness, addiction...whatever flips your lid. Funny how many of the irate comments calling Lane an idiot, etc..seemed to have actually missed the point of the article...hmmm...

Posted by: GranolaDoc | October 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please explain to me how inhaling hot smoke into your lungs is
beneficial?

Posted by: orymm13 | October 20, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, Dr Lane, may other MD's disagree with you.

For instance, my psychiatrist, who works for the federal government, enthusiastically approves of my use of cannabis to control the symptoms of my schizoaffective disorder. He looks forward to the day when he can prescribe it.

Many MD's believe that medical cannabis is real. Of course there are many conservative MD's such as yourself who have other opinions. Perhaps they do not follow the refereed journals: many physicians do not have the time. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all of the work you doctors do, but it is important to keep up with one's field.

President Obama, if he really wants to be helpful, will instruct the DEA to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III. Any other course is subject to reversal by the next President.

And President Quixot^H^H^H^H^H^HObama needs to do this *before* the various windmills he is tilting with knock him down. He will find it much harder to do this after he has been marked by failure, as is inevitable.


.

Posted by: Josh_Geller | October 20, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Then I read on ...
Funny how 99% of the posts say you are an idiot and don't know what you are talking about.
I'm going to have go with the masses on this one. It is none of your damn business what my malady is. It is none of your damn business if I smoke pot to treat it.
Just leave us all the heck alone.
None of us suffering from extreme pain, nausea, shakes, nerve damage, lost limbs, glaucoma, recovering stroke victims or suffering from any of the other things that cannabis helps treat or cures have said you can't have a shot of crown ... although if you drive afterwards the chances of you killing one of our kids is like a million times greater.
Three words for you...
Just Shut Up.

Posted by: Mitchster | October 20, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

"..I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff."

did u get all your education from watching Reefer Madness reruns?

The gateway is psychological.

You want a gateway to hard stuff, try child abuse and neglect.

And consider: some handle their liquor responsibly, some don't. The difference is character, not the substance itself.

But for the character-challenged, I suppose its easier to default to dogma..

Posted by: bushieisa | October 20, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Ditto to the comment from lynnzy. I could not have said it better, so I will repeat the comment.

"There are a lot of us out here who have had it up past our eyeballs with Doctors, pills, tests, and surgery. There are a lot of us out here who just want to be left alone to use natural medicines including acupuncture, chamomile tea, Epsom salts, and yes medical marijuana amongst many other naturally occurring remedies and eastern medicine. If the writer of this 'marijuana insult' column here thinks that we should all be like him and suck up the corporate BS like good little 'sheeple', he has another guess coming. He needs to talk open and honestly to his 12 year old son too and not bring him into this debate of marijuana which is an adult decision. Paying hundreds and thousands a month for big pharma pills and treatments is not a cure, it's not 'right', and just because you are brainwashed into thinking they are all right doesn't mean it's so.
I personally am deeply angered by our system of health care to the point where I would rather stand on a train track with a live train than go in a hospital so I can catch MRSA and be treated like crap all along the way. I hate doctors, I hate pills, and I hate all the straight out liars which are known to you as 'the drug companies'. I hate them SO MUCH that it has literally DRIVEN me to medical marijuana and like or not, this sentiment is starting to catch on too."

Posted by: michaelconnolly13 | October 20, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

There is one thing never mentioned used to treat anxiety, regulate mood disorders, cope with chronic pain and terminal illness, and generally cope with life. It's legal to peddle and every human being's right to participate in. Some people successfully use it for years with nothing but positive effects; however, it has also been historically shown to be a gateway to violence, hatred, slavery, murder, and even genocide. It's called Faith, and if you include "ideology" under its umbrella it comforts countless and inspires thousands to some of the most extreme behaviors known to man.

If you care about something destroying a human being's ability to think for his or herself and ultimately lead to the destruction of cultures fight that.

Once upon a time, America believed in liberty, individuality, and personal responsibility. At some point, we dropped that for the freedom to individually constrain the behavior of others to meet our morality. Whether its the abuse of and addiction to marijuana, crack, Jesus, or Scientology the root cause is the confusion of individual responsibility, and until we return ourselves as a nation to that principle it does not matter what poison is chosen.

IMHO, looking to the government to regulate any of it is not the answer, and whether politically I look left or right ultimately that is the answer being given.

Oh, and P.S., while it is possible to Constitutionally argue the Federal government can regulate/enforce anti-marijuana law as it applies to interstate and international traffic and commerce, technically use is not covered and therefore a state's right to decide. Lo and behold the Obama administration is just being Constitutional.

Posted by: fractalprocess | October 20, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane -
In reference to your concern that cannabis might be a "gateway" drug -
Every person I have ever asked - and there have been hundreds - has told me that the first illegal use of drugs they can remember was drinking alcohol while they were underage.
Alcohol is, therefore, the most common "gateway" drug in existence. With the notable exception of tobacco, alcohol kills more Americans annually than all other drugs combined - legal or illegal. To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single documented case of a lethal cannabis overdose - ever. Period.
If doctors can prescribe Valium to ease tension, why not cannabis? It helps me relax after work, and it helps me sleep soundly. If that truly insults your intelligence, so be it. People who defend alcohol "because it's legal" are at least as insulting.

Posted by: rhoadie1 | October 20, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The author states: "USUALLY (emphasis added), drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market."

The exception is when a new drug is produced by pharmacitical corporations.

Posted by: marrobcastle | October 20, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

It has been my experience that everyone thinks they've got a great idea or is against something until their ox is in the ditch. Somehow, I have a feeling that if you are ever suffering from terminal cancer, AIDS or other hideously painful disease and spend most of your time throwing up your toenails from chemotherapy and radiation, you'll think medical marijuana is a grand idea. Trent Lott thought tort reform and caps on damages were a great idea until Hurricane Katrina wiped out his multi-million dollar beach home and his insurance company refused to pay for it because they claimed it was the flood from storm surge that destroyed his home and not wind damage. Since damages were capped and he had no flood insurance, he then decided caps on damages might not be such a good idea after all.

What a surprise.

Take some advice from a sage 90-year old woman who was interviewed for a mid-western newspaper some time back and was asked for advice on living a long life. She gave a list of 48 things, but my favorite is: don't compare your life (situation, whatever - you fill in the blank here) to that of others; you have no idea what their journey is all about.

We cannot continue the hypocrisy of allowing cigarettes (scientifically proven to be both addictive and to cause all kinds of cancers) and alcohol (kills thousands of people each year, even those who don't drink because they are killed in alcohol related accidents or assaults) to be legal because they have well heeled lobbying groups and political action committees that ensure congress and state legislators will continue to keep their products legal and there is no organized group with any monetary prowess to lobby for legalizing marijuana. Legalize it, tax it and move on. We've got more important things to do in this country than worry about pot smokers, unless you count the fact that those convicted of simple possession are taking up one third of the available prison space in this country that could be reserved for child molesters, murderers and rapists, just to name a few.

Posted by: taylorlaura57 | October 20, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

~ Concerning your worry that marijuana could be a gateway drug for your kids ~
People often refer to marijuana as a gateway way drug. A drug that once used would largely increase the probability of the use of other drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Statistics have show that the vast majority of people who use “hardcore” drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, started their drug use with marijuana. Many have used these results as a form of proof that marijuana is gateway drug, however I believe that the use of marijuana is currently far closer to a social gateway to other drugs.
As a teenager, most adolescents undergo some form of experimentation with drugs. Most commonly this experimentation begins with tobacco and is followed by alcohol. As a teen breaking the law, it is not surprising that one of the first drugs used is tobacco because in a sense it is the “least illegal” of the drugs available to them. This same concept can be applied to marijuana. Out of all illegal drugs cannabis can be said to be the least frowned upon. Medical uses of marijuana, the debate of legalization and the fact that it is legal or at least decriminalized in many countries around the world greatly reduces the fear of the drug induced by parents. The truth about pot is that it is not a very dangerous drug to use, however once used, the social scene that you have associated yourself with can be a very dangerous one. The exposure to cannabis in the illegal drug scene will often lead to exposure to other illegal drugs or even the use of other illegal drugs giving it its name as a gateway drug.
Now consider what the legalization of cannabis would do to social trends. If pot was legalized people would not need to associate themselves with illegal drug users to be able to smoke it. With a legal age to smoke cannabis put in place its only fall back would be the enforcement age verification. As a whole, “hardcore” drug use would become completely separated from cannabis use. Over time smoking pot would come to be accepted the way it is in other countries around the world and there would no longer be an accepted drug that could transition people into the use of more “hardcore” drugs. Therefore in theory, the legalization of marijuana would only help to reduce the use of illegal drugs.

Posted by: scottkyle_ | October 20, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Each year:

*Tobacco kills 435,000.
*Poor diet and physical inactivity kills 365,0001.
*Alcohol kills 85,000.
*Microbial Agents kills 75,000.
*Toxic Agents kills 55,000.
*Motor Vehicle Crashes kills 26,347. *Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs kills 32,000.
*Suicide kills 30,622.
*Incidents Involving Firearms kills 29,000.
*Homicide kills 20,308
*Sexual Behaviors kills 20,000
*All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect kills17,0001
*Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Such As Aspirin kills 7,600
*Marijuana kills 0.

If you want to check these facts take a look at http://www.cdc.gov

How can you honestly say that Marijuana should be illegal? Is it because it's a gateway drug? Well that's been proven to be false for a long time now. Is it because you think people will become apathetic and stupid. Even if that's the case neither of those are illegal. Is it because you are racist and a bigot? That has been a long time trend of anti-marijuana crusaders and is a large part of why it became illegal in the first place. Or is it because you have so much stock in Pfizer that you would rather deny not only the sick and dying but people who aren't hurting anyone...including themselves.

I just honestly can't understand your viewpoint. I thought you had to at least graduate from high school with some critical thinking skills to write at a place like the WP. I shouldn't have wasted all that money on a higher education.

Posted by: mmjuser | October 20, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful."

Where have you been lo' these many years as people die from prescription drugs "approved" by the FDA? You lose much credibility by using the FDA's reputation as a foundation for your argument.

"'medical marijuana' groups have been notably passive about demanding FDA testing and approval for this purported elixir."

Because until now the US gov't has been entirely irrational about marijuana, so why not take the issue directly to the people when the politicians paid off by lobbyists won't listen?

Paper vs hemp vs marijuana. You know the whole sordid story.

You're smarter than this.

Posted by: keeth70 | October 20, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry sir, but you've already lost this battle. Knee-jerk moralists like yourself are henceforth consigned to the dustbin of history. It's clear opinions like your's are a gateway to fascism and fundamentalism and other confusions of conservatives. Now please shut up. That is all.

Posted by: jaycdavis | October 20, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Forget medicine.

Weed should be legal for recreation. Weed should be legal for industry. Weed should just be legal.

If weed were legal, there would be huge benefits for society.

First, since marijuana would be legal to sell, this would take the weed trade out of the hands of criminals and all but eliminate the violence associated with the illegal growing and trade in marijuana. The alcohol prohibition is the PERFECT historical analogy: when booze was illegal, it was in the hands of Capone and his ilk. Before and after, it was and has been controlled by legitimate, regulated corporations that are held legally responsible for the quality of their product. When was the last time you heard of someone from Jack Daniels murdering someone from Jim Beam?

Second, marijuana could be regulated to ensure that it met federal purity and safety standards, thus eliminating the deaths and injuries created by tainted weed.

Third, marijuana could be taxed and make them government some money so instead of wasting BILLIONS in a futile war on drugs that has lasted for decades and has obviously NOT WORKED in stopping people from using weed or we would not be having this discussion.

Legalizing weed does NOT somehow mean that we must tolerate gangs of pot-heads roaming our streets anymore than the fact that alcohol is legal means that we tolerate drunk driving or public intoxication, so don't fall for that false argument of the anti-weed crowd. People would be allowed to use pot responsibly, like alcohol, but would be punished if they abuse it and it leads them into anti-social or dangerous behavior, again JUST LIKE ALCOHOL!

Next they'll tell you that weed is a 'gate-way' drug that leads users to try harder drug. Another false argument! If someone uses heroin, of course they've probably used weed before. Thanks to the UTTER FAILURE of the current policy to stem the trade in marijuana, pot is universally available and nearly everyone tries it. Most people who use pot NEVER go on to other drugs. Furthermore, chance are that anyone who uses coke, meth or heroin probably tried caffeine, tobacco and/or alcohol before they tried one of those: does that mean that coffee, cigarettes and beer must somehow lead inexorable to heroin and meth?

Besides, what right does the GOVERNMENT have in telling US what we can do with our own bodies. Weed, in and of itself and used responsibly, hurts NO ONE but its user. Where is the Constitutional justification? What do we ban next? Booze? Smokes? Guns?

Weed has been proscribed for over eighty years and millions upon millions STILL smoke it. There is NOT ONE good reason to continue this ridiculous prohibition and myriad reasons to lift it. I submit that it is time to reexamine our policy at its very root, time to stop doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result!

Posted by: andrew23boyle | October 20, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

"Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market."

No kidding? Tell it to the DEA, who systematically obstructed all efforts to do clinical testing on Marijuana for many decades.

Posted by: fzdybel | October 20, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

insult to our intelligence....as opposed to CEOs earning 10 million a year...as opposed to valium,ambien,xanax,alcohol anti-deppresants...etc...if all it takes is a doobie to relax and unwind after work...is that really all that bad??...plus..sex on pot is creative...oh i see..never had any in HS huh?

Posted by: kiler616 | October 20, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

What is it with the fascist columnists today? First Donohue, then this clown who seriously needs a pole-up-the-rear-endectomy.

There are simply zero logical arguments for the continued criminalization of marijuana. Lane's piece just proves that.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | October 20, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

why legalize it ? like we need another addiction ? isnt alcohol, tobacco enough ?
You weed smokers are addicted just like the fools on cigarettes.Whats the harm ? like inhaling smoke of any kind is good ? what a bunch of drug addicted fools.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | October 20, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"And I hope your child is not arrested for using pot (and, after all, there is virtually no chance that he will not have used it by the time he completes college). But the family trauma that will inflict on you would be a form of poetic justice"

Do you actually believe that everyone who has ever gone to college has used drugs while there? I haven't and I've been to college.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 20, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Mr. Lane, but your thought are just that and have no scientific evidence to support them.

In Canada (the place where common sense rules) their FDA has already approxed Sativex which is a natural cannibus extract, unlike synthetics which have side-effects, which makes the smoking of marijuana unnecessary.

If only our FDA would get on board this whole argument would be moot.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 20, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Marijuana should be taxed (perhaps $50/oz) like cigarettes and regulated like alcohol. It should be legal to grow, use, or sell. Legalization could be tried on a trial basis. Many people imprisoned just for drug offenses should be released.

Posted by: BernieGoetz | October 20, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

You are an idiot. Why do reporters try and pass off their opinions as authentic researched reporting. Virtually nothing you wrote was factual.
And to the other idiots that think it's unfair to criticise because everyone has a right to their opinion. You're absolutely correct and it's my opinion that both you and Lane are too stupid to breath without "Breath in, Breath out" written in permanent marker on the back of your hand. Oh Ya and I don't use pot, I just can't stand really stupid people and I don't feel the need to dictate morals to others.

Posted by: qcdude3 | October 20, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

The most insulting thing to our intelligence is the concept of a "gate way drug".

Truly meaningless nonsense. 100% Marijuana users started out inhaling oxygen! 100% of Alcohol abusers began with water!!

I would state your argument this way: "On the one hand there are some really good reasons to decriminalize marijuana. On the other hand: Dumb meaningless nonsense."

Posted by: brianearman | October 20, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

An insult to your intelligence? Well, yes, I suppose it is, considering how ill-informed you are about cannabis. May I suggest you look into it with the mind of an investigative reporter?

Start here: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/

The Gateway Theory, for example, is thoroughly debunked. The site has extensive references as well.

Posted by: CitizenPain | October 20, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Before casting off medical marijuana (or "just" marijuana, if you like) as something akin to oregano, Google cannabidiol. (Wikipedia has a good entry, too.) It is a compound that makes up about 40 percent of the plant's extracts (depending on quality of the cannabis), and those who read medical journals probably have heard of it. In Canada, you can take this using a prescription sublingual spray. In the U.S., you can only get it by smoking (or eating) marijuana.

Posted by: South_editor | October 20, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Why bother with marijuana when you can legalize LSD instead? No evidence suggests LSD causes cancer, heart disease, lung disease, or is addictive. Marijuana, on the other hand, like most smoked substances, is almost certainly carcinogenic and damaging to the lungs. Damages to the lungs damage the heart.

Posted by: Martial | October 20, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please point me to the FDA study on alcohol which enables it to be legal ?

Posted by: red4ever2 | October 20, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

wow...you don't believe in smoking pot and you're obviously a biased, moralistic, self-righteous, idiot! Way to go dudes and dudets. Didn't mean to step on your buzz, man. Chill.

Grow up. Get a job. Cut your hair. Or, just move out to the Left Coast and enjoy your cool bud and tasty waves. We really don't care.

Dude.

Posted by: bobleguy | October 20, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how many people are coming out of the closet this week. All politics are local they say. If your state doesn't have a medical marijuana law - contact your state senator or representative and find out why not.

What we need to ask for is compassion for those who need it. I was a caregiver to both my mother and wife who died of cancer. It is not a pretty picture to see your loved ones get chemotherapy and radiation and come home nauseous with no appetite.

It is criminal not to supply medical marijuana to those who need it. Just show some compassion.

Posted by: alance | October 20, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I read up to: "On the other hand, I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff."

At which point it became obvious you have no credibility whatsoever.

Posted by: JMNYC | October 20, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I was diagnosed with what the author mockingly refers to as a "subjective malady" or mood disorder when I was 15. For almost a decade, I was in and out of the psych office with new prescriptions every 6 months. I never thought I would get better, as every new "remedy" merely resulted in a barrage of negative side effects, from the mild (drooling, sexual dysfunction) to the extreme (mental breakdown, hospitalization.)

When I was 23, I lost the medical coverage provided to me under my parent's employee benefits. That meant I could no longer see a psychiatrist or purchase my cocktail of mood-altering medications without incurring a huge debt to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. My life became a living Hell of psychological torture. I was suicidal because I thought there was no longer any hope in treating my mental illness.

Little did I know, what seemed like the crisis of a lifetime was a blessing in disguise! I visited a physician who recognized that medical marijuana could help me, and I swear to God, he saved my life. Today, at 25, I have grown into a happy, healthy and successful member of society, and I owe it all to the medicinal properties of a simple weed.

Like the cancer survivor who commented before me, I pray that the author of this hit job never has to experience what I have gone through to understand how his deliberate mistruths and callous derision could, ironically, be more deadly than the plant whose healing potential he ignorantly labels as "hokum"!

I'm no doctor, but I can say that in a world without the only medicine that was able to effectively treat my illness, I would rather be dead.

Posted by: teardownthewall | October 20, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, I really hope you don't actually believe the inane tripe you're peddling here.

Posted by: brattykathyi1 | October 20, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, you try to paint yourself somewhat knowledgeable and libertarian about marijuana's relative safety and medical uses, but your disdain of marijuana shines through with your snide, pejorative adjectives and comments. That's fine, but it also just shows your intellectually small mind and reveals your bigotry.

The majority of reader comments show that the public is educated about the history and facts of marijuana, and I revel in that--it gives me hope; I also revel in the fact that all these comments aimed at you probably chaps your ass, and a well-deserved chapping it is.

Others have already soundly rebutted your silly points and arguments, so I won't bother. What I will offer are some sources of information to begin with for those who want to learn the science and truths about marijuana:

Check out the books Marijuana is Safer, So Why are We Driving People to Drink? and Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence. These two books are a good start on rational information about this plant. Other than these books, check out these sites:

www.google.com (Unfortunately I have to recommend it, seeing how Mr. Lane and many others still don't know how to use it effectively)
www.mpp.org
www.saferchoice.org
www.leap.cc (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
www.norml.org
www.drugpolicy.org

Posted by: tensity1 | October 20, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article. Bizarre responses. So much anger from those in favor or 'medical marijuana. Geez... cut the author a break. He says from the get-go that he things it a ripe subject for a national discussion/debate. He never says it should not be legalized. Instead, he highlights two issues with the current environment (mixed with a little humor).

First point made: There is no scientific evidence that it actually does anything. For crying out loud. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. But before it's given the stamp of approval by the FDA, shouldn't there be some actual evidence that it works? Anecdotal evidence doesn't count. That's the evidence that stimulates the trials to see if it actually works (and for whom and for what). That's what the FDA does, right? So, press the FDA to fund a full study of this issue and settle it once and for all.

Second, since when does the public decide what is good medicine by referendum (or should that be reeferendum)? We're talking MEDICINE. Shouldn't that involve a little science?

Hey, if we want to legalize it, let's put it to a vote. Make the arguments for/against and let's let 'er rip. Winner takes all. But let's do it right. If you get caught driving under the influence, you lose your licence for a LONG time. I don't care if you have a family to feed. I don't care if you are struggling with depression. Do you don't drive under the influence. And if you HURT someone (particularly a child) while under the influence, you're going to jail. No questions ask. Basically, be responsible or be prepared to pay the price. I think most folks would find this acceptable.

But let's dispense with the 'medical' marijuana. It's ridiculous. That's like me saying that I just has a 'medical shot of Jim Beam'. It makes me feel much better. It reduces my anxiety. My feet don't hurt as much (where ARE my fee?).

Good article. Unfortunately, some of the respondents seem like they could use a little medical marijuana themselves (and I'd be totally okay with that).

smc

Posted by: smc4 | October 20, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"On the other hand, I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff."

Still living in the 1930's, huh? You know what the REAL gateway drug is? Alcohol. It's not even close. Alcohol is also responsible for 85000 times more deaths every year than marijuana is. It also is far more likely to cause mental illness than is marijuana, and is responsible for the destruction of more families than any other drug, legal or non, in America. Sir, I would suggest that you actually research the topic before you decide to write an editorial on it; this "editorial" shows all the research that a third grader puts into a C- oral presentation. I'm not suggesting we immediately legalize marijuana. And I'm not saying that there aren't better medical options for many of the ailments medical marijuana supporters claim their plant can aid. Frankly, there are. There are better painkillers than marijuana, better muscle relaxers, appetite stimulators, etc. But I do at least insist that reporters do their own research rather than spout opinion as fact, and then cite one or two outside sources to make themselves look credible.

We spend billions upon billions of dollars on the "war on drugs", some of it totally justified. But I don't think I'm willing to give away my hard-earned tax dollars so the government can waste more than half of it (and YES, more than half of the funds for the WoD goes to marijuana opposition) for a drug that, frankly, I don't care if anybody uses. I won't; I don't have that kind of time or money to kill. But if somebody else wants to, that's there business. Just like I expect you, the government, and everybody else to allow me a beer without an FBI investigation.

I would recommend that the Washington Post encourage their reporters to research the subjects they intend to write on for more than thirty minutes in the future.

Posted by: dkgeroe | October 20, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Quite simply, author, you are a grotesquely uneducated ass.

