26 May 2009

Marijuana use by the terminally ill vetoed

Pawlenty [Governor of Minnesota] indicated in a letter that he was torn by the medical marijuana legislation. He said that while he was "sympathetic to those dealing with end-of-life illnesses," he felt marijuana poses "serious public safety and health risks." Legalizing marijuana, even under limited conditions, "could serve to compound these problems," he wrote.
I am at a loss trying to understand how marijuana use by terminally ill people poses a risk to "public safety and health." This is the same medieval mindset that limits morphine use by people with bone metastases. If he fears that the material will "escape" from the deathbed to the community, he needs to get out into the real world; he's trying to close the barn door after the cow is loose.


  1. life itself is an "end of life illness"

  2. Those are probably the same who believe that people HAVE to suffer, it's very christian, when you think of it.

  3. I fail to understand why marijuana is an acceptable pain medication alternative to the large pharmacopoeia of current pain management treatments. I can't imagine that the fumes are good for your lungs and it doesn't just dull pain...it impairs your judgment and perception. I think the reason Governor Pawlenty felt that marijuana poses a "serious public safety" risk is due to the fact that providing an outlet for medical distribution of marijuana would create an atmosphere of enablement, where the drug would be that much more available. Please remember that while some people can remain "recreational users" of marijuana, there are a number of people who discover that pot slowly loses its potency, and thus a more risky drug is needed.

  4. Brian, a.k.a. Spikey, I don't think you understand. First, marijuana is useful for much more than "pain management." Morphine is fine for that indication - that's not the primary benefit that the drug provides.

    Re your comment on the fumes and the lungs, perhaps you missed the point that this bill was directed toward marijuana use in TERMINALLY ILL patients. Months to live. For someone in that scenario, the effect of smoke on the respiratory tract is laughingly irrelevant.

    The risk that use in terminally ill patients would make the drug "that much more available" is negated by the fact that the use of morphine and cocaine in hospitals does not lead to those drugs escaping to the street.

    Your assertion that "pot slowly loses its potency" is totally fabricated. The assertion that users will need "more risky" drugs is the argument always offered when an opponent can't find anything true to say against marijuana; they then resort to the allegation that "well, the MJ may be ok, but then the user might move on to something that really is bad." There has never been any evidence to confirm that supposition, any more than the argument that drinking beer leads to hard drug use or reading comic books leads to a life of dissolution.


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