Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Minnesota Governor Thinks Terminally Ill Medical Marijuana Patients Should be Arrested

Last week Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) vetoed a medical marijuana bill that would have protected terminally ill patients - despite the bill passing the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives

The bill was watered down to help ease concerns that the governor had about the bill. Ultimately, the House decided to narrow it down to only protect those that are terminally ill from being arrested for using marijuana to relieve pain and suffering.

Astonishingly, Pawlenty didn't think that even terminally ill Minnesota citizens should be spared from prosecution for using marijuana.
“While I am sympathetic to those dealing with end-of-life illnesses and accompanying pain, I stand with law enforcement in opposition to this legislation,” Pawlenty said in his veto letter.
Sympathetic? How could you be sympathetic and then decide that dying people should be arrested and even jailed just because law enforcement officials want to arrest them? This is some seriously pathetic stuff here folks. This isn't California's medical marijuana legislation. Again - this bill would have only protected terminally ill people from arrest.

Here is an example of the people that Minnesota law enforcement and Gov. Pawlenty feel should be arrested for using marijuana:

Joni Whiting, whose testimony of finding marijuana for her dying daughter brought tears to many legislators’ eyes, had harsh words for Pawlenty.

“The governor thinks I’m a criminal for allowing my daughter some comfort during the last months of her life,” she said. “I don’t know how he sleeps at night, but I do know I’m not giving up until others in my daughter’s situation are protected.”

The fight isn't over though. SSDP has started new chapters in MN this year and we expect to see even more come September.
“Since the governor has refused to listen to reason or to the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans, we have no choice but to bypass him and take this directly to the people through a constitutional amendment,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing.
MN polls show that over 60% of MN residents supported the bill. Instead of allowing common sense legislation to take place - legislation that would have been the country's most restrictive medical marijuana bill - Pawlenty just made himself look like a heartless, nonsensical demagogue and I don't think it will be too long until we see medical marijuana in MN.


Anonymous said...

The Minnesota Medical Marijuana Bill should have been vetoed. Not because marijuana use is dangerous, quite the contrary, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest, most therapeutically active substances known to man."-Francis L Young, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, 1988. From personal experience I can tell you that Marinol is totally ineffective for chronic nausea, vomiting and wasting syndrome. Inhaled Marijuana Vapors is the safest, most efficient form of cannabinoid delivery. Vaporizing gives you control of the heat, thus giving you control of what chemicals are released from the marijuana plant while eliminating all tars, carcenigens and other smoking related health risks. Inhaled Marijuana Vapors gives safe, immediate and effective relief from chronic nausea and vomiting and is much easier to titrate ones dose. This unique quality can only be claimed by Marijuana. Proof: I suffer from Diabetic Neuropathic Gastroparesis (paralyzed stomach.) Symptoms are chronic nausea, vomiting and wasting syndrome. The best relief my Gastric Specialist can offer me is Reglan/Metoclopramide, Medical Marijuana is illegal in my state. As he handed me my Reglan prescription my doctor said, "Do not take Reglan on a regular basis for it causes irreversible Parkinson like shakes and tremors." A common side effect, if used daily, which is what I need, but I do not need another lifelong disease. It also causes "Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome" though rarer it is fatal. Gov Pawlenty is forcing thousands of patients like me to suffer needlessly and take prescription drugs that are worse than the disease. That is cruel and sadistically insane behavior folks. Not only should a new bill be written with more realistic patient coverage, Gov Pawlenty should be removed from office. To side with Law Enforcement on a medical issue is absured, no obtuse! Get rid of him!

Jonathan Perri said...

You're right - it should have never been watered down to the point that it excluded so many people that could benefit from this medicine.

My point is that this was not the reason Pawlenty vetoed the bill - it was because he feels no one should in MN should use marijuana for medical purposes. And like you said - he isn't consulting public health experts - he's talking with law enforcement who make a living arresting people for marijuana.

I hope MN residents call him out on this - letters to the editor, calls to his office are needed.

kelly said...

drugs are awful. they destroy people.
recognize that!

Dragan Vojnovic said...

Kelly, you are right, drugs can be awful. But the fact of the matter is people use drugs everyday, especially in the United States. From Advil to aspirin, from cannabis to viagra, those are all drugs, and many of them can be awful and cause damage to individuals.

But let's look at it rationally. We allow people to take addictive, destructive substances, such as cigarettes, without prescription or recommendation. On the other side, doctors can prescribe medical cocaine, medical methamphetamine, and medical morphine for patients who could benefit from the substance.

But here's my main point: cannabis (or marijuana) is one of the least destructive, safest, and most effective drugs discovered so far. It has been used for several thousand years for medical purposes, and there have been no deaths due to cannabis overdose for the simple reason that it is virtually impossible to overdose on cannabis.

I'm not going to go through all the research, you can do that on your own time. But simply saying "drugs are awful" isn't constructive. If we were to follow your advice, we should abolish all drugs, and imprison any drug user, from Advil to aspirin, from cannabis to viagra.

I'm sure you can think beyond what Above The Influence is preaching you.

Jonathan Perri said...

Even more so, the drugs being good/bad argument doesn't hold a candle to the fact that prohibition doesn't work. The more dangerous you consider a drug to be - the more you should want their to be some control over it. We have no control over illegal drugs because under prohibition we have given that control to drug cartels and dealers.

Ask any high school kid if they can walk into a liquor store and buy booze or cigs - they can't without showing an id - and there isn't a black market for tobacco. But guess where they go to buy all the illegal drugs - high school!

rifty said...

I think yall would like vadlo medical cartoons!