There is no reason to have a debate on this issue. All the facts are readily available with a simple trip to Google.

Your "gateway" theory was debunked decades ago.

Don't waste our time. Medical Marijuana, and the eventual legalization of recreational use is a reality that conservative losers like yourself will just have to learn to deal with. We don't care if you like it or not, it will be done.

Posted by: captainkona | October 20, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

This is very disappointing journalism from a major news maker. It smacks of being a 'put-up' job as it is so ill-informed.

Clearly you not old enough or have a wide enough circle of friends to have known someone dying of cancer or MS. Their pain is excruciating. Their fate is certain and sealed, the question of addiction or moving on to harder drugs is ludicrous.

Grow up young man. Step outside of your tiny circle and encounter real life - and death.

Posted by: russinthemountains | October 20, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

lifes terrible...smoke some weed...lifes good

sounds like drug addict talk, get high on life u losers

as for people with real med conditions under strict control, I see no problem, but 99% of those fools out there just want to get high.

Posted by: snapplecat07 | October 20, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

As a previous poster pointed out the Food and Drug Administration
has denied all requests to evaluate Marijuana for medical uses. For decades they stated there is no proof of any medical benefits from the use of marijuana, This was a self fulfilling prophecy as they never allowed any testing in the U.S..However testing has been held in other countries and there the evidence is compelling. I myself do not use marijuana but know at least two others who use it for claucoma and another used it for a time to alleviate cancer treatments. it is unfortunate that the only way to force the government and the FDA to consider its use and allow the sick a treatment that really does help, is to legalize it through channels other than the normal and preferred method.
It really is a political blockade rather than a lack of medical evaluation.

Posted by: sandman308 | October 20, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's a three dimensional spinning image of an LSD molecule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lsd.pdb.gif

The stuff is dirt cheap to produce and can readily be taken by cancer patients.

Posted by: Martial | October 20, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

tonystamos: I don't believe I've ever seen or heard where Budweiser, Stolychnaya, Jack Daniels, Gallo, Phillip Morris, Marlboro, King Edward, or Swisher Sweets claim to offer health benefits. Quite to the contrary, their products carry government mandated health risk warnings.

Posted by: rgpope | October 20, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

The whole concept of Big Brother telling me what I can and cannot put into my body is just another example of the socialist nanny state that the big-time liberals like Ray-Gun and Bush (no need for a joke there) keep trying to push down our throats. It's much like the idea that we need to pay taxes to pay for their wars or to bail out their banks or to buy off their big-time constituents like farmers. Next time, vote for the small government party. ---- OOPS!There isn't one.

Posted by: lane2125 | October 20, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

So much more intelligent to waste billions of dollars a year to hunt these people down, prosecute them, then keep them in jail...

Many of the ideas behind controlling "victimless crimes, or moral crimes have proven counter-productive over the years.

Remember the anti-homosexual laws from the last century?

What did they accomplish except to fill prisons, clog the courts, destroy some poor smucks life, and enable the blackmail of politicians and other public people?

Remember the anti-pornography laws of that era?

What did they accomplish except to fill prisons, clog the courts, destroy some poor smucks life, and enable the blackmail of politicians and other public people?

Remember the harsh drug laws of the last 50 years?

What have they accomplished except to fill prisons, clog the courts, destroy some poor smucks life, and enable the blackmail of politicians and other public people?

Remember all the " anti-cheat on your spouse" laws?

What did they accomplish except to fill prisons, clog the courts, destroy some poor smucks life, and enable the blackmail of politicians and other public people?

Sounds intelligent to me.....NOT!

Posted by: maxtor0 | October 20, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This is the worst that the government can say about LSD.

http://web.petabox.bibalex.org/web/20011116091659/www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/lsd/lsd-4.htm

Since the beast has been studied extensively, you can bet they would have noted birth defects or carcinogenesis. LSD is harmless when taken under appropriate circumstances.

Posted by: Martial | October 20, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

A lot of bla bla.

Personally, I have an inflammatory bowel disease, and few things help like pot does to want to eat (because people who have chron's or uc know what an unpleasant experience eating anything is) and help me fall asleep, despite the pain. While it is true that a lot of people get pot for less obvious conditions, like depression, if one reads clinical trials for SSRIs for example as well as considers side effects, suddenly pot seems like a clinically proven medication in comparison.

With regard to gateway drug, this is again one of the boogymen of the anti-drug campaign. Obviously, people open to pot are more open to other types of drugs than people who are against all drugs. Yet a tiny percentage of pot users go to use different drugs, and it seems obvious from research that the reason they use harder drugs is not the fact that they smoked pot but the fact that they have a tendency toward using drugs, and, had there been no pot available, they would have still used drugs.

Vast majority of western countries do not persecute pot users. But what do the french, canadians, Brits, dutch, belgians, germans, etc. know. For we are Americans and we know best

Posted by: osiuerer | October 20, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane. If you take alcohol, then you, sir, are a "small-time druggie."

It warms my heart to see so many of my fellow citizens standing up for our civil liberties. Since Nixon ignored the recommendations of the Shafer Commission in 1972, it has been a long, rough, downhill ride for civil liberties in America. For those who are not old enough to know, arresting harmless people is wrong, breaking down the doors of citizens' houses is wrong, filling our prisons with hundreds of thousands of our harmless family, friends, and neighbors is wrong. It is all wrong.

And now, together, we have an opportunity to end the madness. Let's end Drug Prohibition now. Don't take my word for it, though. Listen to what experienced law enforcement drug warriors have to say about it.

LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php

Posted by: kpmsprtd | October 20, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry tony, I meant to address Human Simpleton

Posted by: rgpope | October 20, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

This article shows no evidence of research, and not much evidence of reflective thought. It does acknowledge that cannabis is "no more harmful than other drugs (e.g., alcohol) and impossible to eradicate." That's a very powerful point. Dwell on that just for a second.

On the other hand, the author goes on to say, "I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff." What? Well, I think tobacco is a gateway to harder stuff. And in my (admittedly limited) experience, nothing brings the inhibitions down like alcohol. Your counter-balancing argument is nothing.

Posted by: pdxorus | October 20, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"I've got a drug problem. I can't find any." --Rodney Dangerfield

Posted by: Ricardo3 | October 20, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Isn't interesting that the human body has cannabinoid receptors? These receptors are activated by both internally produced cannabinoids and externally produced cannabinoids. They have a broad range of actions upon many different systems of the body. Isn't this indicative of an evolutionary symbiosis between our species and the medicinal properties of the plant? Just a thought.

Posted by: BillC1 | October 20, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

How many patients show up in the emergency department from alcohol related diseases compared to marijuana?

15 years of training and practice in emergency medicine at Northwestern in Chicago gave some insight.

After treating thousands of patients for alcohol related disease: alcoholism, cirrhosis, hepatic encephalopathy, bleeding esophageal varices, hundreds motor vehicle crashes, even a young man who lost an ear after a car crash with all his friends after drinking on his 21st birthday - the stream of tragedy can make one wish prohibition had succeeded.

The number of patients who we treated whose primary cause for their visit was related to marijuana: zero.

It can be surprising if one thinks about it. Perhaps the effect of marijuana is that people tend to stay put when high.

As a physician who has seen so much alcohol related tragedy - one wonders if it would be far preferable to ban alcohol and permit cannabis.

Perhaps there are some social impact studies out somewhere that might shed light on this topic?


Posted by: Praxiteles1 | October 20, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

62% of Americans want marijuana legalized.
The other 38% thought it already was.

Posted by: hartman_john | October 20, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Here you can see LSD being studied as a potential pain killer, seriously so through high powered research, quite different than that offered by marijuana advocates:

http://drugnewsvault.blogspot.com/2006/02/lsd-faces-acid-test-as-pain-killer.html

Posted by: Martial | October 20, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

legalize it

Posted by: jrak1 | October 20, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

*You* are an insult to our intelligence. And, it's party "hearty," you fool. Where's an editor when you need one???

Posted by: bibleburner | October 20, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the Washington Post, reading has become an insult to my intelligence.

Posted by: moharr | October 20, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Do most people take ginseng and green tea simply because it makes them feel good?

Honestly, I almost wrote you off when you used the word gateway. I think you misunderstand what is going on.

Herbal marijuana has both medicinal value and makes people feel good, just like ginseng and green tea. As such, the proper place for marijuana is in herb stores, not liquor stores. The collectives that supply cannabis have been criticized for operating similarly to regular herb stores. I think this is how it should be.

The herbal use of cannabis, like coca, happens to be of significant importance to some people. If these people want to use an herbal drug medicinally, they should be allowed to. I do not think society is behind supporting "hash bars" where this herb is treated carelessly like society treats alcohol.

Posted by: market1 | October 20, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The REAL insult to our intelligence is the idea that the so called 'War on Drugs' makes any God D**mned sense.

You have your mind and priorities seriously out of whack to charge medical marijuana advocates with insulting your intelligence!

Tobacco is a proven killer, and a big money maker.. Alcohol was once prohibited and caused the same carnage at that time that "illegal" drugs do today.

The puritan, draconian, hypocritical guardians of public virtue are the real threats to public order and civilization, and I hope they all can meet in a suitably hot place!

The current drug laws are the REAL insult to the intelligence of the American public, and thus far that insult goes without an effective response.

Posted by: toddwpeterson | October 20, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

lsd, psychedelic mushrooms etc are as natural as everything else in our society, they are spiritual tools, good for accessing hightend levels of consciousness and understanding

marijuana is natural, has medicinal value also raises awareness

why would it not be legal?

Posted by: jrak1 | October 20, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Mr. Lane opium based drugs like Oxycotin are much better and costly for consumers. so why smoke away pain when you addict it away and throw money to big drug corp. I hear ya...and those pulling your string

Posted by: jpenergy | October 20, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

insult to our intelligence, Mr. Lane somehow I doubt an insult to your intelligence is possible.....

Posted by: jpenergy | October 20, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

@causticknowledge:

You are an idiot. I don't care if I or other commenters hurt Mr. Lane's or your fragile feelings and sensibilities. Granted, hard comments may not be the most effective or politic way to influence someone on a point, but I seriously doubt you or Mr. Lane want to be influenced, since idiots rarely do, so I don't care. I'm a meanie--go cry me a river.

Since you are now aware there are some rude people in the world, let me give you a rude awakening of sorts: millions of people over 40 years of modern drug warring have had their lives torn apart over the totally capricious and racist prohibition of the marijuana plant. This isn’t an intellectual exercise, these are real lives and families profoundly altered for the worse. At its core, the drug war is criminalization of control over one's own consciousness, and in the case of marijuana, a relatively harmless one. Because of DICK Nixon's wanting to wage a political war in persecuting minorities, hippies, and liberals, he ignored science by his own commissioned study; thus, people have been killed, ostracized, jailed, denied rights, forced into a life of crime, and on and on. Is this just and effective social policy to you? What do we have to show for this policy? A trillion dollars wasted in addition to the injustices I’ve already listed. I’d call that a FAIL. And you're the one bandying around the word fascist. Unbelievable.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 20, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

LSD may also be useful for other things as well. One thought was to try it on patients with phantom limb pain.

Posted by: Martial | October 20, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

In the immortal words of the prophet Bob Marley "Legalize it yeah" Marijuana is not a gateway drug and filling corporate jails with folks who had an ounce or two is ridiculous and enriching folks who prey on our society will destroying our fabric as a nation. Freedom to use weed will not do anything but increase our tax basis which these days is a great need in states including of course California. Follow Oakland America on this one. No biggie and hey do me a favor a pass the dubby no bogarting that joint.

Posted by: jbento | October 20, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

If law enforcement and courts are busy prosecuting sickos and their caregivers, who is going to chase the runaway balloons filled with children that drift across this great nation?

Posted by: outragex | October 20, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

You nuanced piece is better than the headline led me to expect: I had already formulated my response while I was clicking the link. And that response was, "Evolution driven by Natural Selection and E=M(c X c) also insult our intelligence, but they are true, nevertheless."

After reading the piece, I settled on a less grandiose thought. I thought about a friend who takes prescribed dope (Paxil and Adderall) for his mental illness. For him, the illness and the drugs are six-of-one and half-a-dozen of the other. Medical, or other, marijuana tilt the balance in favor of the prescribed dopes; in his experience -- and who else's should matter to him? -- the so-called side-effects (just how does a side-effect differ from any other effect?) of the prescribed dopes, FDA approved, of course, are diminished by the weed and the positive effects are enhanced, at least relatively. As a consequence, he sticks to his medical regimen when he smoke or ingests weed, whereas, when he does not have access to weed, he goes through periods without any medication because the stuff Big Pharma provides has too many negative effects and make him suicidal, but without any chemicl intervention he spins into utter torper and misery. The combination of the two, however, keeps him more steady, less tormented, and less at risk of death.

One his problems, by the way, is an addiction to methamphetamine, which his prescribed dope makes more attractive and his illicit weed makes less appealing. One of his prescribed dopes, by the way, is labeled "amphetamine salts" and goes by a number of trade names, depending on the exact mix of "salts: benzadrine and dextroamphetamine being two of the salts; some similar prescribed mixes contain four varieties of amphemtamines. Adderall is one of the trade names he sometimes takes by prescription.

The pot growers and marketers do not insult our intelligence. The drug companies do.

Posted by: morphex | October 20, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

All you potheads are complete LOSERS.

Posted by: bendan2000 | October 20, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

You're an insult! Marijuana's been used as medicine for centuries, who are you to say it doesn't work when you don't even use it?

So it makes people feel good, why should that be reason to say it's not medicine? Should every medicine cause nausea, diarrhea, seizures and hair loss? Is that the criteria to pass FDA testing? What a joke!

Open your eyes, the longer you continue the prohibition the more people will die at the hands of the cartels. 6,000 people were murdered by the cartels last year, many of them were innocent children, police officers, reporters and politicians.

Who are you to say we should keep marijuana illegal and keep innocent people dying?

Posted by: jway86 | October 20, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Myth: Marijuana Has No Medicinal Value. Safer, more effective drugs are available. They include a synthetic version of THC, marijuana's primary active ingredient, which is marketed in the United States under the name Marinol.


Fact: Marijuana has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea induced by cancer chemotherapy, stimulating appetite in AIDS patients, and reducing intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma. There is also appreciable evidence that marijuana reduces muscle spasticity in patients with neurological disorders. A synthetic capsule is available by prescription, but it is not as effective as smoked marijuana for many patients. Pure THC may also produce more unpleasant psychoactive side effects than smoked marijuana. Many people use marijuana as a medicine today, despite its illegality. In doing so, they risk arrest and imprisonment.

Vinciguerra, Vincent; Moore, Terry and Eileen Brennan. “Inhalation marijuana as an antiemetic for cancer chemotherapy.” New York State Journal of Medicine 85 (1988): 525-27.
McCabe M, Smith FP, Macdonald JS. “Efficacy of tetrahydrocannabinol in patients refractory to standard antiemetic therapy.” Investigational New Drugs 6.3 (1988): 243-46.
Gorter, R., et al. “Dronabionol effects on weight in patients with HIV infection.” 1992. AIDS 6 (1992):127-38.
Foltin, R.W., et al. “Behavioral analysis of marijuana effects on food intake in humans.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 25 (1986): 577-82.
Crawford, W.J. and Merritt, J.C. “Effect of tetrahydrocannabinol on Arterial and Intraocular Hypertension.” International Journal of Clinical of Pharmacology and Biopharmaceuticals 17 (1979):191-96.
Merritt, J.C., et al. “Effects of marijuana on intraocular and blood pressure on glaucoma.” Ophthamology 87 (1980):222-28.
Baker, D., Gareth Pryce and J. Ludovic Croxford. “Cannabinoids control spasticity and tremor in a multiple sclerosis model.” Nature 404.6773 (2000): 84-7.
Hanigan, W.C., et al. “The Effect of Delta-9-THC on Human Spasticity.” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 39 (1986):198.
Myth: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug. Even if marijuana itself causes minimal harm, it is a dangerous substance because it leads to the use of "harder drugs" like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.

Posted by: professor_ed | October 20, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

This is the " Balloon Boy " version of reporting on this subject,. :(

Posted by: trigger664 | October 20, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd only want to say this much: its 2009, why hasn't there been a study to end all this useless rabble?

Posted by: RNman | October 20, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the vast majority of the people who have shown an interest in this topic by posting here. We may only be 45% of the U.S. population, but the other 55% don't smoke, aren't interested, and have no real investment in this topic other than perhaps a little brainwashing left over from government school.

Like many others, I have had such severe nausea, or malaise, that it felt a bit like torture. A couple of tokes from the bong later, of course I wasn't cured, but the symptoms in any case were immediately and profoundly relieved.

The author may be another Jayson Blair, he obviously has nothing at his disposal other than phony sources and misguided intuition.

Posted by: 2030 | October 20, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

You state that "The "medical marijuana" movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence.", but the only threat to our intelligence I see is your completely biased AND WRONG article.

If you read the comments, you will see some that point out ACADEMIC STUDIES THAT CLEARLY SHOW the efficacy of smoking pot for medical reasons.

.

Posted by: swanieaz | October 20, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@GranolaDoc:

You've missed the point. Of course medical marijuana is a means to outright legalization, but that doesn't negate these points:

1. Mr. Lane by his tone is not at all sympathetic to marijuana issues, even if he makes token attempts at implying that he is.

2. Just because even some med MJ activists say it is a means to full re-legalization, that doesn't negate the efficacy of MJ as medicine. It is medicine, and a very safe, effective, and versatile one at that.

3. Being "honest" about med MJ is irrelevant, since we've seen where honesty has gotten us in the face of truth and facts. When oppressed, one does what one must to oppose stupid laws and policy, or have you never heard of politics and civil disobedience? Harping about the "honesty" of med MJ is stupid because 1. it's wrong (see point 2 above), and 2. it's obvious and irrelevant.

Really, your (and Mr. Lane's) point is that med MJ is a cover for legalization? So what? Trying to effect social policy is a bad thing in America? Is that your point? Oh, that’s right, irrelevancy is your point.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 20, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Once again WaPo has its writers writing about things they know nothing about. When the Voters decide a issue that others don't like or agree with why is it that the losers never just accept their loss ? The Majority in Ca. 13 yrs voted to allow the ill to have access to medical marijuana because the Feds has made it impossible for any studies to be done in the US. Even worse if one reads the bill that give the head of the DEA his power one would read where he is mandated to lie to the public as part of his job.
Still after 13 yr of MMJ being legal under Ca. law the cops and DAs are still acting like sore losers at every turn. As for the "Gateway drug" hoax the latest studies have disproved that part of the lie.
A few months ago Glenn Greenwald wrote a White Paper for Cato on the success of Decriminalization of Drugs in Portugal. Glenn also writes for Salon and his study is linked both at Salon and Cato, I highly suggest its reading if one is going to take on this issue with any intelligence.

Posted by: SmileySam | October 20, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@ bendan2000 ,
Way to show off your superior wit!

Seriously, you can't come up with a comeback to these wasted stoners? Do you have brain damage or something?

Oh, probably not. You probably just don't know as much as the other commenters about this subject. So naturally you had to spew venom and then leave instead of re-evaluating your thinking based on the new information you were receiving. Your church will be very proud.

Posted by: pdxorus | October 20, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Lane, It probably would have been a good idea to experiment it during your 10-15min research.

Posted by: trigger664 | October 20, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, you people are hopeless-you have already destroyed your brain cells-you don't get it-it's the FASCISTS who are pushing the dope-they want everyone to be high and "happy" while they steal you blind, and take your true freedom away...(and your pensions, your jobs, your homes, your health care, etc etc...) but you don't care, 'cause your high as a kite, or just numb and dumb...so you aint gonna fight fascism...

Posted by: maggierose57 | October 20, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

@orrymm13:

generally smoking anything is bad, but:

1. Smoking isn't the only way to use MJ, but one of the most effective.

2. Science actually shows MJ as a whole substance (and not specific chemicals in MJ smoke) doesn't cause small-airway damage--no cancer, lung or otherwise, no COPD, no emphysema. In fact, leading researchers and definitive scientific evidence show MJ actually has protective effects on cells and anti-cancer properties. This is MJ smoke. Too bad the MSM and the government didn't care to report this.

I would say to you, as I've said in a previous post, learn to effectively use Google or any search engine of your choice. The Internet is a useful thing. In other words, teach yourself, take responsibility for your own ignorance and knowledge, but I doubt you were really sincere in wanting someone explain to you how putting smoke in your lungs is good for you.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 20, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I can't find the contradiction here no matter how hard I try.
"
Didn't President Obama just sign a bill authorizing the FDA to regulate the nicotine content of tobacco? And I thought he promised to "restore science to its rightful place."
"
How about this zinger:
"
only 22 percent of California medical marijuana users suffer from AIDS-related disease. Most of the rest have more subjective maladies such as "chronic pain" or "mood disorders."
"
I believe you are telling us that people who don't have AIDS really don't have much to complain about. Cancer and other terminal illnesses notwithstanding. How dare this author be so dismissive of "chronic pain"?!?! Have you ever tried it? It's quite real.

Posted by: pdxorus | October 20, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

maggierose you need a joint chill.
terror alert level is in green!
go teabag

Posted by: trigger664 | October 20, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The Federal Buraeu of Narcotics was advised along with then President Richard Nixon that marijuana should be made legal. Nixon responded by passing the Controlled Substances Act.

The DEA was ordered in 1988 by DEA Law Judge Francis Law to Reschedule marijuana. They declined to follow that order.

But more than 30 years ago, patients sued and won the right to medical marijuana. There are still 4 patients recieving prescriptions for medical marijuana from the federal government. It is grown on a farm in Mississippi under license by NIDA, with approval from DEA and FDA and NIDA. Do your research. It's not a secret: google Elvy Musikka.

Posted by: gro4me | October 20, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

How likely is it, do you think, that Mr. Lane actually smokes pot? He says his twelve-year-old may be reading the article. And it's a sure bet that his bosses read the article. If I worked for the Post, and I smoked pot, and people were starting to suspect it, would I write an article like this to persuade them otherwise? Well, I'm not a wuss, but would Mr. Lane?

Food for thought:
http://www.planetpsych.com/zPsychology_101/substance/teendrug.htm

Posted by: pdxorus | October 20, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Gro4me :
you need a Job? maybe the Washington Post will be hiring soon.

Posted by: trigger664 | October 20, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

OK pot heads, read it and weep--There is absolutely NO possible business model for the legal selling of dope.--I know your brain cells are weak--but, pause and try to remember what happened to the cigarette companies--they got their butts sued off-remember? Now, plants really don't like to be eaten--many have evolved defenses--the tobacco plant has a rather nasty chemical called nicotine--Cannabis, on the other hand is a veritable chemical warehouse compared to tobacco--all of these chemicals evolved because they are TOXIC--they will harm you--when that happens YOUR LAWYER can sue them. I doubt our law schools can graduate lawyers fast enough to handle the cases we are about to see launched. When dope was against the law it was pretty hard to sue providers--BUT when it is out in the open you will be able to sue them--just like R.J. Reynolds--nothing to it. In any event, nobody is going to stay in business long--And I haven't even broached the extremely humorous topic of Doctors prescribing that their patients smoke--but what do you expect from a (reformed?) pot head for a president.

