- Published on 04 June 2014
- Written by Rob Ryan
Our opposition, the prohibitionist are urging our Senators to exclude the Pro-Marijuana Amendments and gut Congress's decision to defund the DEA from raiding states that have passed medical marijuana laws. It is our duty to respond and urge our United States Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown to support the recent House decision. We cannot let this moment pass without speaking up.
I have included my own letter to Portman and Brown. Note it is best not to use the form letter, so if you do use a from letter customize it and make it personal.
Also please send a letter of thanks to those Congressman who voted for the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to the Department of Justice's budget and an opposite letter to those who voted NO! At the very end of this email I included a list of Ohio Congressional representatives and their vote on this important vote.
President, Ohio NORML
Working to legalize marijuana in Ohio
Now is the time to act and end marijuana prohibition.
-------My letter to Portman and Brown---------
I ask you to support the House's decision to stop the Department of Justice from using federal funds to undermine state laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana.
This issue is important to me personally. I have survived three cancers in my life. Marijuana has helped me during the brutal chemo rounds that I went thru for the greater part of the year. Note I had my oncologist full support using marijuana.
This amendment would save significant tax dollars, curb federal overreach in areas traditionally reserved for the states, and protect states' rights to choose how to regulate medical marijuana without fear of federal interference.
It is time to recognize the facts that marijuana is not deadly, addictive and with no medical use as defined by current United States and Ohio Law.
Blue Ash, Ohio
Your Senator Contact Info
Sen. Sherrod Brown
HSOB- Hart Senate Office Building, Room 713
120 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington DC 20510-3505
Sen. Rob Portman
RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building, Room 448
2 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington DC 20510-3506
NORML FORM Letter
- Published on 24 May 2014
- Written by Paul Armentano,deputy director of NORML
By any objective analysis, cannabis and cannabinoids exceed the FDA’s existing standards for medicine. Medical cannabis opponents are fond of promoting many myths and misconceptions about the herb. Here are the facts.
1-Medical cannabis is too dangerous to recommend as a medicine
The cannabis plant and its biologically active constituents, known as cannabinoids, possess an impressive safety profile compared to other conventional therapeutic agents. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, marijuana possesses an estimated dependence liability of less than ten percent. (Others have acknowledged that pot’s true dependence potential is likely even lower.) This percentage is approximately the same as anxiolytic drugs like Xanax and Valium and far lower than that of many other licit prescription drugs or recreational substances, like alcohol (15 percent) and tobacco (32 percent).
Moreover, unlike the active compounds in many conventional prescription medicines, cannabinoids are relatively non-toxic to fully developed healthy cells and organs. Cannabis also possesses no lethal overdose potential. As acknowledged by no less than the DEA’s own administrative law judge, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
2-Medical marijuana hasn’t yet been subjected to adequate scientific study
Cannabis possesses a far longer history of human use as a safe and effective therapeutic agent than virtually any comparable substance. Archeologists have identifiedcannabis-based textiles dating to 7,000 B.C. in northern China and the plant's use as a medicinal and agent date back nearly as far. For example, in 2008, archeologists in Central Asia discovered over two pounds of cannabis buried in the 2,700-year-old grave of an ancient mummified shaman. After conducting extensive testing on the material's potency, researchers affirmed, "[T]he most probable conclusion ... is that [ancient] culture[s] cultivated cannabis for pharmaceutical, psychoactive, and divinatory purposes."
In addition, the marijuana plant is also one of the most studied biologically active substances of modern times. A search on PubMed, the repository for all peer-reviewed scientific papers, using the term “marijuana” yields nearly 20,000 scientific papers referencing the plant and/or its constituents, nearly half of which have been published just within the past decade. By comparison, a keyword search using the term “Tylenol” yields 17,370 published papers. A keyword search using the term “ibuprofen’ yields 10,500 published paper. A keyword search using the term “Ritalin” yields 7,012 published papers, and a keyword search using the term “hydrocodone” yields only 630 published papers.
3-There aren’t sufficient clinical trials evaluating pot’s safety and efficacy as a medicine
More than 100 controlled trials, involving thousands of subjects, have evaluated the safety and efficacy of cannabis and/or individual cannabinoids. Most recently, a review of FDA-approved pot trials conducted by various California Universities concluded, “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification (for cannabis) is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”
This body of clinical evidence exceeds that of many FDA-approved prescription drugs. According to a 2014 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of the 188 novel therapeutic agents approved by the FDA between the years 2005 to 2012, “The median number of pivotal trials per indication was two [and] 74 indications (37%) were approved on the basis of a single trial.”
4-No major medical or health organizations support medical marijuana access
- Published on 27 April 2014
- Written by Paul Armentano,
Why do prohibitionists keep pushing lies about legal weed?
Those opposed to the legalization and regulation of marijuana for any purpose, including the plant’s therapeutic use when authorized by a physician, often allege that the adoption of such laws will result in a significant increase in pot use by young people.
“The damage of marijuana—and these laws—is clear,” claims David Evans, executive director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition, in a recent open letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder and DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. “Legalization of marijuana for ‘medical’ use and recreational use in those states has resulted in more marijuana use, particularly among young people.”
Adds Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Project SAM and a former senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (aka the Drug Czar’s office), “Research shows that residents of states with medical marijuana laws have abuse and dependence rates almost twice as high as states with no such laws, and teen use rates are significantly higher in states with medical marijuana laws compared to other states. Moreover, youth perception rates of the harmful effects of marijuana have significantly decreased in states that have legalized medical marijuana.”
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? It's supposed to. But here’s the reality check: virtually every study to evaluate the potential impact of these laws on teen use rates proves these claims to be woefully false.
The most recent peer-reviewed smackdown of this stock prohibitionist claim appears online this month in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University assessed the impact of medical cannabis laws over a 20-year period by examining trends in self-reported drug use by high schoolers in a cohort of states before and after legalization. Investigators compared these trends to geographically matched states that had not adopted medical marijuana access laws during this time.
Here’s what they found. “[O]ur study of self-reported marijuana use by adolescents in states with a medical marijuana policy compared with a sample of geographically similar states without a policy does not demonstrate increases in marijuana use among high school students that may be attributed to the policies.” In fact, researchers determined that in some regions of the country, the adoption of medical cannabis laws was associated with decreased cannabis use by young people, a finding that led the authors to acknowledge, “[C]oncerns about ‘sending the wrong message’ may have been overblown.”
They concluded, “Our study suggests that… the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes has not increased adolescent marijuana use, a finding supported by a growing body of literature.”