Posted by: Skerns0301 | October 20, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

skerns, wow! you are soo smart

Posted by: trigger664 | October 20, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@smc4:

Give the guy a break? Maybe there is, maybe there isn't scientific evidence?

1. There's tons of unequivocal scientific evidence out there. Edumacate yourself. Use teh interwebs. Have I spoken in words that communicate at your level?

2. No, I won't give you or the guy a break, since I'm tired of ignorance and ideology hindering the progress of my society and country, harming the well-being of my fellow citizens.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 20, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Y?$$

Posted by: orogero | October 20, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I encourage anyone who has read this article and is considering medical marajuana as an alternative option to something the pharmaceutical companies put out to remember:

1) The author of this article has not claimed to be knowledgeable about medical marajuana. He clearly cannot attest to its benefits from first-hand experience.

2) The author, if you google him, comes up with few credits as a journalist, and if you're planning on taking anyone's advice on something that might radically change your life, you might consider someone who has made more of a difference in this world through his work.

Posted by: Sorasai | October 21, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I know people who believe their pain is lessened with marijuana. Are they wrong? I'm not sure, but who has the money to take marijuana to the FDA for testing?

The Pharma industry won't have anything to do with something they can't patent. We know that.

Why not just leave these people alone.

Posted by: santafe2 | October 21, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

gonja is bigger than all of us, it transcends thru nations and all empires..

1st wikipedia it, read it's history. It's part of humanity, a primitive (basic)form of medicine discovered by our ancestors and recommended by them.

Medicinal purpose is important , but also as recreation it was used for peacefull matters.

Nothing can or will stop humanity's need for it, Humans will get legally or illegaly. The US legal system is a small hurdle in it's path.

Posted by: trigger664 | October 21, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

It will become like Afghanistan ...lawless land with power to drug/pot growers .. will become too much for government to control these independent warlords...like its in Pakistan and Somalia etc..

Sometime, we outta blame ourselves for putting those dumass in power.

Posted by: Krapola | October 21, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Krapola "It will become like Afghanistan ...lawless land with power to drug/pot growers ".....

the thought police have been notified.

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 21, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

that "gateway" garbage is pure bunk. i know tons of people who smoke marijuana responsibly and don't do anything "harder" than that. i love it that rethugs scream about the "nanny state" and then get their little panties in a wad over letting adults smoke weed--while the hypocrites give themselves cancer w/ cigarettes, kill 20000 on the roads w/ alcohol, and stockpile 300,000,000 guns!

Posted by: memorybabe1 | October 21, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

First of all lets not take CA and it's laws to heart.
This is another state (country) full of maggots and vermin.
Should it be legal, Yes!
But beware when it's an open market. The so called entrepreneurs will come out of the cracks and cut up and add other little nasty sides to the mix. Results could be deadly.
It's all about the money.
As far as brain cells being lost somewhere floating around in anal's of their minds!! Hey a few more liberal whack jobs are just fine.
Someone pass me the pipe.

Posted by: dbonade | October 21, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

is that Krapola or AlotoKrap

Posted by: trigger664 | October 21, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mary37 "but one must sign a legal form that they aren't going to try to sue the government for their stupid choices when they get cancer from inhaling all that crap into their lungs. "

.........Say Mary MARIJUANA SMOKE DOES NOT CAUSE LUNG CANCER

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 21, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

The United States Pharmacopoeia, Edition XI is an insult to your "intelligence" Lane?

Look on Page 104. Cannabis.

Get a clue.

Richard Steeb, San Jose California

To keep cannabis illegal while tobacco and alcohol are dispensed freely is *MURDEROUSLY STUPID*.

Posted by: rsteeb | October 21, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

@bendan2000

“All you potheads are complete LOSERS.”

And all you ignoramuses . . . no, just you, are a loser. But I won’t put you in jail for it. Coming from a marginally effective troll like you, being a loser is a badge of honor.

Just admit to yourself your inferiority complex and get help. I’ll just admit I’m superior.

BTW, why don’t you go tell the last three presidents, two of the first three, Michael Phelps, Carl Sagan, and countless artists, musicians, and scientist they’re losers.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 21, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

What is a "gateway" drug"

Is it a drug you have to try in order to try a stronger drug? If that's the case, coffee might be considered a gateway drug.

Is it a "cause-and-effect" drug? In that case, everyone who had ever smoked pot in this country would have gone on to harder drugs. But would they have to be addicted to pot first? And would they then be required to become addicted to harder drugs?

The idea of a gateway drug is simply bad logic. Almost everyone who is addicted to heroin has drunk milk. Obviously, milk is a gateway drug.

Or, equally obvious, people who use the term "gateway drug" haven't done enough thinking about the words that are coming our of their mouths.

Posted by: marik7 | October 21, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem fro MJ is it's name it has become a synonim for a bad abusive and addictive drug.

It will not be accepted in society openly until all the old conservative religious people are gone.
Even the young conservative religious people can't wait for it to be socialy accepted

Posted by: trigger664 | October 21, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Calling medicinal marijuana 'snake oil' is an insult to the intelligence of all your readers! Did you do ANY research into the medicinal uses of marijuana? It's been used medicinally for thousands of years! That's a historical fact, and any book or documentary on the topic will state that. You make some good points, but your argument is baseless because you've ignored the facts. Furthermore, you make no mention of alcohol use. Alcohol kills more Americans and costs our country more money in damages then every 'controlled substance' COMBINED. Everyday folks get drunk and crash their cars. If they'd have smoked a doobie instead they would have stayed home and watched a movie.

Posted by: ZeroHero0 | October 21, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem fro MJ is it's name it has become a synonym for a bad abusive and addictive drug.

It will not be accepted in society openly until all the old conservative religious people are gone.
Even the young conservative religious people can't wait for it to be socialy accepted

Posted by: trigger664 | October 21, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

this research was being done in the 70's the Reagan administration ended it all in the 80's

Posted by: patb | October 21, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.

The Tenth Amendment restates the Constitution's principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or the people.

Apparently the Bush Administration slept through that class.

Luckily the Obama Administration knows better than to meddle in INTRA-STATE commerce.

Posted by: nezzo69 | October 21, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

When my daughter was dying from cancer at Walter Reed Army Hospital, she was given a drug called Marinol, a cannabis derivative. While it did relieve her pain, it also caused her to hallucinate. A lot. Her doctors took her off the drug and sent her home with a morphine epidural implanted in her spinal, a mayonnaise-sized jar of demerol and valium. Enough drugs to kill a horse. When you see someone in pain, you don't think about anything except to remove that pain. If marijuana helps someone with their pain, then good, I am for it. I will believe the DEA and every other anti-drug group, are really trying to keep us safe from crazed users, when they start posting police cars outside every barroom in America and when they shut down the cigarette cartels in America. The police everywhere, wait until the drunks get on our roads and highways before attempting to pull them over, when all they have to do is start giving breathalizers as they exit the barrooms.

Posted by: papafritz57 | October 21, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane agrees that Cannabis is an appropriate medication for AIDS wasting syndrome and nausea and food aversion from Chemo-therapy. What he attacks and what I've seen attacked in another Post article have is the use of Cannabis to treat subjective symptoms like anxiety, chronic pain, and mood disorders.

Many doctors suspect that patients sometimes fake or imagine symptoms to acquire drugs or treatments that will not help them and may even harm them. While unlike most other medications, Cannabis- especially when ingested or vaporized- is not deleterious to the body and does not cause CHEMICAL DEPENDENCE, we should acknowledge that a small percentage of people do develop PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPENDENCE. Some members of that group of people will fake illness to maintain their psychologically unhealthy habit. While abuse of medical Cannabis does happen, abuse also happens with many other drugs. The most important difference is that Cannabis is non-toxic. Furthermore if the recreational user is not getting his Cannabis from a legitimate establishment (i.e. "dispensary" or "compassion center") then he can still easily buy it illicitly. So, if a patient lies to his doctor and buys his "ganja" from a dispensary instead of a street corner, who's harmed?

As the son of a Neurologist, I can tell you that people are already being given drugs for subjective conditions: people already take drugs for "anxiety," "depression," "ADD," "ADHD," "restlessness," and a litany of conditions you can't begin to pronounce and I can't begin to spell. Do "ADD" or "Anxiety Disorder" really exist? Should we use any drugs to treat them? The answer that we have made as a polity is "Yes" and the answer that has been approved by our government is "Yes."

So, our next question is, what drugs are the best for what condition? Generally those decisions are left to highly trained medical professionals like doctors and PA's. Why should it be different with Cannnabis?

Posted by: SaltyTroubadour | October 21, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

papafritz:
Sorry about your daughter, I really am.

What do you think of people who use the drug for recreational peaceful reasons?
What did you think about them before your tragedy?

Posted by: trigger664 | October 21, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Medical marijuana needn't be subjected to FDA approval any more than herbal and dietary supplements. Why complicate matters by trying to make a naturally occurring plant into a pharmaceutical?

It's not for everyone, and many people will never use it simply because of its demonization over the years, but others who choose to use it -- medicinally or otherwise -- should be free to do so.

Posted by: gce1356 | October 21, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I think it had to be taken to the people and not the FDA. The FDA is a shill for corporations. The people don't give them free tickets, lawsuits, vacations etc. the corporations do. They listen to their constituents, the corporations, who hate anything that bypasses their chemical pills, which is how they make their cash.

Posted by: Mnnngj | October 21, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Skerns0301, another example of a simian confusing breathing with intelligence, spouting noise and exhibiting its base "thinking" processes. Again, to you and others who like to insult others' intelligence, get some of your own first--start by joining the rest of the world in the 21st century and find out about search engines and the Internet.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 21, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

About 13 years ago I started smoking marijuana and ceased all other medications sans aspirin. Over the last 13 years I have not experienced any negative effects and have absolutely no use for pharmaceutical drugs, none.

My mental and physical health is far superior to the vast majority of people my age. I attribute this solely to the use of marijuana instead of dangerous side effect loaded pharmaceutical drugs. There is not a single person that knows me would say anything different than I have here. Your fears are unfounded and unwarranted.

Now please tell me about the overdoses, robberies, rapes, killing sprees, broken families etc etc etc caused by marijuana. Please.

Posted by: GKK61 | October 21, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

"I do not deny that for some people, including some terminal cancer patients and pain-wracked AIDS sufferers, marijuana is a blessed relief. Let 'em smoke, I say"


I guess you needed to put that in flashing bold text, perhaps several times.

The reading comprehension of many of the commenters here is really sad. It was interesting to learn that smokers, gun owners, and people who cause drunk driving deaths are all republican.

Posted by: buckdharma | October 21, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

The headline of this article does not match the gist of the article.

More accurate would be:
The marijuana laws for the past 70 years have been an insult to our intelligence.

Posted by: photomota1 | October 21, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

What, pray tell, is alcohol a "gateway" to?

Violence, drunk driving and death.

And that's very well documented.

Posted by: rogied25 | October 21, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Whatever.

Legalizing or not sure won't cure the stupidity documented in these posts.

.

Posted by: T-Prop | October 21, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Finally, an honest article about nonsensical hype over marijuana's medicinal value. Are there a very few people with very serious health issues, usually related to nausea and serious "wasting" diseases, for which marijuana appears to be truly helpful? Yes, there probably are.

However, is marijuana anything other than a mood altering substitute for alcohol, valium, or pacifiers for 99.999% of it's most ardent advocates? No, it is not.

What we should do is de-criminalize, or "medicalize," all baby pacifiers, err, all drugs. Not because they don't have adverse social or individual impacts, but because their prohibition has done corrupted government officials, enriched and empowered organized criminal gangs, destabilized governments, and generally wrecked more serious social harm than their de-criminalization for non-pregnant, adult citizens could ever do.

That said, like about one fifth of the population, marijuana is no pleasant experience for me, and I do NOT want to be forced to breathe the inflamed pacifier herb smoked by others. Marijuana, and all drugs, should be sold in forms that do their mind-altering thing on addicts, err users, without altering the minds and lives of others.

Posted by: waverider50 | October 21, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

You might want to actually research the subject before you write about it.

Marinol is 100% THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that makes you feel high. It is FDA approved. It is far more expensive than growing a weed and some prefer the natural molecule as opposed to the manmade on found in Marinol. There are hundreds of scientific studies that show marijuana is effective for a wide range of ailments.

And giving marijuana to a 16 year old boy of ADD is by far safer than giving him Ritalin.

Posted by: DrWinky | October 21, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

1. Agreed that scientific scrutiny of marijuana is useful, but the federal government has barred or severely restricted scientific scrutiny of marijuana for decades, other than self serving studies that confirmed what it wanted us to believe. That fact is not even mentioned here. 2. If marijuana is a gateway drug, that is because it was forced underground for decades by statutes making its possession and use felonies. 3. The public discussion in California has progressed far beyond the points made in this article. I'm just happy that the Feds finally realize they have more important things to do.

Posted by: uwanker | October 21, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Please Mr Lane! THE FDA? WHAT A JOKE! The only way the FDA would approve Marijuana for medical use would be if the BIG Pharmaceuticals that wholly own the FDA could patent it and reap the profits! WOW! could you really be that NAIVE? When I was in the Coast Guard the best cure for sea-sickness was Pot! It relieved the nausea almost instantly and brought back my appetite. The only side effect was the humor it brought to risking my life defending my country. When the military began testing for pot, going out on the water became unbearable for me. Today I realize that all the motion sickness that I have suffered with my entire life is actually a very serious case of vertigo. Again the best remedy...Pot. FDA APPROVED drugs KILLED MY MOTHER! FDA APPROVED DRUGS KILL MORE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY THEN ALL THE ILLEGAL DRUGS COMBINED! GOOGLE IT!

Posted by: dadicoot | October 21, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

There is no question that medical marijuana has valid medicinal uses. There is also no question that some medical marijuana clinics are merely selling pot to anyone who wants it.

Here in Denver I do believe there are now more pot stores than there are Starbucks Coffee.

You'll know medical marijuana is going legit when the first "Medi-Dope" chain of pot clinics sells out their IPO on NASDAQ...

Posted by: vaporland | October 21, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Marijuana is widely in use in many parts of the world. It also seems to have legitimate medical uses as well. If the author of this article thinks the whole idea is a crock, he's welcome to his opinion, but the American people think that tracking people down over the issue is a pointless use of government's finite resources. End of story, really. We have a lot of real problems that the writer seems oblivious to, that will take out full attention over the years to come. Or, we can chase each other around and play cops and robbers, to no obvious benefit to anyone. Sorry, am I missing something here? Does it benefit our nation to waste time on victimless crimes? A kind of stimulus thing, maybe? I don't think so.

Posted by: Soloist1 | October 21, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

You might want to actually research the subject before you write about it.

Marinol is 100% THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that makes you feel high. It is FDA approved. It is far more expensive than growing a weed and some prefer the natural molecule as opposed to the manmade on found in Marinol. There are hundreds of scientific studies that show marijuana is effective for a wide range of ailments.

And giving marijuana to a 16 year old boy of ADD is by far safer than giving him Ritalin.

Posted by: DrWinky | October 21, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

AND ++++ WHY ++++ DID THEY 'TAKE THEIR CASE TO THE PEOPLE???'
-------------------------------------------
During Vietnam, the US pushed a new treaty called the "Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs" that the USA didn't support in the USv Senate until AFTER 100 foreign signatories had already been obtained. Oh, yea -- one small point. DEA's predecessor, the BNDD [Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs] Office of General Counsel opposed the Single Convention. WHY, you may ask.

The Single Convention literally GUTTED existing controls on OPIUM for a very important political trade off ------- Surveillance of the Vietnam Antiwar protesters, who were largely perceived as pot smoking hippies. MARIJUANA thus became a SCHEDULE ONE controlled dangerous substance BY TREATY, MEANING NO STATE COULD EVER LEGALIZE IT, unless ALL states legalized it.

Thus began the GREATEST DISRESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW EVER KNOWN IN AMERICA and unfortunately, it was sadly deserved.

SO WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS CONUNDRUM ???

How about decriminalizing small amounts for personal use primarily in one's home BUT HOW DID ONE GET THE STUFF, since growing, importing and transportation thereof were illegal.

THUS YEARS AGO and at least one US Supreme Court nominee later who withdrew from consideration due to his pot use at Harvard as a law professor there [he still sits on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit] and after it was already well known from controlled studies that COCAINE, HEROIN & AMPHETAMINE DID HAVE legitimate medical uses, the search for legitimate medical uses of pot moved into high gear [no pun intended.]

WITHIN THE LAST 2 WEEKS, MEDSCAPE REPORTED ABOUT A CANADIAN STUDY, WHICH IS QUITE EYE OPENING.
------------------------------------------
HIGH GRADE marijuana has many legitimate medical uses.

That does not preclude abuse of pot or diversion to the illegal market.

SO IT SEEMS THAT YOU MAY NEED A REFRESHER COURSE.

Brucerealtor@gmail.com
Chairman Emeritus
Budget & Policy Subcommittee
Drug Advisory Commission
Washington, D.C.

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | October 21, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

This is so laughable. Make it easy for people to get so high they don't know they're hurting. If it has that effect, wonder what else you don't know you're doing.

Posted by: tntaxpayer | October 21, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow...

The title of this article should have been changed to "Charles Lane is an Insult to the Washington Post and their reader's intelligence."

I wonder if Mr. Lane had a beer before writing this article? A cup of coffee? Extra shot of espresso? May be even some nicotine? And he's worried about THC. If I was his son, you better believe I would be rolling a marley. You would have to deal with someone like this.

Posted by: MrGeorge | October 21, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Time to get your pompous self out of the cave. Alcohol is far more dangerous. . You're really narrow minded, pathetic and woefully uninformed.

Posted by: davis_renee | October 21, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

i see no intelligence associated with this article which could be insulted.

Posted by: avanti77 | October 21, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Ah - they legalized this a while ago and the stinking Feds still busted people. They won't tolerate anything cutting into their action. I think they should set a limit that they won't bust ya for. It used to be like that in New York. Anything under a few grams they left ya alone. When I was younger they used to have smoke-outs in Central Park.

Posted by: HemiHead66 | October 21, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Under California's law, you don't even need a prescription to get pot (which would admittedly have been a problem, since the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency controls who gets a prescription pad, and not many doctors would use theirs to prescribe an illegal drug). All it takes is a "written or oral recommendation" from a physician.
---------------------------------------------
OF COURSE YOU DO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BUT IT NEED NOT COME BY WAY OF AN RX ON A PRESCRIPTION PAD WHICH READS:

Sig: Marijuana, PO,PR,PRN. LOL

TRANSLATION: Take Marijuana by mouth and rectally as needed for pain. I included PR [rectally] only because the way some doctors write PO, the pharmacist usually knows they are not REALLY prescribing anything rectal, so they correct it for them. LOL
------------------------------------------
In California a doctor's WRITTEN recommendation [after doing a patient exam first] is taken to the state which issues a photographic medical marijuana user ID Card. This allows a legitimate medical user access to the stores, clubs, etc. that sell medical marijuana --- in many different forms.

IN MARYLAND, one keeps the doctor's [undefined] letter in case they get arrested with up to one ounce, in which case, as a practical matter its UP TO 1 year of probation and UP TO a $100 fine.

MARYLAND, in light of the now new MEMORANDUM, needs to address the 'supply side' and California's statute is 'instructive.'

I AM MORE THAN HAPPY TO WORK ON ANY COMMISSION IN MARYLAND ADDRESSING THIS OVERALL NEED.

Brucerealtor@gmail.com
Chairman Emeritus
Budget & Policy Subcommittee
Drug Advisory Commission
Washington, DC

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | October 21, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Let's have a little common sense here. Marijuana is a gateway to hard drugs because it's illegal like hard drugs. If you're willing to break the law for something mostly harmless like marijuana then why not go the next step, or so the logic sometimes goes. Decriminalizing marijuana would reduce hard drug usage, not increase it. This isn't about morals; it's about money. Marijuana is too easy to grow and would compete with legal drugs that are much worse for one's health.

Posted by: hharris4 | October 21, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I'd take tat bag of oregano over this junk you're selling any day

Posted by: drtodd1977 | October 21, 2009 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Some good points, but
a) The statistic "only 22 percent of California medical marijuana users suffer from AIDS-related disease" is meaningless unless you include the other 'most legitimate' use of medicinal marijuana: metastatic cancer patients.

b) You criticize the public referendum, but what better way to test the waters and bring the issue towards national attention? In an ideal world, the FEDERAL drug administration would evaluate the safety and efficacy of marijuana and THC from a wholly scientific standpoint, as a pharmaceutical. But this is tied up with a fundamentally political, not scientific, question. And the narrow snapshot you present of medical marijuana's proponents is an insult to your readers' intelligence.

Posted by: JayC3 | October 21, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

"But if you believe there is any scientific evidence that smoked marijuana has the multiplicity of therapeutic uses that advocates claim -- well, I've got a bag of oregano I'd like to sell you."

Charles, I respectfully challenge you! You call medical use of cannabis "an insult to our intelligence". I call your lack of research an insult to every legitimate medical cannabis user! I challenge you to run a search and read "Granny Storm Crow's list- July 2009"! You want scientific evidence about cannabis- well, I have it! All you have to do is run the search, and read!

My list is a sizable collection of links to medical studies and articles about the healing properties of cannabis. There is even a section on "Smoked Cannabis as medicine" which has over twenty studies in it. Are you open-minded enough to even look at my list? Can you face the fact that cannabis can treat Parkinson's, MS, diabetes, various cancers, Crohn's/IBS osteoporosis, neuropathic pain and much more?

But I don't expect you to believe me! I don't WANT you to believe me! I want you to run the search and read my list. Read the actual studies and educate yourself! Then, I would like to read your next cannabis article.

I invite the rest of you to run the search for my list and learn about this amazing medicinal herb. Thank you.

Posted by: StormCrow1 | October 21, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

The FDA approves TONS of dangerous pharm products. All sorts of dangerous side affects are listed and mentiod every day right in the drug commercials. You're trusting the wrong people if your trusting the FDA.

Posted by: drtodd1977 | October 21, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Amazing.

What this article truly demonstrates is that opinion without knowledge is idiocy, and that consciousness without compassion is the epitome of inhumanity.

What a sorry spectacle of a shadow of a human being.

Posted by: ethanquern | October 21, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

he DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.:
Source:
US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," [Docket #86-22], (September 6, 1988), p. 57.

The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on marijuana explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because "Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, usually before they are of legal age."
Source:
Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A Benson, Jr., "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, Institute of Medicine (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999).

Posted by: earlycuyler | October 21, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I believe that in my lifetime I will see marijuana legalized. I've read all the previous posts, agreed with some, disagreed with others. That being said, it just seems unreal that although the US has spent billions of dollars in a war on drugs, marijuana is cheaper, more readily available, and has a higher THC content than at any time in history. Legalized, decriminalized, something has to change, because as long as folks want it, folks will get it.

Posted by: simplycannotsitstill | October 21, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Ben Franklin once wrote" Beer is proof that God loves us.". If that is too be taken as a truism, then one must examine what "Beer" did to Teddy Kennedy, Ala, Chappaquiddick, and the death of the poor girl who was unfortunate enough to be riding in his car, while he was under the influence of "Beer".

Posted by: glen119833 | October 21, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

If MM doesn't work, why does BigPharma invest so much money into Maritol and the like?
NEJM, JAMA and The Lancet(et al) have published research for 30 years(+?) extolling the virtues of tetrahydrocannabinol, excepting the popular delivery method(inhalation).
As a journalist isn't it your duty to be informed of the facts? If you're interested to look beyond popular misconceptions, begin at the National Institute of Health:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7776506

Posted by: mja3 | October 21, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Glen, the proper Benjamin Franklin quote is WINE is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Posted by: simplycannotsitstill | October 21, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

1. The only thing making drugs illegal ever accomplished was to make crime lords rich, destabilize poor countries and make stronger more concentrated drugs.
2. If you want to succeed with reducing drug use then legalize sale and possession, but leave use illegal - but only as an "employment" offense. That is any and all employers have the right to test and if you come up positive then either treatment or fired at the bosses choice. And of course if you operate machinery, carry a gun, or other high consequence jobs and use then you go to a work camp. Which is where you end up after four positives too.
3. This rips the guts out of the "industry" and leaves it an issue of control and also stops it from clogging our courts.

Posted by: limejunction | October 21, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

An idiot article / post from an idiot.

They still MAKE people like you??

Go have a bunch of drinks - it's what you deserve.

Posted by: daveque | October 21, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

PapaFritz57 and Trigger667 almost had the most productive exchange in this thread.

I would be interested in hearing Papa's response to Trigger's questions.

I am also very sorry about your daughter, Papa.

The "article" itself is a bunch of self-righteous pap, in my opinion.

The author seems to think that he speaks for many others, and he clearly doesn't.

Perhaps he will get a clue.

Posted by: hers1 | October 21, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

1. Don't be worried about the "gateway theory." Science has disproven it. A December, 2006 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that the gateway theory did not hold up.

2. Your argument that marijuana should be tested more is absurd. Mankind has been "testing" marijuana for thousands of years. I think we have a pretty good idea as to what it does and does not do. With regard to regulation, I see no reason to treat marijuana differently from alcohol, another intoxicant that has been tested by mankind for thousands of years.

3. Your comments about chronic pain and medical marijuana seem very insensitive. Chronic pain can be debilitating. It's not laughing matter. Vicodin and the like doesn't always work for chronic pain. I know people with chronic pain that vicodin, norco, etc. doesn't work for. If people in chronic pain can get relief from marijuana, more power to then. It would be cruel to hold otherwise.

4. Marijuana dependency? bwhahahahahah!

5. The Justice Department HAS enforced federal marijuana laws against medical marijuana patients repeatedly, especially in California. Besides, sticking your head in the sand with regard to these patients and ignoring the problem is ass-backwards. If it is morally right to allow certain people to smoke medical marijuana, then it should be a legal right as well. It would be morally wrong to force people to be "criminals" for doing what is morally right.

Posted by: hesingswithfrogs | October 21, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on, Mr. Lane. You wrote "I do not deny that for some people, including some terminal cancer patients and pain-wracked AIDS sufferers, marijuana is a blessed relief."

And then you proceed to write a crazy, unhinged diatribe against medical marijuana. It's dumb.

Does anyone really care if marijuana is ineffective for some sick people? There are people who swear by St. John's Wort and Echinacea despite the lack of proof that it actually works; I don't recall anyone insisting that it be made illegal.

Hey, I have a kid too. And anyone who thinks that decriminalizing pot would mean he's more likely to become a non-productive, drug addicted adult isn't really thinking this out. Too many people have used the fear of "but what will happen to the children" as a justification for the counterproductive and obtuse drug policies we've had in the past.

It's a new day, Mr. Lane. And your arguments hold no more credibility than those of the prohibitionists in the 1920's.

Posted by: snesich | October 21, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

You obviously do not suffer from a chronic illness, or have never seen a loved one vomit up the strongest anti-nausea medicine on the market from chemotherapy treatment. If you had personal experience with illnesses that are not "fixable" by modern medicine, you would not be able to post such a naive column. I personally have 5 diseases my state allows for medical marijuana, and am very glad the option is there for me, should I ever decide to use it. I hope that you are never in a similar situation, but a little empathy would go a long way.

Posted by: sailormoon1 | October 21, 2009 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Why is marijuana ilegal to use by the public ?

Why is alcohol legal to use by the public.?

The is no medical record of death by over dose from marijuana... but its illegal

There are thousands of records of death by over dose from alcohol....but its legal

After 30 years the Dutch proved that allowing their people to freely smoke pot in cafes did not drive the population into hard drugs addicts.

In Amsterdam you can visit a cannabis cafe have a coffee , smoke a joint , listen to music in a clean open and relaxing environment. Whats wrong with that ?

Versus going to a bar and having a Vodka and playing snooker and listening to music.

NOTHING

legal for the public to drinkhay is dorrefent from marijuana and Alcohol

Posted by: GalacticCannibal | October 21, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Delete from my post '

legal for the public to drinkhay is dorrefent from marijuana and Alcohol

Posted by: GalacticCannibal | October 21, 2009 2:36 AM | Report abuse

I think that it is better for those with "chronic pain" to have access to "medical marijuana," which is neither addictive nor has anyone ever overdosed from it- and there are no withdrawals (which is the main cause of addiction to drugs anyway). Prescription painkillers are a huge problem in America, yet somehow they are more appropriate than marijuana?

Also, the "gateway theory" of marijuana use has been discredited for decades. A simple search within academic journal databases which contain peer-reviewed, scientific journals would render this obvious. This obvious fact, combined with your persistence at being witty and dismissive, makes me think your entire piece is one of ignorance.

Lastly, scoliosis can be a life-threatening medical condition (I was operated on on day one of my life because of it), and you have no clue what pain I feel every day in my back--so much that when the hospital administers the pain reliever "fentanyl" to me, which is 100 times more potent than morphine, I am still not pain-free.

Just because you cannot relate to other people does not mean that their conditions do not exist.

Posted by: raisedfists911 | October 21, 2009 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Lucido is a respectable Physician, who has been practicing medicine for decades and is my friend on Facebook. I believe that he qualifies as an expert witness on the human body from the bottom of a person's foot to the top of his head, as well as chemistry and pharmacology, because he was awarded an M.D.. What scientific training do us laypeople have? How about you? I thought so.


I have Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and live in California. I can choose to shovel narcotics down my pie hole like a pill-popping loser, smoke marijuana, or drink myself silly with Wild Turkey. All are readily available within walking distance of my house. Which one do you think I use most often?

Posted by: bobsled1 | October 21, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, excellent blog! i'm sure you've rarely experienced this much response to any of your articles...job well done and i give you joy! isn't it funny, if you wrote "smokes'em if you gots'em" nobody would've taken the time to say thank you. and on the flip side, ain't we just the cutest little sheeps, bleating out in the pasture, all smart with important things to say with data and statistics too!! and speaking of statistics i wonder how many of us have taken the time to write our gov't reps to tell them what we think of the gov't's stance on marijuana. yeah, i'm thinking the number would be close to zero. but at least we can tell Mr. Lane what we think of him. baa, baa!

Posted by: wcareng | October 21, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Inhaling smoke doesn't seem to me a medical proceedure. Legalize dope if you've got the votes, but this column is correct.

Posted by: JulesJames | October 21, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Article mentions medical marijuana for "terminal cancer." I think medical marijuana is very helpful for people having chemotherapy, the object of which is to make the cancer non-terminal. Marijuana helps stop the nausea associated with chemotherapy and also helps develop an appetite. It can also help the person to see things a little differently, make them think things are funny -- which is helpful in such dire situation.

A friend of mine was recently taking his younger brother in for a series of chemo treatments. He wanted to be able to get him some marijuana, but he had no legal way to do so. His brother was tense, jumpy, irritable, terribly nauseous, in great pain, argumentative and fearful. Marijuana would have helped.

Posted by: vinmargaux | October 21, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Lane's mocking is misinformed, as THC does have legitimate medical uses, and although largely palliative in various disease situations, falls within the same functionality as the bulk of most medications which relieve symptoms rather than cure disease. Very few medications in the pantheon of medical drugs actually do cure rather than balm the symptoms of illness.

I would agree, however, that recreational drug activists have spun THC's fairly limited drug value into a gigantic cause disproportionate to it's actual value. And there is no doubt there is an abuse of it's prescription much like the abuse of handicapped placards for anywhere auto parking.

However, just as handicapped placards have a legitimate value for those in true need, so THC has a legitimate therapeutic value in medicine for those things it is good at treating. To completely dismiss its value would be to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Posted by: etwas | October 21, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

For 53 years I was an opponent to marijuna of any type. Then for the first time in my life I had to let the Doctors and the Medical Professionals operate on me. They had to give me 7 days of broad spectrum anti-biotics, which killed all the bacteria in my intestines which is where 75%of your immune system resides. This kicked off an accute case of Crohns. Which is like having a severe case of intestinal flu all the time. I dropped from a well defined 240 lbs working out three to four times a week to 155 lbs in less than a year. Crohns was eating me away and almost killed me. Then one day a friend came by with some brownies and gave me some. Right away i noticed pain going away and relief from the nausia. Hell I even got a little appetite back. I asked him what was the deal? He explained that they were marijuna brownies and he had thought they would help me, however he didnt know how to approach me on the subject. I was upset at first, but then I noticed the relief and I could actually eat some again. I now have a prescription for Medical Marijuana and I gained back enough weight to get me back to 200lbs and I have some quality of life back. Those who oppose Medical Marijuna for those who are ill have no heart and are probably on the payroll of the big pharmacutical firms. This is only about money, think about how much the pharmacutical companies stand to lose if Marijuna is ever legalized. Until then they will continue to make the ill suffer to line their pockets.

Posted by: gpinthemaking | October 21, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't smoke marijuana but I can see how the author can be alarmed that there are people who don't have real medical conditions and get prescribed medical marijuana. I mean, that NEVER happens with prescription medications...What a joke.

The fact is prescription medications are killing more people than marijuana ever has or will. You know that prescriptions are addictive right? And that prescription medications can be bought on the black market right to those who are addicts? Except these people overdose and die with those pills trying to get high. Pharmacological medicines dont grow from the ground they are made in LABS from who knows what!!!

Posted by: stanwv | October 21, 2009 3:30 AM | Report abuse

It appears the reader and their comments are more informed than the author. The title of an article typically outlines the subject manner to follow, but not in this case. After billions of dollars spent on the war on drugs, there still is an ample supply of illegal drugs in every city in America. The Fed has given up as the people and courts of this country have tired of the fascist relationship between the government and the drug companies to mandate health. Because constant pain is not life threatening is no basis for excusing a proven safe remedy such as marijuana for alleviating pain in lieu opiates. This article like the war on drugs appears to be the insult to our intelligence. This is more of an opinion editorial article with no foundation or structure. This is the Washington Post, a credible source of news, but not today as the author is smoking the drapes.

Posted by: wwsgarrini | October 21, 2009 3:49 AM | Report abuse

I love the few posters who lay out their moralizing, superiority trip with comments about lazy stoners, who are sheep, who are rude, who are losers, who need crutches, blah blah blah. First, promulgating stereotypes doesn't make them true. Second, I'll take my hobbled loser self any day over your perfect, pure self.

::rolls eyes::

To reiterate before I go, MJ smoke (not just MJ, but its SMOKE) does not cause any cancers, lung or otherwise, or kill brain cells; in fact, research shows the opposite, that it has protective effects on the brain and helps ward off cancers. Even if it did cause cancer, so what? Go crusade against cigs and booze first, then we'll talk.

Posted by: tensity1 | October 21, 2009 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Whatever - we all know that people that use "Medical Marijuana" do so just to get high, and generally express symptoms just so they can do so legally. And it is great weed, mind-blowing in fact. Please stop couching your weed use in medical terms, and lets just legalize it and tax it like alcohol. Oh, and how do you shove pot up your rectum? That is utterly inconceivable!

Posted by: zosimos | October 21, 2009 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Fake conservatism is an insult to our intelligence.

Only fake conservatives seek to curtail individual liberty and the freedom to live one's life as one see fit without unnecessary government interference.

Only fake conservatives try to tell women what they can do with their own bodies.

Only fake conservatives want to brainwash the population with Stone Age myth and Medieval superstition, while attempting to prevent the teaching of science in public schools.

Only fake conservatives seek to legislate what consenting adults can do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

Only fake conservatives discriminate against gay and lesbian people.

And only fake conservatives put the sick and dying who wish to self medicate in cages.

Prohibition/fake-conservatism as practiced by Charles Lane has successfully transferred trillions of dollars from the US economy straight into the hands of criminals and terrorists.

Posted by: malcolmkyle | October 21, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Inasmuch as: "...The Obama administration told federal authorities yesterday not to arrest or prosecute medical-marijuana users and suppliers, ..." I remembered that I happened to notice (earlier) that all these domain names are being sold on Craigslist out in California: Call4Medical-Marijuana.com, and Call4Green.com and Call420.com and Call4Cannabis.com and Call4Pot.com and Call4Canna.com are all Domain Names being sold for lot's of money ! ;-) You may think that that's the bad news but look at the good news, Lane: It's all a new and fantastic land-rush with all this new "Digital Real Estate" and a new way to finally balance all the Federal, State and City budgets.

Posted by: CallPablo | October 21, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

So, Lane is now an expert on the therapeutic value of marijuana? Is he an MD? A chemist? A biologist? A pharmacologist? No. He's just an ignorant hack who writes one idiotic column after another. Remember his "death panel" column? What a moron.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | October 21, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Lane's "article" reads like notes taken from a dinner date with a pharmaceutical lobbyist. Plenty of conventional "pills" to take for whatever marijuana is being recommended for... yea, we get it. Your stock portfolio might take a hit.

Posted by: gjcomm | October 21, 2009 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Even if there are benefits, I see no advantage to having to smoke it. Why not give us a delivery system that does not include combustion and carbon monoxide? Or do we have to wear the t shirt - too?

Posted by: gary4books | October 21, 2009 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Marijuana is no more or less dangerous than tobacco and alcohol. This is simply another crackpot column by an uninformed child hired by the Post to bolster it's right wing propaganda. Why not legalize stupidity so this guy Lane can be legitimate?....O....along with sooo many other drugs, stupidity is already legal!

Posted by: therev1 | October 21, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought they researched THC in pill form, called Marinol. Its supposed to have the same anti-nausea effect as smoking without the carcinogens you inhale creating unhealthy effects. Nobody talks about it though, and nobody seems to be fighting for it. I guess the reason is that it does it's job without getting you high.

Posted by: KiteFencer1 | October 21, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Yeah right, a gateway to harder stuff. Like what, booze. I suggest you go smoke a joint and then tell me how bad it is. That gateway crap is the same crapola the government put out when I was in junior and high school in the seventies; please get some new material. If you really want to see the gateway drug, look at mother's milk.

Posted by: democratus | October 21, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

To kitefencer:

I suggest that you do some research before writing. It has been proven that those that take drugs for pain remediation do not get the "high" that you speak of; they simply get pain relief. There have been studies that prove that marinol does not have the same anti-nausea effects that smoke or eaten cannabis have for chemo-therapy patients. Marinaol does not have the same effect of relieving the pressure in the eyeballs that glaucoma causes as does smoken or eaten cannibas. Marinol does not privide the pain relief for MS patients as does smoken or eaten cannabis. The problem with marinol is that it has to be broken down by stomach acids and then is introduced into the blood stream, whereas smoken and eaten cannibas are broken down much quicker and provide more efficient delivery of the THC .

Posted by: democratus | October 21, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Duh!

Medical marijuana is mostly a joke. There are probably a lot of people out there who do get relief from it, but if you handed them a sugar pill and told them it was an ancient Chinese herbal cure or the latest wonder drug from some big drug company, according to their bent, it might well also work. This is called the placebo effect.

On planet Earth, anybody who has been watching this issue knows, DUH! that medical marijuana is a Trojan horse for legalization. Whether you object to it or not depends on where you stand on legalization.

The fact that the last three Presidents have partaken, including obviously George I-haven't- committed-any-drug-felonies,-lately- Bush, and Barak I did a little blow when I could afford it Obama, should give an indication of where this is heading as soon as the worst of the DEMON WEED folks head off into the sunset.

Posted by: bawrytr | October 21, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

It has its ups and downs, both being less extreme then alcohol. It has medicinal values as well as social and recreational uses when responsibility and moderation are part of the decision.

I have lived in San Francisco for 3 years now, I am not a crazy liberal and have never been a member of the Democratic party and certainly nothing farther left.

I have seen first hand that bums and drug addicts are not using marijuana, its smell is unmistakable and whenever I smell it on the street its from someone or some people that appear to be going somewhere to do something. Bums smell like alcohol and the crazy drug addicts in this town are on something else entirely. Whatever they are doing makes them skinny and twitchy and pretty darn scary looking, like a dog that you would suspect had rabies.

I have been told by the police I have had conversations with that marijuana use is the least of their worries and they are glad to be done with the task that should not have been pressed upon them in the first place.

I don't think using any drug is a good solution to life's rough patches, but from what I have seen cannabis marijuana is by far the least worrisome. I would much rather have to interact with a delusional hippy then a raging drunk or methed out psycho. No question at all in my mind, let them smoke pot if they want I can deal with them at that level without much risk of violence or risk of infection from their paraphernalia.

I have stepped in and stopped two assaults in 3 years in SF, both times the crazy bastards were definitely on something way stronger then pot. In one case the guy was holding his dirty needle as a weapon and the other guy appeared to be on some sort of very strong stimulant.

Yes in the interest of being honest, I have smoked marijuana before. I did not go crazy or want to try something stronger nor did I feel like I was capable of making the best decisions at the time. It was about the same as a beer or two, only different in the overall feel. I did not feel as slow and uncoordinated as when drinking alcohol but I did feel less able to make a decision without going over and over the issue to the point of redundancy.

Posted by: CaptSensible | October 21, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Alcohol is a gateway drug. It's the first thing everyone tries.

Posted by: nmoses | October 21, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh, so chronic pain is a "subjective malady" that can and should be ignored by people like you, is that right? And your medical degree is from where, did you say? America, the land of the free, so long as its strictly regulated, taxed, commercialized, Monsantoed and preferrably grown overseas where the labor is cheap and profits are maximized. Your logic is pathetic and your arguments reek of nothing more than Stone Age capitalism. I guess my glaucoma is subjective too, is that right?

Posted by: Byrd3 | October 21, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I have to say, a agree with Mr. Lane. If we are going to legalize marijuana under the premise that it is a drug, then it should fall under the same controls and standards that other drugs fall into. Quite frankly, I don't know the facts one way or the other, but it seems reasonable that all drugs should be tested to ensure they properly treat the illnesses they claim to treat and that the drug that is dispensed meets certain standards to protect the consumer. I realize that some drugs have gone through this process and later determined to be harmful, regardless, we shouldn't simply scrap the system. It seems both sides can point to specific cases where medical marijuana supports their case. What I don't understand is why the people who point to cases where marijuana has helped don't want a system in place to ensure the drug they are receiving is the drug they expect. If folks want to debate the legalization of marijuana under other premises (enforceemnt too expensive, it's harmless, alcohol is legal, etc.), those are valid concerns, but not part of the "medical" marijuana issue.

Posted by: justanotherguy | October 21, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

"restore science to its rightful place."
NOW THERE'S A JOKE FROM THE nOBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

How about real science regarding the "global warming hoax"

what about all that openess in this administration...where's the bill?

Cool that they went this far, but the rhetoric surrounding this and all other positions that this bunch takes is shades of Chicago politics as usual. That equals iron fisted rule-Marxism!

As for addictiveness, I have been smoking pot since 1968. I have been out and could not get it for months at a time and not the least bits addicted. I simply went on with my life til I scored again. I have tried repeatedly to stop drinking beer to no avail. I cannot stop that, it is addictive and readily available. So, there is your gateway drug.

I hate to see the GOP take the stance they have. I lobbied the magazines for pot (HT) during the last election cycle to vote GOP since their platform is one for State's Rights. Seems they should support state's rights, instead the Dems get that issue.

I just hope all those left wing pot heads forget what day to vote next time.

Posted by: MarvinMartian | October 21, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

“Marijuana is a gateway drug to Doritos”
Clara Jeffery, Co-Editor, “Mother Jones”

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 21, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

The main problem the Establishment has with marijuana is that it can be safely grown at home by anyone, which means that they can't collect taxes and profits from each and every use instance. It's been in use by civilization longer than aspirin, but they use the drug reference to prevent interference with the petroleum and and timber industries. The AMA was the only organization to oppose marijuana prohibition in the 1930s, but it was enacted so WR Hearst could make more profit from his timber holdings in the Pacific Northwest. So we now have entire generations that can see it as nothing but a drug when, in fact, it is the most useful and valuable crop on the entire planet.

Posted by: Byrd3 | October 21, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm a telecommuter and much as I hate to admit it, a closet "Judge Judy" fan.

Not long ago she had a case involving a defendant who claimed he had a prescription for "medical marijuana" use. Initially somewhat sympathetic, she asked him what serious medical problems he suffered from that necessitated its use. He told her he'd been in a few auto accidents and had residual pain from a neck injury. Further, he didn't like taking anti-inflammatory drugs as he was picky about what he was willing to put in his body. And staying fit was particularly important to him, he said,
because as a surfer.....

I would be the last to deny someone else pain relief, but the medical use of marijuana needs at the very least to be weighed against the fact that smoking of any kind is bad for you. So it would seem one should have severe, intractable pain or be terminally ill, or very old...as one who worked for many years with hospitalized pulmonary patients, I know that lung disease is no picnic, either...

Posted by: martymar123 | October 21, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I think this editorial is motivated more by Big Pharma's fear of a crashing demand for Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin etc in favor of a simple, easily grown God-given plant, than any other factor.

Posted by: jph3 | October 21, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Marijuana in various forms, not necessarily smoked, has been used therapeutically for centuries in many parts of the world. Marijuana appears to provide relief from pain, nausea, and other symptoms, with fewer ill effects and a greater margin of safety than many other classes of drugs. In particular, marijuana appears to be far safer than the narcotic drugs commonly administered for pain, and safer even than the non-narcotic drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and related compounds that are responsible for a few hundred fatal poisonings each year (_http//www.acponline.org/journals/annals/15sep97/nsaid.htm_).

In 2008, the American College of Physicians stated: “Evidence not only supports the use of medical marijuana in certain conditions but also suggests numerous indications for cannabinoids. Additional research is needed to further clarify the therapeutic value of cannabinoids and determine optimal routes of administration. The science on medical marijuana should not be obscured or hindered by the debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana for general use.” (_http//www.acponline.org/advocacy/where_we_stand/other_issues/medmarijuana.pdf_)

Mr. Lane, there are numerous studies indicating marijuana is a valuable therapeutic agent. Surely you don't believe people should be sent to jail for using something that they and their physician agree would be to their benefit?

Posted by: conservativechristian1976 | October 21, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"The "medical marijuana" movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence."

*****************************************
Yeah? Well tell that to the chemotherpy treated cancer patient who with the help of MJ can control vomiting and actually develope an appetite. Tell that to the chronic fibre milagic (sp) person who can relax those tight muscles with the aid of MJ. The person suffering from migrain headaches and the vomiting that goes along with it.

Clearly you haven't a clue. MJ has medimul (sp) properties that range from the above to just making one feel better at the end of a day - much like those that pick up a shot of bourbon or a couple of beers at the end of the day.

Oh, and your "gateway" argument - no merit for those who use for medical purposes or those who just seek to relax and take the edge off at the end of the day and don't do alcohol because it's adictive - these people still want to function. I've seen a lot of sloppy drunks who didn't remember what they did last night - never seen a MJ smoker so lost. There are no guarantees of course but your son could skip MJ and go straight to cocaine,booze or worse.

Posted by: Kathy5 | October 21, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Pretty light on the facts and issues, heavy on the cynicism. You fail to acknowledge that cannibis sativa - which has been a part of human existence for thousands of years - contains a significant number of neurotransmitters which are employed by the brain in a number of ways. We do not fully understand the medical value of C.S. yet because American scientists have not been allowed to study it. Now the Euros and Asians are beating us again because of our regressive and parochial laws.

Posted by: DPoniatowski | October 21, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

This fool actually believes his own bullcrap...seriously, like the FDA does us any good. They're just another bunch of money grabbers who pander to the Pharmaceutical companies. Has this loser actually watched a commercial for federally approved medicine lately? "It MAY fix your (fill in the blank here), but you may suffer internal bleeding, sudden death, lose of brain activity, etc...if any of these occur, please stop immediately and consult your physician"

Why would the government need to "OK" a plant that's grown like any other plant unless they wanted to add their own crap to it that ADDICTS you to it so that they can legalize it like cigarettes?

Posted by: massmedia77 | October 21, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

This was a pretty insulting column.

Cannabis does in fact provide definitive relief to serious ailments, such as the nausea caused by chemotherapy. While demanding FDA type scientific rigor to be applied to cannabis, the author should note that it is the Feds that have done everything in their power to prevent bona fide research on cannabis from being conducted.

Perhaps the prohibitionists have been afraid that the safety of cannabis safety would be proven, since the anecdotal evidence indicates that cannabis ingestion has never killed anyone from overdose through thousands of years of known use.

Posted by: snitzel27 | October 21, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"These posts laced with vitriol and violent tendencies are a great example of why recreational drugs are a big mistake. Legalize medical use of marijuana? Who cares? In fact why don't we start offering pistols and bullets as medical options too?"

Posted by: YouMustBeJoking

*****************************************

Hey Joker - your ignorance is showing! How do you compare the smoking of MJ to pistols and bullets? What's your point? I know people die when shot in the right spot with a bullet - there is no documented evidence of anyone dying from smoking MJ.

Posted by: Kathy5 | October 21, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The old gate way drug theory, again. Well alcohol and cigarettes are the first drugs that most try. So, let's ban them? The writer, also, looks like he is battling a food addiction. Let's limit his diet. As for your 12 yr. old son, do you think he is reading or would believe this bull? Spend your time advising him to resist peer pressure. It will go farther than this sanctimonious drivel written here.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | October 21, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Can anybody name a single person who was prosecuted by the Federal Government who was using marijuana for medical purposes and had no more than personal use in their possession?

Posted by: justanotherguy | October 21, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Marijuana has not medical benefit, unless you assign value to a placebo effect. You may as well smoke grass clippings from your yard. On the other hand, there is a wealth of legitimate research demonstrating that it both induces psychosis and aggravates an existing psychotic condition (in particular, schizophrenia). Add to that the tar content is just as high as tobacco, and causes the same respiratory problems and cancers. There is no evidence, however, that it leads to the use of harder stuff. Drug abuse is most common among individuals attempting to self-medicate, be it for perceptions of pain, as advocates for 'medical marijuana' claim it treats, or for an attempt to alleviate symptoms of mental illness, especially depression. A progression from abuse and dependency on marijuana to abuse and dependency on other substances reflects an underlying tendency to addictive behavior for the reasons aforementioned. Marijuana is just easier to obtain. If cocaine were easier to get than marijuana the argument would be that it is cocaine that is the gateway drug. Since tobacco is legal, and since nicotine is the most addictive substance known for humans, it could more convincingly be argued that tobacco is the gateway drug.

Posted by: JLErwin3 | October 21, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope you never have cancer, chemotherapy or debilitating arthritis and don't need the "hokum" of medical marijuana to help your pain or increase your appetite so you don't waste away. Have a drink and a smoke instead. These harder, more addictive drugs are "Jesus Approved" and lobbyist promoted as well. What could be more American?

Posted by: coloradodog | October 21, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I stopped reading when he cited the "gateway" theory. It's a preposterous canard. Anyone who cites it demonstrates that they have no first-hand knowledge of or experience with marijuana and just how much of their own thinking they surrender to others's talking points.

Posted by: rowlandstebbins | October 21, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

My,my, you dope smokers certainly are passionate about your "right" to destroy your minds and your brain cells!

While I'm not the least bit interested in legally prosecuting people for smoking weed-I'd rather see a billionaire speculator who funds legalization, i.e., George Soros, incarcercated-I do know that billionaires like Soros, and his oligarchical buddies, love to see Americans, and people generally, getting high and not using their minds. They love to see people passionate about the right to smoke weed, while the whole world financial system and economy are melting down, millions are dying of disease, famine, and war, or natural disasters (due to lack of infrastructure).

British/Soros puppet Obama and his advisors, like the Emmanuel brothers, want to kill old folks so they can have more money to bail out Wall Street, blue collar workers are losing their jobs and homes and having their pensions ripped off by the speculators, etc. etc., and you want to scream about the right to get high!

Give me a Break! This has nothing to do with right or left wings, it has to do with sanity.

Posted by: maggierose57
***********************************

Sanity indeed! Clearly you've lost yours.

Posted by: Kathy5 | October 21, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Jesus, where did Hiatt find this guy? An aspiring Michael Gerson Jr. (or maybe another Miss Will Priss) judging, condemning and sneering at the choices of others.

Posted by: coloradodog | October 21, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful."

Oh, of course, take Vioxx, for instance...oh wait...

I'm sorry, but if you're conflating 'FDA testing' with 'drug safety', you really don't have any idea what you're talking about.

Posted by: distance88 | October 21, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

All arguements are moot. The real question is whether the control of my body lies with me or the government. I say that it resides with me. And if I want to put substances into it, whether they are harmful or beneficial, is none of the government's business.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | October 21, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Mr Lane, this country has more important issues facing it than policing the smoking of marijuana. We have been strongly fighting a war on pot since Richard Nixon's administration. He reduced the flow of pot from mexico. Here we are 30+ years later and we are still trying to stem the flow. The only results have been criminals making more money. Money that could be taxes that would help reduce our debt. Please stop wathing "Reefer Madness" for your information on marijuana.

Posted by: cwaynebrewer | October 21, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"An insult to our intelligence" would be an apt description of this column.
Lane writes, "I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff." Really. 100 million Americans have tried marijuana; very few have gone on to hard drugs. The "gateway" theory has been repeatedly debunked.

He also pens, "So I think we probably should have an open debate about decriminalization." Where the hell has he been for the last 40 years? The marijuana debate has been a political not scientific issue for decades. Get a clue Mr. Lane.

I write as a retired law enforcement officer and high school teacher.

Posted by: mbarrexp | October 21, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

This article, and more accurately the author's fence riding ("So I think we probably should have an open debate about decriminalization."), is a joke. There should be no debate. Just as there should be no debated as to whether or not I can wear a any color shirt I want, whether I can pick my nose, or as to whether I may masterbate. The consumption of marijuana hurts NOBODY. I know, I know, some of you think it's harmful to the user. I don't agree, but regardless, even if it is, then the user deals with it. Professional football players participate in a profession that literally destroys them physically. By the age of 50, none of them can walk with out a limp and their life-span is significant'y shorter than the average person's, which many believe can be attributed to their chosen profession. Does this me we should take away their free choice to do something they love? Of course not. Marijuana use is an issue of personal freedom, not public safety. We need less government intrusion in our lives, not more. And for the record, I'm not a marijuana user....not that there is anything wrong with that! :-)

Posted by: sportrdr70 | October 21, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

You bring up some good points about the need for some scientific testing and regulation of medical marijuana. Since it is a medicine, its THC variability should be within a certain range to be safe for patients.

But to that point, and forgive me because this is more of a question, I thought that the DEA still prohibits the testing of marijuana which is why we have the current round-about situation.

Posted by: tm28 | October 21, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Folks like Mr. Lane don't really want an 'honest' debate. The 'gateway drug' canard has already been addressed here. Also, in the Netherlands, where marijuana is still technically illegal yet easily obtainable, use of the drug is actually lower per capita than in the U.S. After prohibition in the U.S. was repealed, alcohol consumption actually decreased. If marijuana were decriminalized in the U.S., we would likely see use decrease as well, as the taboo factor would be removed (think about it- didn't we all experiment with alcohol or marijuana when we were kids because we weren't supposed to; that we were constantly told it was wrong, and we were so curious to see how they would alter our moods and behavior?). Truth is, those who champion against marijuana are those who gain the most from its prohibition. Literally billions of dollars flow through various federal, state, and local agencies to counteract supply for, and demand of marijuana. If cops didn't get those funds, they wouldn't be able to buy all that nifty SWAT gear and play cops and robbers anymore.

Posted by: pswift00 | October 21, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

As soon as I saw the word "hokum," I knew this column would be a piece of garbage.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 21, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

You are very much misinformed regarding the severity of Angel Raich's health problems. One of the conditions she uses cannabis to treat is brain cancer. Which also makes you wrong about the feds not prosecuting people using cannabis to treat undeniably serious conditions. That's how her case got started.

As you can see here, Ms. Raich will shortly be having surgery at Stanford to remove a brain tumor that radiation has been unable to shrink:

http://angeljustice.org/section.php?id=50

Perhaps you should revise your very public--and very uncharitable--treatment of Ms. Raich.

Posted by: tonythecat | October 21, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Could you be any more hypocritical? What? Did you write this as you drank your martini?

Posted by: lizstevens | October 21, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

There is no point to try to reassure fearful people that they would hardly notice if marijuana were legalized, that the streets wouldn't suddenly be filled with Doritos-munching stoners, raging criminals, and slackers who would destroy any productivity that's left, accompanied by a contingent of stoned airline pilots and surgeons. All those who want to smoke marijuana already do. The fear of cannabis users is irrational and has no rational cure, and is a testament to the insidious power of propaganda. The cure is similar to countering a crippling fear of spiders, for example. Gradual, predictable exposure leads to hesitating acceptance, eventually to realizing that spiders can be kind of cute, (especially the wolf spiders with their enormous eyes that follow you, but I digress ...) I hope that you will eventually conquer your prejudices regarding cannabis smokers, Lane.

Posted by: RichardHode | October 21, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Wake and smell the coffee dude. Weed has been long forgotten as a gateway drug. In fact carrying on like pot is so dangerous make it easy for people to think they've been lied to and that heroin or other high addicting or damaging drugs are so bad for you.

In terms of your kids, would you rather trust drug dealers or registered and regulated legal business dispensing weed like cigarettes and alcohol?? Umm, I don't think it takes much to think that the regulated business are more likely to keep weed away from your kid.

Posted by: somewhereoutthere | October 21, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Interesting... I've read this article several times and I'm just not getting that Lane is against legalizing pot. I'm reading that he is asking us to have a more intelligent discussion about it rather than hide behind the bogus title of "medical" need. If we want to legalize it then just legalize it. Stop BS'ing about it. Of all of the people that I know that smoke pot there are only a very very small handful that actually use it for a true medical condition. We are creating a society of liars if we only legalize it medically and all of you recreational smokers will have to come up with bogus medical conditions to legally use. That's just silly. Once it's legalized you can smoke it for whatever reason you would like, recreation, illness, addiction...whatever flips your lid. Funny how many of the irate comments calling Lane an idiot, etc..seemed to have actually missed the point of the article...hmmm...

Posted by: GranolaDoc |

****************************************

Doc, he called it a "gateway" drug - who's missing Lane's point?

Posted by: Kathy5 | October 21, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Im quitting my Govmnt IT Computing job and headed west for the Green Rush. Have fun in NoVA folks! Enjoy the traffic and teabaggers. You'll be buying new calendars for your cubicles soon..that's exciting! I'm off to save the hemisphere through Hydroponia.

Posted by: jcck | October 21, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"In California and elsewhere, however, snake oil -- sorry, "medical marijuana" -- got on the market via a different route: popular referendum."

Fact check, dude. In at least one state I know of - Vermont - medical marijuana was passed by the legislature. Given the stance and the tone of your article, I assume that you obfuscated this to make your own point.

Busted!

Posted by: kenzoan13 | October 21, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse


DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA NOW! DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA TOMORROW!! DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA FORVER!!!


Posted by: demtse | October 21, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse


DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA NOW! DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA TOMORROW!! DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA FORVER!!! COUGH! COUGH! COUGH! THATS SOME GOOD SH!T!!!


Posted by: demtse | October 21, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

As a 64 year old male who has never smoked pot (and my age never will), all I can say to Mr. Lane is: CHILL!

Our government has screwed more good, decent Americans pursuing and criminalizing those it caught than pot itself ever has.

Posted by: Trakker | October 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

A crucial question to the author... can the FDA research the medicinal uses of an illegal drug?

That could explain why proponents having petitioned the FDA to study it (the FDA can't) and why they've taken the fight to the people who might one day support decriminalization that would allow it to be studied.

Also, since most doctors would prescirbe you a drug for "mood swings" or "chronic pain", so using marijuana for those issues doesn't strike me as illegitimate. Yeah, it doesn't jibe with the seriously and terminally ill that are used as poster children, but that's more of a marketing issue than a medical one.

Posted by: AJohn1 | October 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

To Mr. Cohen,
When you find an aspirin tree, let me know.
The reason we need strict testing for pharmaceuticals is because they are substances not readily found in nature. There is zero history of humans consuming these substances before testing begins. Pot has been smoked, eaten, drank in tea for thousands (?) of years by humans the world over. One should think that the testing has long since been completed.

Posted by: KJR1 | October 21, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

_______v'"""

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 21, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Thank you! This is the most sensible and intelligent commentary I've ever seen on medical marijuana. I hope we don't see other drugs approved by ballot referendum.

Posted by: pieguy | October 21, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

#1 MARIJUANA IS NOT A DRUG

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 21, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

In plain words; legalize it, clear the jails of the thousands imprisoned for it and cut the huge prison costs by billions??

Forty four percent of the population favor this? It's hard to call that a minority.

Posted by: jak_deth | October 21, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

#1 MARIJUANA IS NOT A DRUG

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 21, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

set the NON-VIOLENT ganja prisoners free YESTERDAY !!!!

Posted by: RevRayGreen | October 21, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Phased change is a good thing.

Medical marijuana will be abused, and people whose only illness is a hankering to get high will use it.

Virtually all those people will be people who were going to smoke pot anyway. Good deal-- get that tax revenue now, and get the money away from criminals.

Don´t ask Don´t tell has been a success, in the sense of transitioning the nation. In due time, gays will serve openly. And the law was a good stepping stone for people to realize that the nation won´t fall apart.

Same with this.

Let the corruption begin! May it be widespread! Get those potsmokers buying at dispensaries!

Posted by: tdn0024 | October 21, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I am a Transplant patient that got my disease from a transfusion given by a Medical Professional that "knew" he was right. He was a Doctor! I have been waiting for 5 years to get on a Transplant list. the same professionals won't help me live unless I have 300 thousand dollars or insurance that I was denied "pre existing condition". The same PRofessionals have just thrown me off the Transplant list the list I finally got on because They just know (although they have done NO studying) that I must be an "Marijewanna" ADDICT (psychic I guess) because another Doctor prescribed Medical Cannabis to me. The other Doctors shove hundreds of Vicodin and other Opiates at me and will allow me to die Puking pints of blood while loosing control of my mind for trying to avoid becoming a "medical Junkie" by using a simple herb to stave off nausea and real live PAIN!
Now I read this article written by a small man sitting "safely" in his intellectual purity. I ask only one question of him. Have you had that boney Death masked (face of certain horror) jab it's crooked finger into your hopes and dreams laying waste your last hope for LIFE? Until then please stop denying those holding on to a very painful but precious Life a little peace and comfort. How dare you to judge and put so much effort into adding your ignorance to their burden? Please stop! Dyeing is hard enough without having to listen to your drivel

Posted by: maxspp | October 21, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

On Feb 15th, 1933 Anton Cermak, the mayor of Chicago was killed in Miami when he stood up and obscured the real target, FDR. FDR had not been inaugurated yet and the Mafia did not want him to take office. The reason, because he was going to repeal the Volsted act, Prohibition. They stood to lose a lot of money if alcohol was legalized again. Sound familiar? Who do you think is the most interested party in this pot legalization argument?

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Grass leads to harder stuff indeed. I have figures that show that every heroin user started out on milk. So clearly we must criminalize milk. The fact is a drunk is more likely to do something stupid like try heroin because judgment is the first area of the brain affected by alcohol. And how about tobacco? It doesn't need to lead to harder stuff. It is deadly by itself.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I've never understood why self-described conservatives are so concerned with what other adults are doing. Moreover, the gateway fallacy once again was invoked. This is a canard and the author knows it. That's why he glosses over it so swiftly.

Posted by: mozart56 | October 21, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Lane, Oxycontin is actually showing itself to be a true gateway drug. People get a prescription from their doctor and when that prescriptions done, many of them are addicted to this drug. Ask Rush Limbaugh about that drug and it's addictiveness, he was busted for doctor shopping to get it. Many people in Rush's situation today are turning to a cheaper street drug when they can't get Oxycontin, which is approved by the FDA. That street drug they are turning to? Oh yeah, it's not Medical Pot, it is heroin. Google the connection. TV news shows have done stories about this "new" heroin epidemic sweeping the country these days because of Oxycontin. Where is your outrage over Oxycontin being prescribed and used as a gateway drug? Lets hear all about that outrage that is being foisted upon our citizens by the FDA approved drug Oxycontin and then maybe I will listen to your scared rambling about pot, as misinformed as it is. Oh and by the way, I have one terminal cancer and one not so terminal. I wonder if I am one of the few you would deem worthy to use pot. You stated that only some terminal cancer patients and Aids patients benefit from this drug. Which ones would those be? And who are you to decide which ones have a legitimate cause for use and which of us don't? And should I only be allowed to use it when I am taking chemo for the terminal cancer even though it works just as well for the symptoms I get from the chemo I do for the not so terminal cancer? As for your son using pot? You do know that coming from you, a stern lecture about not using pot is possibly a gateway to him using the drug right? After all kids do rebel against their parents, and if you harp on this subject to much you might be driving him to think it is something that he might like to try, maybe just to spite you. So in effect, you might be his gateway to drugs. Maybe you should be illegal?

Posted by: greenmansf | October 21, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

An insult to our intelligence? Seems to me that if it has been shown to ease pain, and people are in serious pain, it should be used. Insulting to my intelligence? Not as much as this article.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | October 21, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, Please speak for yourself regarding your intelligence or lack thereof, as the case may. I presume the insult is as minor as your apparent intellect.

Based on the misconceptions and lack of knowledge presented in your article, I suggest you need to get out of your office more. Or at least utilize the internet to educate yourself on the myriad of studies on subject of medical use of cannabis. Others have done much of the work for you. It does not get much easier.

There are plenty of intelligent and knowledgeable people writing and researching this subject. Unfortunately, Mr. Lane does not fit this group, other than he is writing.

Recognition should go out to Mr. Lane for his contribution to further ignorance and misinformation presented by the media. Journalism anyone?

Here, I'll even give you a start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis

http://medicalmarijuanapatient.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65

Posted by: don-g | October 21, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

What imbecilic twaddle. Unless you've been in real pain or dealt with a medical diagnosis that has left your body ravaged, you have no personal point of reference about whether or not pot is effective. Having said that, I'd just like to point out that when your son turns 18 and you take him elk hunting and share his first beer with him, you're initiating his interest in drug use. Hopefully you'll teach him to be responsible with his choice of recreational pursuits, whatever those may be.

Posted by: JenAZ | October 21, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, you do nothing but publish your own ignorance. Marijuana has been used medicinally for thousands of years by cultures across the globe. I know of its medicinal value from firsthand experience, and this is confirmed by countless other users. Marijuana is highly effective in combating pain, nurturing rest, curing glaucoma, stimulating the appetite, and reducing inflamation when used as a poultice. Sure, maybe some folks do abuse the dispensaries for recreational purposes, but to try to counter that by saying that marijuana has no medicinal use is nothing but the purest ignorance. And I don't like you referring to marijuana users as "druggies." Is every who has a drink an alcoholic? Maybe you should have rebelled a little more in highschool, gained a little experience yourself, instead of just becoming a mouthpiece of ignorance and paranoia. I laugh at your foolishness.

Posted by: naturalkingdom | October 21, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

To suggest the FDA is simply a scientific panel full of objective doctors, basing their studies on medical science, is, ahem, a pipe dream.

The FDA, like all other governmental agencies, must explain themselves to lobbies, politicians, and special interest groups.

With that in mind, and knowing how long it took them to implicate the tobacco industry in any wrong-doing, let's wonder if they're being completely transparent in their "findings" on marijuana, medical or otherwise.

Posted by: franglais | October 21, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

No, 'Hat - the WMD fiasco was an insult to our intelligence.

Bernaise, the PR man who probably helped to DEMONIZE hemp along with Randolph Hearst, his actions and words were an insult to our intelligence. Bernaise also got a lot of women to smoke cigarettes for the tobacco companies. It was based on "scientific research", and all very un-insulting and gentile.

The fact that the USA grew hemp to make rope, then, because of competition, Hearst began his anti-hemp campaign a la "reefer madness", is an insult to our intelligence.

The face that Marijuana is illegal and Alcoholic beverages are not, that, is an insult to our collective intelligence.

How many deaths are attributed to users dying from over-consuming Hemp?

ZERO

How many people routinely wipe out entire families with their SUV's because of Alcoholic consumption? the number is much larger than ZERO; talk about insulting our intelligence!

That alcohol is big business is really all the indicator you need. It is the monopoly that the makers do not want you to break.

As for your sniveling article of "do as I say and not as I do", beer drinker, go insult someone else with your ignorance.

In other words, it isn't worth reading.

Posted by: pgibson1 | October 21, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, I see by the comments of maggierose57 that people still use LSD too!

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow I guess they censure posts now.

"Your post is being held for review by the writer" and if the writer disagrees with your point of view he can delete yours!!!

Way to go Washington post...protect freedom of speech!!!!

You two faced hypocrites!!!

Posted by: imZandor | October 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Great post, you hit the nail on the head, we are being duped by the marijuana legalization movement. The money machine behind this movement is all about making more money, not helping the sick and dying. this is very apparent by the fact that doctors who are pushng (recommending) marijuana are doing so wihtout tests, without physicals, without any patient knowledge, other than what they say and $250.00.

The legalization movement also knows there is no way to regulate this weed (medicine) as users just grow their own if they can't afford it from their dealer (dispensary). So the whole tax and regulate scam is just that a scam.

Some of California's citizens are getting smarter though, more and more cities are banning dealers (dispensaries). But you don't hear a lot about this in the news. Instead, you get the argument that alcohol and tobacco are legal, why not pot (note alcohol and tobacco are not medicines either). Yet again the legalization movement seems to forget to mention the new regulations regarding alcohol advertisements and that cigarettes will now be under the FDA's jurisdiction (not public opinion's)with stricter regulations.

I truly hope the American public snaps out of their stupor before it is too late.

Posted by: jojenn | October 21, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I am 80 years old. I have drunk alcohol in moderation since my teens and smoked pot about 10 times. I think alcohol should be taxed out of availability and marijuana should be legalized and taxed. Nobody ever attacked or shot another, or got into a vicious argument while smoking pot. And while I wouldn't recommend driving after pot, any wrecks a pot smoker would cause would probably be because they were driving too slowly. I'm educated, well-traveled and fairly worldly and I think pot is just fun. Why legalize alcohol and ban marijuana? I hate to think of all those young people whose lives have been ruined because they were convicted in pot-related crimes, using or selling. Like alcohol, churches and criminals are of one mind for opposing legalizing pot, one to save your soul the other to get your money. Stop the madness, America. Grow up.

Posted by: m_richert | October 21, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jojenn, new laws governing tobacco and alcohol is not criminalizing them. So why even mention that? Stay the hell out of my business. Either that or let me observe every thing you put into your body and decide what is right and what is wrong for you. For example coffee kills brain cells so that goes on the list of things you can't use. Obviously alcohol and tobacco are on the list. BTW, where are the comments from that dopey congressman from NC who did not like putting tobacco under the regulation of the FDA because, as she said, the government is trying to regulate too much of our lives? Given their way the Conservatives would tell you not only what you can ingest but what you can and can't do in the privacy of your own bedroom. This is the road to a total police state. Thank goodness, others are around to stop the cons from running our lives.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Since the writer is offering an opinion without knowing scientific facts here are a few links to sites where real facts about medical use of marijuana (Cannabis) can be found:
http://cmcr.ucsd.edu/
http://cannabinoidsociety.org
http://www.cannabis-med.org/index.php?lng=en
www.patchtek.com
Now do you still want an Oreo???

Posted by: zooeus | October 21, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Valid medicinal value, it’s a victimless crime, the War on Drugs WAY too costly, too many arrests for simple possession, tax it and use the money to pay for health insurance and to reduce the deficit. Need I say more?

Woodstock Universe supports legalization of Marijuana for a number of reasons. Check them out and vote in our poll "Should marijuana be legalized?" at http://woodstockuniverse.com

Current poll results: 96% for legalization and 4% opposed. Add your vote. Poll runs through October.

Peace, love, music, one world,
RFWoodstock

Posted by: rfwoodstock | October 21, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

All you potheads are complete LOSERS.

Posted by: bendan2000
**************************************

Yeah? Your's is probably the most loser comment on this board today.

I would venture to say that the majority of us "potheads" are productive members of society - even involved members of society.

How bout you?

Posted by: Kathy5 | October 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to argue we should legalize marijuana but consider the following when thinking about it;

If you wish to know the risk of a certain behavior you should ask those who assess risk. Insurance companies. They are some of the oldest and largest companies in the world. If their assessments are wrong it costs them millions.

From an life or disability income insurance underwriting perspective there is no correlation between recreational marijuana usage and either mortality or morbitity. Frequent usage (defined as 1-2 months) would give you the same rates as ciggerrete smoking. Somwhwat higher mortality and morbiitity but easily classifiable.

By comparison recent cocaine usage would automatically decline you for either coverage.

Something to think about.

Posted by: kchses1 | October 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes, they've been putting one over on us for years with this thing. Pot has been used as a scapegoat to divert attention from the real killers alcohol and tobacco. A study was just released today stating that alcohol's cancer-causing effects far outweigh any of the possible health benfits they've always claimed. What a big suprise that a substance toxic to every cell in our body would cause cancer. Meanwhile liquor and tobacco industries have lobbied against pot for decades.
We all know that pot doesn't lead to the violent behaviour the alcohol does. It's an anti-spritual drug that tends to make people more selfish the more they use it, self-centeredness being the antithesis of all spiritual systems. Pot seems to even heighten the awareness of other needs and feelings.
The hospitals are not filled with patients suffering from pot-related accidents and illness now at more than 1/2 million per years for alcohol and tobacco. I'm not saying that pot is good for you, I'm just sick of the baloney.

Posted by: Einsteinofluv | October 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Charles, Your article should have stopped right here:
"I do not deny that for some people, including some terminal cancer patients and pain-wracked AIDS sufferers, marijuana is a blessed relief. Let 'em smoke, I say,". Perhaps there is no medical benefit to pot. There is no medical benefit to Vicodin either yet it is prescribed in massive quantities. Sure, debate all you want about snake oil, but give people the relief they need.

Posted by: FoolForNews | October 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, they've been putting one over on us for years with this thing. Pot has been used as a scapegoat to divert attention from the real killers alcohol and tobacco. A study was just released today stating that alcohol's cancer-causing effects far outweigh any of the possible health benfits they've always claimed. What a big suprise that a substance toxic to every cell in our body would cause cancer. Meanwhile liquor and tobacco industries have lobbied against pot for decades.
We all know that pot doesn't lead to the violent behaviour the alcohol does. It's an anti-spritual drug that tends to make people more selfish the more they use it, self-centeredness being the antithesis of all spiritual systems. Pot seems to even heighten the awareness of other needs and feelings.
The hospitals are not filled with patients suffering from pot-related accidents and illness now at more than 1/2 million per years for alcohol and tobacco. I'm not saying that pot is good for you, I'm just sick of the baloney.

Posted by: Einsteinofluv | October 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

RE: Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful. In California and elsewhere, however, snake oil -- sorry, "medical marijuana" -- got on the market via a different route: popular referendum. The pot for sale in dispensaries is subject to none of the purity controls that actual pharmaceutical drugs must meet.


Oh how wrong you are!! Marijuana has been continuously since about 1970 by millions of Americans young, old, sick and well. Not one toxic case...NOT ONE DEATH! The use of this drug is self regulating as far as dosing. You can only smoke so much, that level of intoxication is far, far, below the levels it would take to cause damage.
I'll grant you this, it can make you stupider but only if you were stupid to begin with. Tested? This is the best tested medicine ever produced.

Posted by: bproulx45 | October 21, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, how many driving deaths are caused annually by driving under the influence of pot? None, or the government would have been reporting those figures--as it does for alcohol--for decades.) Why do you claim the right to criminalize my choice?

It is a well known side effect of marijuana; too lazy to drive, order delivery.

Posted by: bproulx45 | October 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow! It is so good to see so much passion on the pro-cannabis side of this. For far too long the sensible people of this country who want to re-legalize an all natural substance that grows everywhere have been marginalized as a fringe minority.

For far too long we've been far too quiet and we've let ill-informed reactionary loons and just plain self serving corporate interests control the national thinking on cannabis. There's a huge number of "average" moderate Americans who have gone along with prohibition and associated draconian laws and nightmarish treatment of their fellow citizens simply out of ignorance and fear stoked by those shrill, hysterical voices decrying reefer madness all this time. (And I can't believe I used to be one of those sheeples).

We've got some real momentum on this issue as numerous law changes, news articles, polls, and even this comment section attest. Let's not waste that momentum! Continue to speak up and speak out. Educate your uninformed friends and family. Put pressure on your elected officials. Get angry when you need to. Let's nudge our society back toward sanity.

Posted by: gordonbuttocks | October 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What intelligence? You so called conservatives are so far off the map you should be called what you really are, fascist control freaks or FCFs for brevity.

Posted by: trbajaz | October 21, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Great post, you've proven yourself to be a complete idiot. Have you studied or researched Marijuana at all? Rather than trying to find negatives in political opinions maybe you should look for positives in scientific papers. As for the political side, it should have NEVER been prohibited in the first place. It was prohibited to keep out the Mexicans and monopolize the paper business by the lumber industry. And now it's kept that way through bribes by pharm, alchohol, and tobacco industry who would all feel a big hit in their pockets if citizens could treat themselves to a vastly superior product. And this is the corrupted crap you want to support? Get bent and write about stuff you know, like sucking up to peer pressure and theistic values.

Posted by: clint318 | October 21, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful"

Ha ha ha ha !!!
Yeah - WE might not, but there's apparently a whole host of folks at the FDA who easily turn a blind eye to all sorts of crap. Too many people have been killed by dangerous drugs to count, like the pain pills that caused heart attacks. Such crap as that....
And you have the nerve to say that the FDA is protecting us!
HA
HA
HA!

Posted by: Tomcat3 | October 21, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

On the face of it I agree. Pot has not been tested for effectiveness for any malady in the same manner as other prescription drugs. On the other hand, from what I have read, it is the most studied and researched drug of any kind. Except for the preferred method of ingestion, it is far better for you or offers considerably less potential harm than alcohol, tobacco, and arguably less harmful than Tylenol, aspirin and ibuprofen. Whether people will move on from pot to something worse is not an indication of pot's potential but the potential of the user and it applies equally to any mood altering drug or activity. Pot's leg up as a gateway drug is that it breaks the internal restriction everyone has with regard to unlawful behavior. I'll let the doctors and the FDA decide whether or not Pot is an effective medicine, but it is very clear to me, a non-pot user, that we are all best served with it being legalized, regulated and taxed.

Posted by: jdcallow | October 21, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

For a guys that sucks up mass quantities of Koolaide.

He has the audacity say he is insulted about legalizing Pot?

What Koolaide Head!!

ISA

Posted by: Issa1 | October 21, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

And it came to pass that they found Mr Lane, laid in a manger, and too tightly wrapped in swaddling cloths; unable to move, take care of himself, or exercise anything like free will.

Charles Lane gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden therein. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Posted by: mhoust | October 21, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"As for your 12 yr. old son, do you think he is reading or would believe this bull?"

If he reads all these comments and then does his own research on this, then he's likely to never take his dad seriously on anything ever again.

What on earth are you up to Mr Lane? Your demonstration of disingenuous cognitive dissonance is of the finest caliber I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

Posted by: malcolmkyle | October 21, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh.. the the Anti Pot Conservatives are dusting of the Flic...

Marijuana Maddness

...ahhahhahahahhahahahahahhah.....


ISA

Posted by: Issa1 | October 21, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Lane,

Thank you for the thoughtful article. I agree with you that it is time to take the "medical" shield out of the pot equation, and treat it as what it really is, a recreational drug.

My husband and my brother-in-law both started smoking pot around age of 13, my brother-in-law had since moved on to cocaine and heroine, and struggling with school and life ever since (he is 36 now). My husband is still a pot smoker and when we first started dating and living together he didn't smoke everyday. But since his friend mailed him a bong he has been at it every day, sometimes in the morning. Although my husband is an attorney and has a good pay job, he has never achieved the level of success he wants, he blames it on alot of people, including me and his parents. I am at a point where I want to have kids and I am just sick and tired of this habit of his.

I am not against people smoke it every now and then, but everyday? And be self righteous about it just blows my mind. On the top of that, his friends and parents were once pot smoker or presently smoke frequently so they don't see a problem with it. No one recognize that this can develop to an dependency. When people mask dependency with self-righteousness and "medical" properties, it is one big bad episode of social illness.

Can pot be negative to society? absolutely. Is pot a gateway drug? Absolutely. Is pot addictive? Yes, I have seen it and I am dealing with that in my own home right now.

Posted by: nonameindc | October 21, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I think it should be decriminalized, because its about as dangerous as alcohol, which is entirely legal and regulated. But to those who say that smoking anything is "natural", that just doesnt make any sense from a physiological perspective. Your lungs did not evolve for the purpose of inhaling burning substances (of any kind), smoke, and particulates. Those who call it natural must be smoking something.... Oh, right... ;)

Posted by: gorble | October 21, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Sir. you are a insult to everyone, how about you take on something you know something about, like your drunk cocaine sniffing reporters and anchormen.

I would rather my child smoke pot then drink or do other drugs, i hope your son isn't as stupid as you are.

Posted by: Guitardeth | October 21, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

From the article:

but it's no more harmful than other drugs (e.g., alcohol) and impossible to eradicate. On the other hand, I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff.

Peter J. Cohen noted that "medical marijuana" groups have been notably passive about demanding FDA testing and approval for this purported elixir.

But if you believe there is any scientific evidence that smoked marijuana has the multiplicity of therapeutic uses that advocates claim -- well, I've got a bag of oregano I'd like to sell you.


------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, its not only time for a debate about the decriminalization/legalization of all marijuana, its way past time. You should start by educating yourself before you write another article and embarrass yourself with your ignorance in a national forum again. No, marijuana is no more harmful than other drugs. In fact it is far less harmful and causes no real long term health problems and has no side effects. The "pot is a gateway drug" nonsense has long been debunked as the drug warrior myth that it is and your fear is irrational.

Marijuana activists have long been pushing to for more research. One of the biggest idiocies of the drug war has been that it made it near impossible to do such research. And as it is, there is research that marijuana can help with a multitude of conditions and scientifically valid reasons to believe it can help with a host of others. Glaucoma, Aids, MS, and Cancer are the first that come to mind. A good friend of mine had a clinical form of morning sickness when she was pregnant that resulted with her being hospitalized and given nutrients/fluids intravaneously. Smoking pot helped manage her nauseau and keep food down, resulting in a healthy baby. It is a fact that marijuana works on the same neurotransmitters as SSRIS, so its not suprising that many find it useful as a means of handling anxiety and depression- without the plethora of dangers and side effects that come with the latest and greatest from the pharmaceutical industry. There is also growing evidence that marijuana has anti-cancer properties and inhibits tumor growth.

Posted by: tgoglia | October 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The US government has ignored, yes ignored, it's own studies (many) done in the 60's and 70's, that effectively state that MJ is not physically addictive, and can assist with medical issues. Additionally, with the US govn't approval, several drug companies have experimented, and there is a host of ailments that THC (the active drug in MJ) can be used to treat.
Add to this, the hypocrisy of our laws - alcohol and tobacco are actually physically adictive, and cause more deaths.
Also, there have been zero, yes zero, deaths attributed to the use of MJ alone. Zero. How many people have died because of beer? Or tobacco? Or giant cheeseburgers over the course of a life? 44% of the population wants it legalized/decriminalized = this is probably a majority, since 6-10% of any poll goes to 'undecided', or 'dont care', etc.. As far as a gateway drug, no pot dealer deals in coke, heroin, etc.. They just don't. Now maybe a coke dealer will also sell pot, but not the other way around. In the case of MJ being legal, the dealer goes away, and becomes a TAX PAYING business, as opposed to a possible target of raids (which are pricey). People get hired, other people don't have to rely on the street dealers, etc.. This discussion about the war on drugs is stupid - it has failed miserably.

Riddle me this: is everyone who has smoke MJ a criminal? That is a whole lot of people - 150million or more. And that is just the US.

Look at the drug use rate in the Netherlands, where almost all street drugs are readily available. They have less problems percentage wise.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | October 21, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Can pot be negative to society? absolutely.

~~ what cant be negative in some form? Religion, guess again. Food? guess again. etc.

Is pot a gateway drug? Absolutely.

~~ nope, been debunked many times.

Is pot addictive? Yes, I have seen it and I am dealing with that in my own home right now. "

~~ yes, psychologicallly adictive, not physically like: alcohol, coke, herion, tobacco, and other drug-company drugs.

Get your facts straight.

Your husband sounds like he has other issues, not necessarily related to his pot use. Good luck.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | October 21, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Alcohol and cigarettes are both legal and have killed millions of people Worldwide. Never heard of Marijuana ever doing that to anyone. Yet we know the real reasons that those two drugs continue to be leagal is because the government makes to much money on them and they know from past experience that outlawing them won't work either. The Government and States could save millions and millions of dollars by legalizing it. How much are the States paying out on a yearly basis for incarcerated people for Marijuana and not to mention all the drug dealers that would dry up if it was to become legal.

Posted by: TCPatriot | October 21, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

From MAD Magazine about 30 years ago:

"I regret to inform you that the speech that was to be delivered on the evils of drugs by William Zoflink has to be postponed due to the fact that Mr. Zoflink is in the hospital after a 19 day bourbon binge".

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

jak_deth wrote:

In plain words; legalize it, clear the jails of the thousands imprisoned for it and cut the huge prison costs by billions??
-----
That's why it's so difficult to achieve progress on this front. We live in a quasi-police state where police approval is required for everything, and they will not gladly relinquish their power over us. Besides, the corrupt politicians receive campaign money from companies like the Corrections Corp. of America and the Wackenhut Corp., private prison outfits that derive their profits from mass incarceration. Also, the hordes of prosecutors, lawyers, p!ss-testing outfits, and the other pigs with their snouts in the drug-war trough fight change tooth and nail in order to protect their rice bowls. Cannabis prohibition is all about the money, masked by a false veneer of concern for The Children(TM).

Posted by: RichardHode | October 21, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

When former drug czar William Bennet was confronted about his 4 pack a day habit, he said "Well at least I don't have to hit somebody over the head to get the money for my tobacco". Another dumb statement from a conservative. It is because tobacco is legal. What kind of hoops would Mr. Bennet have gone through if suddenly tobacco was illegal? 4 packs a day? He would probably have held up a liquor store. Dumb sh1t.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 21, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please explain to me how inhaling hot smoke into your lungs is
beneficial?
Posted by: orymm13 | October 20, 2009 9:22 PM


It's not....but it IS the politically correct intoxicant of the left.

Posted by: chicago77 | October 21, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line question is, "Are we as a nation better off with people obtaining marijuana from a regulated source or from criminal gangs."

It's multiple choice; anybody want to make a case for the criminal gangs?

Posted by: conservativechristian1976 | October 21, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

And the politically correct intoxicant of the right is a six pack of beer. Seriously, let's just medicate people with concoctions cooked up by billion dollar pharmaceutical giants for depression and anxiety. Have you seen how man ads are running for this crap? Smoke a joint, laugh, have much better sex, get over it. It's the cheapest drug there is, it grows like a weed. In my experience a six pack of beer is much more of a gateway to bad behavior rather than being cemented to the couch because you are laughing your a** off. Enjoy!

Posted by: teeyee | October 21, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I've never smoked pot myself and have no strong stance on legalization.

I have multiple sclerosis. I consider myself lucky that pain has not been one of my symptoms thus far, but I personally know those who've dealt with loads of it. If you've read Montel Williams book _Living Well_, you would know that he's dealt with intense pain as a result of his own MS. (I've never seen an episode of his show; my neurologist says every MS patient he has has read that book.) I hear he smokes marijuana to cope with it and I don't blame him at all.

I've heard stories to the effect of "medical" marijuana is way too easy to get in California. But AIDS patients and the terminally ill, God bless them, aren't the only ones who have been helped by legitimately medical marijuana use.

Posted by: notawaitress | October 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Guess Obama won't just be lighting up Marlboros in the White House now.

Posted by: Jerzy | October 21, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

For all of you who haven't seen "Granny Storm Crow's list- July 2009", here are titles of actual research studies and articles about cannabis. All of these titles, and the links to them, can be found in my list- just run a search for it.

"THC inhibits primary marker of Alzheimer's disease", "Rheumatoid arthritis, Cannabis based medicine eases pain and suppresses disease", "Medical marijuana: study shows that THC slows atherosclerosis", "Blood Pressure Lowered With Cannabis Component", "Cannabis Compound May Stop Metastatic Breast Cancer","Marijuana Ingredients Slow Invasion by Cervical and Lung Cancer Cells", "Cannabis Helps Ulcers And Crohn's Disease", "Active Ingredient In Cannabis Eliminates Morphine Dependence In Rats" (for the "gateway" folks), "Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight MRSA", and "Cannabis May Halt Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis".

I have 120 pages of links to those studies and many more! Are you willing to learn about this amazing medicinal herb? Do you DARE to read the TRUTH? Can you face the scientific FACTS? Run a search and read "Granny Storm Crow's list- July 2009" and just start reading!

You can get your own free copy of my list by emailing me at i.wantgrannyslist(at)greenpassion.org

Cannabis IS medicine! Educate yourself!

Posted by: StormCrow1 | October 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Well after having had to nurse patients, one a 20 year old sister dying from Leukemia, a spouse dying from brain cancer and a number of friends with AIDS the only relief however temporary they found during their journey to the grave was marijuana. Alcohol related deaths either through direct use or otherwise kills more people than all other drugs combined and I don't see anyone trying to bring about prohibition again. Alcohol is associated with multiple adverse health consequences, including liver cirrhosis, various cancers, unintentional injuries, violence and physically addictive. The author of this article would be wise to sit down and smoke a joint, if anyone could use a little relaxation time it's him.

Posted by: davidbronx | October 21, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for honest debate...but are we really saying anything else other than something like the, I have a glass of red wine for medicinal purposes, disclaimer that's been around for so long?

Only now, because we are transitioning out of prohibitions on some substances, you need a permission slip from your doc to make this statement with respect to weed.

Posted by: tmit | October 21, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Ask Brett Farve or Rush Limbaugh how those narcotics worked out. Medicinal marijuana can help aliviate pain without causing the patient to become addicted. The real gateway drugs are prescribed narcotics, such as Vicodin, that ruin peoples lives well after their pain has subsided.

Posted by: sec307 | October 21, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"The "medical marijuana" movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence."

That is a small threat to most.

Posted by: edbyronadams | October 21, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane,

I stopped reading your "opinion" article after I read the words "...Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful." We don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually HARMFUL??? Oh you mean products such as ALCOHOL??? CIGARETTES??? MCDONALDS BIG MACS??? I know you stated that only drugs are tested but it is called the FOOD And Drug Administration, so no further explanation needed. I'm sorry I wasted my time with this article.

Posted by: joshgrzymkowski | October 21, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, some people are cheating the system in CA (and CO). The other 11 states that have legalized, not so much - the laws are much more tightly worded. And given that a majority now support legalization in CA (56-42), who the heck cares?

The medical profile of marijuana is extremely benign relative to alcohol and opiates. This is particularly the case if it is eaten instead of smoked, which of course would be significantly more convenient if the drug were legalized. I've had to take opiates for a back injury before, and given the side effects I would much have preferred to smoke pot if I could achieve the same painkilling effects - which, of course, I couldn't.

The only other arguments against marijuana that I see are increased availability to minors - guess what, surveys show its already just as available as alcohol - and gateway effects. It's true that I did a bit of additional experimentation back in college, but largely as a function of coming into contact with drug dealers and doubting all of the information I had been given as marijuana proved to be relatively innocuous.

To any kids reading: wait until you're 18, and don't do harder drugs. Go to an independent site like erowid, look over people's reported experiences, and draw your own conclusions. Everything harder than pot and alcohol tends to produce a lot of negative life outcomes.

Posted by: Nissl | October 21, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Va will be the last state to legalize Pot, medical or not. Pot sales would take away 10 Percent of cigarette sales.

Posted by: Italiaxxx | October 21, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Although I too would like to see more research done on medical marijuana's benefits, doubting that it has medical properties is a rather odd stance, given that there is plenty of legitimate research avaliable on its effects. By all means, get the FDA involved and turn it into a perscription drug. But its effectiveness at increasing appetites and supressing nausea experienced by terminal patients is well documented.
Other drugs are available for this as well, and I haven't personally seen comparative studies between marijuana and other alternatives, but to call it "snake oil" is a strange claim for a drug which has obvious and observable medical effects. Of course, this is all the more reason it should simply be treated as any other drug, which isn't quite the point of Holder's admittedly unhelpful side-step. The time probably has come for a legitimate national debate on decriminalization, and defacto legalization through the guise of medical marijuana cheapens the idea of its use as a medicine and adds nothing to the debate about its recreational use.

Posted by: jdweeks1 | October 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

My usual comment after someone authors an article like this is, "do you have any idea how many lives Anheuser-Busch and Jack Daniels have taken? How about Phillip-Morris?"

Meanwhile it is illegal for me to grow a plant on my property, cut it down, bring it in my house, and do whatever I personally want to do with it.

Nuts.

If you want to make dealing drugs an issue, I suppose that is one thing. But allow individuals to live their own lives.

Posted by: keithrjackson | October 21, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

How could this subject be an insult? First marijuana is a natural herb. Second, it works on pain, anxiety, and on and on. God gave it to man, man abuses it like he has everything else on this earth. I have used it to cook with and smoke (years ago). Cooking with it and using it in food for me, is the best way to alleviate anxiety for me personally. The pain people experience with different health issues is their pain period, and no one knows how it affects them. The drug manufacturers make tons of money and prescribe drugs with chemical makeup none of us understand. They even advertise on tv some of the possibilities include death. In California where I live in some counties you have always been able to grow and harvest up to I believe it is 6-7 plants for personal use. You sell it however, then you can be prosecuted the same as you would be for selling vicodin or oxycotin. It's all politics and your article is that of someone not really educated on pain and drugs and what we have that already works. I say grow your own and hopefully the drug companies will go out of business.

Posted by: prtyfdup | October 21, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

If smoking pot can lead to the use of hard drugs, than drinking lite beer can lead to daily consumption of 190 proof Everclear. Legalize the thing, tax it and be done with it.

Posted by: jmk55 | October 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Most people in California would go and get a "medical" marijuana card, so they can frequent pot stores to purchase, just want to get high. It's not a complaint, I advocate that, I was one of them myself.

Anyone old enough can get a card for around $150 and your set to go, pass them any reason under the sun.... sniffles, restless leg, I'm sad, my heels hurt when I walk, it's a o.k.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | October 21, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

Most people in California who decide to go and purchase a "medical" marijuana card so they can frequent pot stores and bring home the lavender kush, just want to get high. It's not a complaint, I advocate that, I was one of them myself.

Anyone old enough can get a card for around $150 and your set to go, pass them any reason under the sun.... sniffles, restless leg, I'm sad, my heels hurt when I walk, it's a o.k.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | October 21, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

..."Lane is as out of touch as his article!

..."Not only does he not know what he's talking about, he's wrong on all counts, glad most comments agree with me LANE, your about as right as two left shoes...

Posted by: ztcb41 | October 21, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Talk about insulting our intelligence! Pot is not "no worse" than alcohol. Alcohol is so much worse there's no comparison. Even if you adjust the figures for the number of users, alcohol swamps pot in the number of deaths, injuries, broken homes, lost jobs, abused family members...the list goes on and on.

If you've been around, you know that alcohol is THE gateway drug. Always was - always will be as long as it's legal - or not.

Posted by: st50taw | October 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

""medical marijuana" groups have been notably passive about demanding FDA testing and approval for this purported elixir. Instead, they took their case to the people."
Gee, marijuana groups should ask an arm of the same government that's been supressing and punishing marijuana users for decades whether marijuana has positive uses? Isn't that like asking King George to rule on whether the Stamp Act is fair to the colonists? Sometimes it's appropriate to take the case to the people.

Posted by: etaoin-shrdlu | October 21, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"On the other hand, I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff." - Charles Lane

Yet one could easily argue that both tobacco and/or alcohol are "gateway" drugs to harder stuff. Yet does he bring that up?

"Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market." - Charles Lane

Um, have you seen all the bullsh!t weight-loss pills on the market that aren't FDA approved? Uh yeah, that's what I thought.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Its hard to believe that some people still say that pot has no medical use.I am just shocked when I hear "so called" Medical experts say that the existing "medication" for pain..such as Oxycontin,and other strong pain pills are better for you than pot. I have personally seen lives destroyed over pain medication..you hear stories all the time..pain medication actually causes a physical addiction. Are you kidding me...talk about Insulting our Intelligence. No one is saying that pot has zero effects...everything you do to your body has some effects...If you drink alcohol for long periods your liver is affected..pain pills also effect your liver, and so on. My point is that marijuana (a natural herb that grows in the dirt)does not cause any more side effects than other "medication" In all reality..pot has less side effects than any pain medication. Lastly, I have read that one of the arguments against medical use was that there is no way to control the dosage amount....Well this is laughable to anyone who has ever smoked. Are they trying to convince me that I could overdose on pot?? Do I really even need to go into the numbers of people that overdose on pain meds and alcohol...the biggest Insult is taking away my freedom of choice as a responsible adult and a pot smoker.

Posted by: electriclott | October 21, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"Under California's law, you don't even need a prescription to get pot (which would admittedly have been a problem, since the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency controls who gets a prescription pad, and not many doctors would use theirs to prescribe an illegal drug). All it takes is a "written or oral recommendation" from a physician. " - Charles Lane

Wow, this guy doesn't even know what he's talking about since you DO need a prescription to go into any medical marijuana dispensary. Wow.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 21, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Silvermoon1 - 40% of people do not USE pot. The stat that you are trying to use is an often quoted stat that nearly 40% of Americans have TRIED pot. A 41 year old who smoked pot a few times in college 20 years ago is not a pot USER. Don't distort the facts to try to make your point - it makes your arguement weak.

Posted by: EJ001 | October 21, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If our choices are for it not to be available to those who need OR JUST WANT it except through nefarious sources or to risk people abusing their "green cards," and sharing their medical marijuana with friends or getting it for silly non-disorders, I'll happily take the latter until we can legalize it fully. Honestly, don't we have bigger things to worry about than the "insult to our intelligence" of the medical marijuana argument?

Speaking of which... Lane, you might want to talk to Steve Kubby, author of the proposition which legalized medical marijuana in CA. At the very least, it would lend some balance to your article.

Look. Keeping it out of the hands of those who would use it anyway, legal or illegal, is not a good excuse for taking it away from those who actually DO need it for medical reasons. It's as stupid as banning flavored cigarettes to try to keep them out of the hands of minors. Yeah, THAT's gonna work...

Posted by: cmarbry2 | October 21, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should do some homework prior to stating archaic rhetoric in your reporting. May I suggest "Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids", a recent review of Scientific Literature? Cannabis Science Inc. is working with authorities on phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products targeting critical illnesses. Due to Reefer Madness rhetoric since the 1930's cannabis and it's myriad of cannabinoids have only recently been studied worldwide, papers have been published by respected doctors, scientists, and univesities.To be redundant, all the news that's fit to print requires more than a modicum of research on a complicated subject!

Posted by: cosmo111 | October 21, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Psych1 wrote: "I am a psychologist... people using it for bogus reasons is mind boggling. It is rarely used for AIDS, cancer, MS or other conditions for which its use makes sense."

I can't believe how unsmart you are... calling yourself a psych. How can you be a psych when the peanut in your thick skull is closed shut? What do you study? The behavior of bricks?

You said "it is rarely used for AIDS, cancer, MS or other conditions for which its use makes sense." You clearly have no clue what marijuana is. Yet, you're making all these grand statements.

What's mind-boggling is that someone actually gave you a diploma... for anything.


Posted by: jewishmother | October 21, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

There are too many problems with this article to truly address. However, the key points need to be said. The FDA is not the final word on safety, as proved repeatedly. Countless studies confirm that marijuana as an a guaranteed gateway is more myth than reality. Marijuana proved highly effective as a medicinal treatment, including patients with AIDS, cancer, depression from medications/ cross-reactions. It truly is not worth blowing billion$ more to continue the failed effort to wipe it out. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | October 21, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

WHY NOT FORBID SEXUAL FANTASIES AND ONANISM,
IT CAN BECOME AN ADDICTION...

Posted by: marcelosba | October 21, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The way marijuana got to be illegal was a bunch of conservative southerners conceived the notion that colored men were getting high on the stuff and became sexually perverted on account of being high. These politicians knew that primary users of weed were black. So making pot illegal would not inconvenience high tone white people in the same way as it would inconvenience socially inferior blacks. In the guise of protecting southern white womanhood from the depradations of black men under the influence of reefer, Congress decided to impose a tax on pot, requiring sellers to affix a tax stamp. Conveniently, the government "forgot" to print tax stamps. Any mind-altering drug can be used irresponsibly. Alcohol is legal. Pot is illegal. There is no way to put these two facts side-by-side and reconcile them. Did you know that alcohol is a gateway drug to more dangerous substances such as heroin and cocaine? It is true. I looked it up.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | October 21, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are not averse to seeing your argument applied to opioid painkillers, nitrous oxide, topical analgesics, and the countless other drugs with demonstrated medical benefits as well as a history of abuse.

Since water kills so many irresponsible people, perhaps we should stop extolling its virtues as well.

Posted by: carlaclaws | October 21, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

What is truly amazing is that the Post paid this fool good money to write this bunk. He cites no scientific studies, but he does couch his lies in pseudo-scientific jargon, and fills in the numerous gaps in his "logic" with smug little one-liners. This is hardly even a distant cousin to journalism. The lack of manners and decency that allows him to attack Angel Raich, who is now gravely ill as she continues her battle against cancer, is only matched by his poor grasp of the subject material. Here's a little glimmer of truth for you, Charles Lane, try looking up US patent number 6630507.

Posted by: rastanancy | October 21, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

my gateway drug was tobacco. How many of you remember when you first smoked tobacco (aside from the coughing)? I got higher than a kite for my first 2 or 3 months of smoking tobacco. Then i was addicted and the high went away. Occasional smokers, like Native Americans ceremonials, get a tobacco high every time,

Alcohol is the second big gateway drug. You get high from it (high = tipsy to drunk.) It has the highest social cost of any drug out there ... arrests, harming people, destroying property, physical incompetency (DUI), destroying families and relationships, ... and the list of social costs goes on. The biggest argument against alcohol is that GW Bush was a drunk, (tho i understand he got "clean and sober" several times) and look at the mess he left the country in ... environmentally, economically, diplomatically, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Next, our government has lied about most of the drugs out there: decades of supporting tobacco and alcohol as being (at worst) benign social pastimes; pot is deadly, etc., etc. Knowing these were invented stories, i wanted to check things out for myself. It's what a lot of young'ns do as they get older and seek independence from their parents.... and I was no exception.

Government is finally coming around to the harm caused by alcohol and tobacco, and how benign pot is. I note that Mr Lane is stuck in the past, about 20 to 30 years behind where our government is today on these issues. And the government is 5 to 10 years behind where we're going.

In one sense tho, Marijuana is the most dangerous drug out there: A person can be arrested, thrown in jail for a few years to decades. Such a jailed person then has a legal record that follows and restricts them for the rest of their lives. In this sense, drugs such as coke, alcohol, heroin and tobacco are all less dangerous than pot.

Posted by: thetravelingmasseur | October 21, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

You broke the first rule of reporting Check your facts... Angel will be undergoing surgery this week. She is no hypochondriac. and the facts are easily found. your mis spoken "facts" amounts to slander I demand an apology, and will be calling your superiors tomorrow am.. shame on you. diana dodson

Posted by: diana2030 | October 21, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Sometime back around 1967, marijuana smoking was taken up by white, middle class America. What had been the practice of maybe thousands of people before that time became familiar to millions.

Every year that passed after that year, more and more people started smoking it until you couldn't go anywhere without seeing or smelling it. I can remember people olpenly smoking pot on the LIRR while the conductor punched their tickets. By 1975, it might as well have been legal. The war on drugs drove that activity back into the shadows, but never even made a dent in the numbers.

During all those years, there were endless warnings about all the terrible things that would happen to marijuana users. Everything from men growing breasts to sudden mad urges to become addicted to Heroin.

It's been going on 45 years now, and I'd like to know when we're suppossed to start seeing all the damaged people? Where are the armies of broken wretches, driven mad by the evil weed? Why don't we have millions more Heroin addicts?

Over many years, I've met people from all walks of life that smoke marijiana,, many of them regularly. They've been tax paying, working people who's lives have differed from other Americans only in that they smoke pot. Sure there are trouble makers in society that when arrested, turn out to have marijuana on them. There's also plenty of people in trouble who consume alchohol, should that be banned too?

The government should do the right thing and legalize marijuana for adult use, subject to the same restrictions as alchohol. They should release the thousands of Americans jailed for related offenses. They should also put the money and effort into developing marijuana based medicines that eliminate the intoxication and provide only the relief.

Ridiculous partisan politics are the reason that marijuana stays illegal. The reasons given can always be knocked down like tenpins.

Posted by: fredfawcett | October 21, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

my gateway drug was tobacco. How many of you remember when you first smoked tobacco (aside from the coughing)? I got higher than a kite for my first 2 or 3 months of smoking tobacco. Then i was addicted and the high went away. Occasional smokers, like Native Americans ceremonials, get a tobacco high every time,

Alcohol is the second big gateway drug. You get high from it (high = tipsy to drunk.) It has the highest social cost of any drug out there ... arrests, harming people, destroying property, physical incompetency (DUI), destroying families and relationships, ... and the list of social costs goes on. The biggest argument against alcohol is that GW Bush was a drunk, (tho i understand he got "clean and sober" several times) and look at the mess he left the country in ... environmentally, economically, diplomatically, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Next, our government has lied about most of the drugs out there: decades of supporting tobacco and alcohol as being (at worst) benign social pastimes; pot is deadly, etc., etc. Knowing these were invented stories, i wanted to check things out for myself. It's what a lot of young'ns do as they get older and seek independence from their parents.... and I was no exception.

Government is finally coming around to the harm caused by alcohol and tobacco, and how benign pot is. I note that Mr Lane is stuck in the past, about 20 to 30 years behind where our government is today on these issues. And the government is 5 to 10 years behind where we're going.

In one sense tho, Marijuana is the most dangerous drug out there: A person can be arrested, thrown in jail for a few years to decades. Such a jailed person then has a legal record that follows and restricts them for the rest of their lives. In this sense, drugs such as coke, alcohol, heroin and tobacco are all less dangerous than pot.

Posted by: thetravelingmasseur | October 21, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

HYPOCHONDRIAC? You call yourself a reporter and you don't check your sources? She is having a BRAIN TUMOR removed this week.
http://www.angeljustice.org/img/original/Slide2.jpg
Thank God bloggers are ruining the newspapers and the end of clearcutting to print lies is coming to a close. R.I.P. William Randolph Hearst.

Posted by: andrew_glazier | October 21, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

seeing comments such as "hot smoke into our lungs," and being called a "drug addict" only gets us fired up.

On being called an addict: i'm currently on probation and have happily been able to stop for 6 months. much unlike cocaine and heroin, there is no physical addiction to marijuana, so you bigots can stop calling us addicts. Like someone else said on here: the addiction depends on character, so don't judge the whole lot by the actions of the few.

now, hot smoke? are we all 13 again? tobacco is gross, i know, although i am also a smoker. i, myself, am guilty of asking my boyfriend of brushing his teeth after taking a smoke outside without me. but marijuana smoke? it smells bad in the air (to those who have never smelled it before, because i remember saying that at first), but on one's breath, it's undetectable, almost. please note the almost.

i had extreme social anxieties before smoking pot. now, it's much easier for me to go out in public, having trained myself to be calm under the influence of marijuana. i know that sounds outlandishly silly, but we all have our different stories, don't we?

what i've said has all been said before, but i'd have felt guilty just reading this article and most of the comments and just moved on. in short, let's all just quit being ignorant of one another.

Posted by: bubbacatlove | October 22, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Cannabis should be available over-the-counter. Anything else is a diminution of our liberty as citizens. The writer is ignorant--I would refer him to the recent cover story in Fortune, from which I lifted the following quote:

In the most recent issue of O'Shaughnessy's, one doctor reported that his cannabis patients had either stopped or cut back their use of "analgesics of all kinds [including] Tylenol, aspirin, and opioids; psychotherapeutic agents including anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, anti-panic, obsessive-compulsive, anti-psychotic, and bipolar agents; gastrointestiminal agents including anti-spasmodics and anti-inflammatory medications; migraine preparations; anticonvulsants; appetite stimulants; immuno-modulators and immunosuppressives; muscle relaxants; multiple sclerosis management medications; ophthalmic preparations; sedative and hypnotic agents; and Tourette's syndrome agents."

Posted by: scientist1 | October 22, 2009 4:11 AM | Report abuse


my letter to....... Mr Lane,
Your article on medical marijuana you slandered a very ill woman facing brain surgery. Why you did not check the facts is something only you know.
I demand a retraction and an apology for Angel Raich. For that matter all the sick who use medical marijuana... If you google me you will see I participated in Dr Abrams SF2002 study of medical marijuana and hiv. It proves scientifically that cannabis works for pain. While you list my condition as one "YOU FEEL" qualifies for the relief that cannabis provides, Angels Brain tumors and maladies do not...? I view this article as your bias and your attempt to undermine the President of the United States. You used a very sick and venerable woman to advance your prejudges. with out the usage of cannabis I would vomit the medications I need to survive, I have aids, barretts esophagus, gastritis, gastropersis, IBS. Migraine. peripheral neuropathy, I can not eat with out pain continually every day. Cannabis helps me greatly I believe I would not be alive with out the relief it provides me. I have constant nausea.. some caused by the Aids its self and some caused by side effect from medication I take. and according to you it is ok for me.. Angel has many medical issues as happens with seriously ill people .. medical cannabis is not a ruse for across the board legalization it is to protect the sick and keep them safe from the drug dealers. Shame on you.. I demand you
Apologize to Angel Raich and print a retraction.
diana dodson

Posted by: diana2030 | October 22, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

This entire topic has nothing to do with pot. It has to do with control.

In a Free Country, Who Decides ...

Posted by: freedom_lover | October 22, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

This frees up more DoJ time to stamp out those pesky 1st and 2nd Amendments Holder and Obama dislike so much.

Posted by: eldergent | October 22, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane,
Lame puns are a poor way to make a point. That may work on the uneducated in our country, but that certainly isn't going to work on the rest of us. Just because you can make a pun doesn't mean you are correct. We actually all have this ability. You aren't clever. In fact, I dare say that the majority of those responding to your page can do it better than you because of marijuana.

Now as far as getting to the heart of your problems with marijuana let me say this. We have pain killers for our sick that are FAR more addictive and dangerous than mj. You tell your child "Never smoke weed" but if you take him to get his wisdom teeth removed he will get an opiate that may cause a life-ruining addiction. But that's ok right? Because it was prescribed by doctors you can trust. Did you know that nearly HALF of those who go to the ER for drug overdose are from prescription pills?
How many went to the ER for marijuana? hmm, hard to find that statistic, because there are NONE.
You worry marjuana is a gateway drug, but let me explain this to you as well. The problem now is that some get their mj illegally and the money goes to mexican drug cartels. The reason its a gateway drug is because in order to by weed some have to go to drug dealers that deal in other, more serious drugs instead of walking down to their local pharmacy and discussing it with a professional. Were it legal, it could be prescribed and the money stays in the US and out of the hands of serious criminals. There are no statistics that show marijuana use in and of itself causes anyone to turn to harder drugs. I myself am an excellent example. I don't even smoke cigarettes because they are addictive and unhealthy, but I'm ok with mj. Even alcohol causes more deaths and suffering. When was the last time you saw a stoner beating his wife?
The reason you hate it is pretty transparent. Marijuana opens your mind, which may cause a more liberal point of view. So if that's the case, that's fine with me, because all those conservatives looking for a fix will get hooked on pain pills instead and while they are in rehab, maybe something will actually get done around here.

Posted by: flash3 | October 22, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What an article, Mr. Lane. You clearly show that you know absolutely nothing about the endocrine system and the effects of endocannabinoids. You've also shown your ignorance in comparing it to alcohol, which claims 100,000 lives in the US every year. Marijuana deaths in 10,000 years of use: 0. Marijuana is a proven medicine. It has thousands of years of use. It has been proven to have anti-carcinogenic effects. Let me rephrase that so that you might understand: Marijuana has been PROVEN to PROTECT YOU from cancer. There are studies all over the place. Books, literature, user-feedback, true, raw data and statistics.

Mr. Lane, I suggest you do some real research before embarking in such ignorant propaganda. There is a MAJOR problem with Big Pharma as is, and it's truly sad that you don't see that. You're talking about synthetic drugs that are put together in a lab. Why do you think that's good for you? People like you who think that marijuana should take a back seat to Vicodin or Methadone are simply ignorant. It's ok to take *synthetic heroin*, but using a plant that grows naturally all over the world and works directly on a unique system in our body offering instant relief from symptoms is bad?

Shame on you, Mr. Lane. You're insulting your own intelligence. Please do some research before posting such trash.

Posted by: shaddow | October 22, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

This article is the most insulting thing I've ever read. Mr. Lane has no clue what he is talking about. He cited a NORML survey that doesn't even exist. Marijuana should be treated like all other herbs! None of them have been proven successful by the FDA but if we want to, we can use them as medicine. To call everyone using medical marijuana a fraud is insulting. Thank god most people see through the crap this idiot writes.

Posted by: johnnybrows_24 | October 22, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Since when does the Washington Post
uses a mentally retarded columnist to write articles. I guess they are trying to cut cost and it shows. Poor Mr.Lane, I am sorry for you if you loose your job.

Posted by: bb54 | October 22, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

This columnist has an IQ lower than the ham and cheese sandwich I just ate for lunch. You cite non-existent studies, you use no logic to back up your article, you contradict yourself, and none of the points you make are really of any value. How much does this idiot get paid? If he can get a job writing crap like this in an economy like ours; maybe I picked the wrong industry to be in.

Posted by: un4m3d4 | October 22, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Cannabis must never be legalized. It will be close to impossible to patent or license.Merging drug delivery technologies cannot abide with this situation. For currently marketed products,reformulations with new delivery technologies will extend the period of patent protection. New formulas will be key to boosting sales volume of large molecule products in chronic diseases whether effective or not. In R&D pipelines, novel applications of delivery technologies will expose new methods to reformulate discontinued drugs and mask their unfavourable effects, expanding the market. We are talking real money here at stake. Support your local Pharmaceutical Corporation. Keep your kids off drugs, except of coarse Ritalin, Prozac etc.Ask your Doctor, and keep the stockholders happy. P.S Build more Private Prisons (they've got stockholders too) The New American way.

Posted by: Dude23 | October 22, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane I have treated, and cured 4 skin cancer lesions on my head, neck, and face with cannabis oil. PLEASE investigate before you report. You obviously have no idea just how far from the truth you are.

Posted by: jetpilot187 | October 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post, I am ashamed of you for allowing this garbage. Why would you let this person write an article based on lies, propaganda, and pure ignorance? Do you have a secret agenda? This article reflects The Washington Post's integrity as a whole. Why would you let this man mock. "no more harmful than other drugs"... correct. more appropriate term would be "significantly better for you than all other drugs." Alcohol should not even be mentioned when speaking about Marijuana. Alcohol kills people, tears families apart, causes violence, physical dependency that can lead to death from overindulgence or death from lack of the drug. Have you ever heard any of this happening with Marijuana? Oh wait I forgot... I bet you are also scared that Marijuana will make your white female family members "have sex with Negro Jazz musicians." Get a clue before you spew ignorance to a well-informed culture. Mr. Lane I hope you are ashamed of yourself as well. If medical marijuana has no effect then why would the FDA allow Marinol, the synthetic THC pill,( PATENTED BY A DRUG COMPANY), come into the drug market? I bet you also think it is safer to use oxycontin for pain relief than Marijuana. You my friend are ignorant for sure. I am so sorry that your children have to grown up with someone that will feed them lies and ignorance. Yes it is okay to have your opinion... but to speak lies as truth to give your opinion credibility only makes you look like an ass and gives you less credibility. I am outraged and highly disappointed. This is the kind of ignorance that breeds more uninformed ignorance. You are furthering the De-evolution of humanity. You are plain ignorant. I'm sorry.

Posted by: brmccon685 | October 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

...."The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) of The U.S. Constitution; which is part of The Bill Of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791."

...."The Tenth Amendment restates The Constitution's principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or the people."

...."Apparently The Bush Administration slept through the class."

...."Luckily The Obama Administration knows better than to meddle in INTRA-STATE commerce."

Very well said indeed nezzo69.

Now, if I could just find out how these individuals disappear into thin air year after year, as they continually escape Utah's Death Penalty for such a crime.

$3M and two (2) $6M crops so far this year here in the hemp-country of the good 'ole U.S. of A's.

I study the word of law and I believe respectfully The Constitution supports the 'popular will' of the majority to rule.

Mr. Lane you are a disgrace to Americans' First Amendment Right to Freedom Of The Press.

Posted by: Utah2 | October 22, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the author believes that medications are only valid if they're used exclusively for life-threatening illnesses. That seems to be the big thing he's harping on with Angel Reich's case -- her tumor is benign, her other conditions are uncomfortable... Only her weight loss is actually life threatening.

May we assume the author prefers to suffer through headaches, tooth pulls, minor surgeries, bone breakages and all his other non-life-threatening discomforts without using anything to ease the symptoms? Because if not, he's a hypocrite.

Marijuana's illegal, is that it? Yeah, so is codeine without a prescription. So is morphine without a prescription. Both are used to treat pain, EVEN IN NON-LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS.

Yes, there's flagrant abuse of it in CA, which seemed to be the point of your article. Yet you failed to discuss that adequately, instead choosing to attack Angel Reich who is NOT abusing it.

Posted by: cmarbry2 | October 22, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow, sir, your article simply highlights your own ignorance on the topic.

Posted by: policyminion | October 22, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

This article is an insult to my intelligence.

I was in an extremely bad car crash 16 years ago. After the wreck I ended up with a broken back, broken arm, and torn nerves in my right shoulder. This has left me with constant neuropathic pain, even to this day. I was on Oxycodone for years until a friend of mine smoked some Marijuana with me. The pain just melts away within seconds of taking a hit.

I have never heard of any negative effects from anyone that uses marijuana, short or long term. That can't be said for most FDA prescription drugs. I live in Oklahoma, which has strict Marijuana laws. I wish they would just legalize Marijuana, I'm not a criminal. What is the justification for the prohibition of cannabis?

Posted by: icezizim | October 22, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane,
I was sole caregiver for my 89 year old mother. She suffered from so many terrible ailments, including breast cancer, stroke, grave's disease, peripheral neuropathy, spinal stenosis, as well as degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis.

I know for a fact, that that ONLY thing that gave her any relief from her horrendous suffering was medical marijuana. Please don't tell me there are legal drugs which work better. There are not!. She was prescribed over 30 different pharmaceutical drugs, and none of them helped her. In fact, half of them were prescribed to combat the side effects of the other half!

Until you have actual experience in this matter, please reserve your judgement. People's lives are cruelly impacted every single day by our draconian drug laws. Thank God the Obama Administration is pulling back on the horrible prosecution and harassment of those whose only crime is trying to help themselves when our medical system has failed them.

Ask yourself this: Why are pharmaceutical companies so hell bent on keeping medical marijuana illegal? Do you really think it is because they actually care about the public welfare?

Posted by: brinnananda | October 22, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

To be completely honest, I think this is the worst piece of writing I have ever read about marijuana. Beyond that, it's one of the worst pieces of reporting in general--blatant lies and misinformation, citation of non-existent surveys, treating the authors own juvenile, ignorant position as legitimate...there's so little truth to this article it's embarassing; a testament to the pathetic state of mainstream reporting. Charles Lane should be ashamed. He should also, held to standards, be fired. I'm truly shocked (and slightly terrified) that the Washington Post would publish this.

There's too much wrong in this article to be corrected by comments; anyone curious should simply visit the website of NORML and become educated about the issue--something Lane clearly never bothered to do.

Again, this is an embarrasing and pathetic piece of writing. Shame on Lane; this wouldn't pass as a high school assignment. I've read esssays from sixth graders with more depth and intelligence.

Posted by: RobJeffrey | October 22, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Half the comments about this article are written far better than the article itself. This piece of "journalism" is filled with jokes and disrespectful insults. Lane obviously has no idea what the benefits of marijuana are. He doesn't even have much support for why he's against it. I am amazed and a little curious as to why the Post would allow this article onto its website. The lack of knowledge and research done for this topic is only an insult to your own intelligence, Lane. But fortunately for you, you would likely be able to write a proper article about why medical marijuana should be legalized with all the information from the comment-writers kindly trying to show you the errors of your ways.

Posted by: RobinDB | October 22, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

One of Lane's main arguments is related to the fact that marijuana has had little research done on it. He fails to mention though, that it is almost impossible to study a drug labeled as Schedule 1 in the US, as marijuana is.

Posted by: maxwellwalt | October 22, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I am tired of being a criminal because of these people.

I am tired of being persecuted by the American government.

I am tired of being stereotyped by the media.

I am tired of being humiliated by the entertainment industry.

I am tired of being exploited by the prison industry.

I am tired of being excluded as fellow citizens in other states use marijuana legally.

I am tired of being ridiculed by non users with false facts.

I am tired of being blamed for other users mistakes.

I am tired of being accused of being immoral compared to someone elses standards.

I am tired of being a prisoner of everyones drug war profits.

And last but not least I am tired of people exactly like you Lane.

Posted by: gbaypack10 | October 22, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

For those that are calling medical marijuana users pot heads SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!! You have absoluely no idea and dont know the first thing about hemp. As a matter of fact marijuana was grown by our very own founding fathers, her is a quick history of marijuana for those that are too ignorant to do alittle research

It was LEGAL TO PAY TAXES WITH HEMP in America from 1631 until the early 1900s; LA Times, August 12, 1981.
*

REFUSING TO GROW HEMP in America during the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries WAS AGAINST THE LAW! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769; Hemp in Colonial Virginia, G. M. Herdon.
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George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers GREW HEMP; Washington and Jefferson Diaries. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.
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Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow's export to England; Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer.
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For thousands of years, 90% of all ships' sails and rope were made from hemp. The word 'canvas' is Dutch for hemp; Webster's New World Dictionary.
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80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc. were made from hemp until the 1820s with the introduction of the cotton gin.
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The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross's flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp; U.S. Government Archives.
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The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th Century; State Archives.
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Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 8000 years in Persia. Hemp industrialization began 5000 years ago in Central Asia and North Africa, in ancient Persia, China and Egypt.
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In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs; Department of Agriculture.
*

Henry Ford's first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, 'grown from the soil,' had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941.

In the 1930s, innovations in farm machinery would have caused an industrial revolution when applied to hemp. This single resource could have created millions of new jobs generating thousands of quality products. Hemp, if not made illegal, would have brought America out of the Great Depression.

Posted by: allankooiman | October 23, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

With medical cannabis coming to DC later this year perhaps Mr. lane will have the opportunity to actually meet some patients face to face. It's almost amusing how all but the most egregiously evil bastards end up having a complete change of heart once they meet a few patients and actually understand that they're human beings who are suffering, and that they're getting very real relief from medical cannabis.

I for one am looking forward to the implementation of Initiative 59 in the District, and am glad for the relief that patients will be able to obtain in a reliable, safe setting. No longer will we murder paraplegics in the DC jail because they had the nerve to use cannabis to relieve their suffering.

It is cruel and inhuman to deny people relief, or to come between them and their doctors. The red herring argument that getting the law passed by referendum is somehow flawed is nonsense. The laws do not require doctors to recommend cannabis. The laws can only forbid them from doing so, replacing the judgment of politicians for those of medical professionals.

Get off your high horse Mr. Lane. There's plenty o' scientific evidence that medical cannabis is efficacious. Your position is simply not founded in reality.

Posted by: bpayne2 | October 23, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

"Usually, drugs have to pass exacting testing by the Food and Drug Administration before they go on the market. There's a good reason for this: we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful"

Have you even checked the side effects of some FDA approved drugs? There was just an advair ad on tv and at the end it said that it may increase the risk of asthma related death. Does that not sound "actually harmful" to you?

Posted by: rmbartrop | October 23, 2009 5:37 AM | Report abuse

6,000 people were murdered by the cartels last year to protect their drug incomes. Many of their victims were children, police officers and politicians.

We've got to END these murders! And undercutting the cartel's marijuana prices is the ONLY way to achieve this! According to the ONDCP two-thirds of the cartel's incomes come from selling marijuana in the U.S.

Don't assist the cartels with your silence - demand legalization now!

Posted by: jway86 | October 23, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Why does the Washington Post publish this sort of tripe? Over 99.99% of the commentary is aware of Mr Lane's stupidity. Learn from it WP. Leave the BS to the WashTimes.

Posted by: RedGreen1 | October 23, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Your commenters don't need the facts as te minds are already made a decision based up my desires.

Posted by: ZebZ | October 23, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank heavens for the world-wide web (WWW) to expose' Mary Jane's justice stance today.

American Red Cross is established for a very good reason so why can't our system oversee medical attributes to people as another peaceful manner of service.

Tomorrow would be a mighty fine day for that I believe.

The industry side of weed can no longer be ignored neither, we Farmers in America want to do our birth-given jobs!

This corruption needs to stop (yesterday).

I hope no one minds, but I feel the need to say, "Amen."

Posted by: Utah2 | October 23, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Party Heartily!

Posted by: Utah2 | October 23, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

You really think that the drugs that pass testing by the Food and Drug Administration are safe? Do you ever look at the long list of side effects? In my opinion, one of the major reasons for FDA approval is to keep products that are not part of the pharma industry (who pays for their approval many times) out of the market - like medical marijuana and natural herbs like lobelia and chapparel. You say "we don't want people spending money on products that might be ineffective or actually harmful", yet those drugs are more harmful than the natural plant called Cannabis. Your "snake oil -- sorry, "medical marijuana" even without the so-called purity controls is much more safe and effective than pharmaceutical drugs.

Many people sedate themselves with substances sold the over the counter, like alcohol (which has no limit to how much you can buy), cold medications, etc. Mix the two of those together and you have one lethal coctail. Not to mention the liver damage. AND THAT IS LEGAL.

So I guess you condone this over people who smoke cannabis to get relaxed and happy, just because it is approved by the FDA and legal?

Maybe you should loosen up a bit and stop being to "correct" Things change with time and hopefully we humans learn from the past and can change things which are outdated. Like your point of view.

Posted by: healthyherbi | October 23, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It seems funny you would leave out her cancer. Its a wonder that you have a job at all. This woman is scheduled for surgery on her brain Wednesday, and you don't have the sense to use your brain and wait until after her life-threatening surgery; to print your mindless, uneducated drivel. For the record, I have never used cannabis; and don't intend on it. If it relieves some of her symptoms; then so be it. Your thoughts on her choice of doctors; is flawed. Of course she would use a doctor who supports the use of cannabis. Its common sense!!-MAN, YOUR ATTACK ON THIS WOMAN WAS NOT ONLY UNPREPARED BUT INACCURATE. THEY HAVE THIS THING CALLED GOOGLE...TRY RESEACH-IT WORKS

Posted by: 112968 | October 23, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I am not a drugie just because I benifit from the use of cannabis for my illness. I did not ask for Ms and the other illness nor do I wish to have these challenges I face on a daily basic due to these illness. I did not ask not to work for the 10 years that I have not worked due to this illness and i resent anyone calling a cannabis patient a drugie. Nor am I a criminal just because I decided to grow my own under the laws of my state, nor am I a criminal under the federal government whom provides cannabis across the USA.. Our government and our state afficials need to go by the will of the people whom put them into the seats that they are sitting in now. Its bad enough that your taking away from the people to fill the pockets of the big corporations, and banks that we, the people still are suffering and having our jobs taken away, our homes due to the banking greed for low income qualifications living on disability whom already have homes, but due to circumstances they refuse to work with us so they take our homes away from us, our educational tools taken from our students, and health care that is only for the workers to enjoy. But the sick and dying citizens whom worked for years are getting the short stick of this, and the programs are being taken from us and the high cost of living just gets highter and higher.. Stop the greed!
Our State afficials and law enfocement agencies need to uphold the laws when it comes to the medical benifits of cannabis. And they refuse to provide safe access to the sick and dying citizens concerning the laws provided to the people whom benifit under the recomendation from their doctors!
I am tired of this. I am a voter and I am a responsible person that happens to have an illness that is not going to get better.
All I ask is stop arresting patients that are ligit under the laws of the State. And start upholding these laws, just because the law enforcemtn don't like this law doesn't give them the right to abuse it .
California law enfocement and the board of supervisiers in each county need to uphold the laws of their state. We do, why not them.

Posted by: lovey482003 | October 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Everyone has a right to their opions, but when you speak on this issue, that most do not understand unless your in our shoes, we have a choice to use what works for us, under the care of our doctors. I am not for legalization, but i am for the use of cannaibis for medical purposes and I so wish that our government and our State can get a grip on what is happening here on this issue. Now its more political then medical.. why do I have to suffer due to a plant that helps me live somewhat a life without being drugged up from pharmacuticles that just kill my other body parts inside under a recomendation from my doctor? . Why do I have to be forced to be procecuted all for uphold a law that allows the use of cannabis? I surely do benifit from this plant.
I have been against any kind of drug use for more than 30 years and have spoken against it but when i got terribly ill and the pharmacuticles kept me in the pit for years, cannabis has given me a new light.
I rather live my life and use cannabis than be druged up by pharmacuticles that had given me damage to my liver, and other organs..I know from experience that this cannabis plant works for me, when all else failed. I am a grandmother of 6 beautiful children and my children still love me no matter what.. Education is the key, acceptance and the will of the people per the USA constitution and CA constitution.
Just because the laws are in effect, doesn't make you better than me and the others whom are really suffering due to their illness. Just becuse you have a few bad apples in the bunch doesn't make it bad for the rest of us.. I accept cannabis, it works.

Posted by: lovey482003 | October 23, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

END THE WAR ON DRUGS!!! THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, OR ANY GOVERNMENT FOR THAT MATTER SHOULD NEVER HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT THE PEOPLE DO TO THEMSELVES, WHETHER BENEFICIAL OR HARMFUL!!! LOCKING UP AND RUINING THE LIVES OF HARD-WORKING AMERICANS CAN NO LONGER CONTINUE!!! WE, THE PEOPLE, NEED TO COMMUNICATE THIS MESSAGE TO OUR GOVERNMENT AND LET THEM KNOW WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY WHERE LAWS ARE BASED ON THE INTENT TO PROTECT OUR SOCIETY!!!! WE ARE NOT ELECTING LEADERS TO A FASCIST GOVERNMENT THAT BELIEVES IT CAN REGULATE THE CITIZENS AND THEIR ACTIONS!!!

Posted by: headmitten92 | October 23, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

this article is so stupid i spend 5 minutes getting a account here just to tell you it. First of all the FDA can not preform tests on cannabis because the DEA has all rights to the resorceful plant. there are many scientific studies proving that cannabis is perfectly safe, non-addictive, and (most important point to this ridiculous article) how well it works as medicine.
granted some people use medical marijuana as a means of getting high, but is that worse than destroying there liver or lungs with alcohol or tobacco? no. watch "the union the business behind getting high" it is a very good documentary about cannabis. also until you know the fact don't go on a public forum lying about the benefits of cannabis...you should be ashamed of yourself for lying to these good people

Posted by: demourmcgee | October 24, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious from the vast majority of these posts that, on this occasion, the post blew it...not just blew it, you screwed up, to put it mildly..and I am a longtime fan.

As a highly decorated Vietnam helicopter pilot, I do not care about FDA approval. What I do care about is that, for the first time in over three years, I am functioning normally.

What convinced me that you were wrong sir, was the near total relief from what my brain had perceived for over three as a constant backache from severe degenerative disc disease complicated by facet arthritis..a backache that had failed to respond to epidural steriods, Viox, Celebrex, myocardial branch blocks, various opiods, tens units and nearly $60,000 paid by my insurance company to Duke University Pain Clinics for these treatments.

Mr Lane, as Rhett said to Scarlett in that old movie, "frankly my dear (SIR), I don't give a damn" whether or not you believe it has relieved my pain, I, only care that I believe it has relieved my pain.

Posted by: perrythepilot | October 25, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

The federal government has OUTLAWED doctors from prescribing medcines they KNOW would help!

LANE IS A MORON
LANE IS A MORON
LANE IS A MORON
LANE IS A MORON
LANE IS A MORON

AD INFINITUM

Lane has been brainwashed by the government 'fear factor'

Posted by: phillydrifter1 | October 26, 2009 4:24 AM | Report abuse

LANE IS AN INSULT TO *MY* SPECIES

Posted by: phillydrifter1 | October 26, 2009 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Lane just got his donkey handed to him by publishing this article. Lane, say goodbye to WashPo. WashPo, say goodbye to your incompetent adjunct 'reporter,' Lane.

Posted by: phillydrifter1 | October 26, 2009 4:32 AM | Report abuse

and that stupid, smug smile on his stupid face.

Posted by: phillydrifter1 | October 26, 2009 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Here another insult to our intelligence:

Tooele County Utah Sheriff Frank Park is quoted as saying the following regarding the MYSTERIOUS MULTI-MILLLION YEARLY HEMP CROPS, i.e., OPHIR, UTAH IN AUGUST.

Garfield County Utah has had two this year.

Frank says the suspects are able to just hide so well in the bushes that the cops are probably just walking right by them.

Hearty har-har; I thought that's what their damn dogs are trained for - oh no wait.....perhaps the dogs are just trained for fun these good 'ole boys and girls have all the time.

Tooele Transcript won't even dare let Wendy post on their local blog!

Everyone check out the $59M Ponzi Scheme going on right now in Salt Lake City.

I read how dear 'ole Mark Shurtleff says regarding this topic, "unfortunately, most of the stuff is already sold off before they can investigate."

Mr. Lane, you can make it up to us now and help expose' the Mormon's legitimate drug culture right here in good 'ole Utah. Amen.

Posted by: Utah2 | October 26, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Lane,

You are a turd and a joke.

You write as if we are to believe that you are an "objective journalist", and we are to believe your propaganda. No doubt your piece is funded by big Pharma or the FDA, which is also a joke and a corporate power seeking institution. Your 12 year old kid must look at his father and lauqh behind your back, it's so easy to see your self deception.

Mr.Lane you are pathetic.

Posted by: intatee | October 27, 2009 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Angel Raich is presently undergoing surgery to remove her brain tumor. You forgot to mention her severe allergic reactions to other drug alternatives while you were minimizing her life-threatening condition. How would you like to have your head cut open today and your drug options so severely limited?

Posted by: dianalynn1 | October 28, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Some good news for Charles Lane: Angel is reported to have survived surgery today. If you haven't done so already, you can still apologize for your scandalous and imho possibly libelous personal attack against her.

Posted by: dmcvay | October 28, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lanes I think that your perspective is too close minded.. and the fact that you say that "'The "medical marijuana' movement may not be a threat to our civilization, but it is an insult to our intelligence," is just way too extreme. Have you ever had a relative or someone you really care about being in such pain that herbs have been their only sort of relief? Quite frankly it looks like somebody did brainwash you into believing such things,what you are saying is outrageous... you should take a look at people who are actually suffering from terminal illnesses and if you were to be in their situation I am more than certain that you would change your mind. And what's up with you mentioning your 12-year old child in this editorial? do you have pending issues to discuss with him about marijuana or something of that nature? you should not expose your family's issues to millions of people; we as readers don't care about your personal issues. I think that you should seriously reconsider your perspective; after all, do you really think that all people are wrong? Otherwise the comments you had had in your blog would be only compliments.

Posted by: shirleyjamorales | October 28, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I think people who have never had an illness or severe pain have no clue. I also think politicians who are in the pockets of healthcare and pharmas are there because of the huge money contributions they give. If they vote for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, they lose the money. I have to take 7 different prescriptions for my illness. I have to deal with all the side effects of those meds. And after taking the same dose for over 2 years, they dont work so good anymore, but when I tell the doctors, they look at me like I am a drug seeking addict. THEY put me on them! And it is in the paperwork THEY gave me that after awhile, the dose will have to be changed. I know from one of my docs that there has been positive proof that marijuana works for pain, sleep disorders, stress, depression, and countless other things. But no, I can't use marijuana without constantly being afraid of getting arrested and thrown in prison for a few years. I mean, the police have done it to many sick people who were only trying to live their life pain free. Obama said he was going to do something about it, and he has talked some about making the DEA back off from raiding places ok'd by the states that allow medical marijuana. Why can't all states allow it? The answer is all that money the politicians will lose. They don't care about us. Govenor Lynch just helped to down a bill in New Hampshire, and before he did, there were 15 sick people who asked to talk to him about their situations and why Mary helps them live a more productive life, and has NO side effects like the crap (poison) the docs are prescribing us. He REFUSED to see them! I wonder why? He probably did not want to see them and hear the truth that test after test after test verifies. Marijuana works medically. Someday what Nixon did will be changed, I just hope it is in my lifetime. I hope that we get enough doctors to stand up against the industry. Thanks for reading, Tracy

Posted by: medmarihelps | October 29, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey idiot do some research prior to writing an article. Didn't Bill Clinton's surgeon general endorse the medical aspect of marijuana!!! she was then fired because it went against DEA policy. Marijuana has been used as medicine for over 3000 years. So go pick up your paycheck from the drug companies and drink your handle of Jim Beam.

Posted by: VGOGHEDGE | October 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

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