Medical Marijuana

My colleague and friend Shane Courtland pulled a great event together.  I hope you’ll read the stories and advance the conversation.

Minnesota medical marijuana bill forum draws huge crowd

Legislation by an Iron Range DFL’er is drawing big attention in Duluth.

More than 200 people attended a public forum at UMD Monday on a bill to legalize marijuana introduced this spring with help from Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing. Since then she’s been getting input and feedback from the public.

Melin said medical marijuana will offer pain relief with fewer side effects. She also said there are stiff penalties should anyone misuse the system.

See also: Minnesota lawmakers, experts debate legalizing medical marijuana



about 10 years ago

Apparently I was the only one here who attended the panel on medical cannabis at UMD last night. It's too bad some of the city leaders don't understand the importance of this issue and its bearing on our society. Here is a version of a letter I'm going to be sending to all of our legislators over and over again until someone starts to get a clue. Write your local politicians now. Maybe you can help turn the tide.  

I was at the panel last night at UMD. I should've voiced these issues at the microphone, but became frustrated by some of the panel's self-admitted lack of knowledge on that which they were speaking. First though, thank you sincerely for supporting this issue. It is the right thing to do, and perhaps far more important and complex than you may now realize. 

I feel it is one of the most important of our time because it is reducing the inhumane control over our society by the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and the private-prison industries that profit by building more prisons for nonviolent offenders while keeping more meth offenders on the street. 

I was surprised by the sheer magnitude of the panel's misinformation on this subject, so I would like to recommend a few things. First, there was a groundbreaking documentary by PBS not long ago that highlighted many recent findings on medical cannabis, namely something called cannabinoid receptors that all of us have in our bodies. Suffice to say, we don't have plastic receptors, or petroleum receptors inside of us. We have cannabis receptors throughout our body in many of our organs including the brain. But you have to delve into the history of cannabis and hemp to find out why it was made illegal in the first place, what role powerful companies like Dupont had in it, why the very name marijuana was connected to stigmatize it, and why hemp, an industrial plant which contains no psychoactive properties, remains illegal in the United States today, to better understand why we are now foolishly and wastefully importing hemp from China and Canada, when the production of it here in the states could transform our country financially and save farmers in ways you couldn't imagine. 

I have a neighbor who, about ten years ago, took an experimental medication for a concussion he sustained while working. The experimental medication (which no longer exists) had a fine-print warning on the label saying it could cause seizures. One night, he had a seizure, and arched up and broke his spine, entering a decade-long, demon-filled  world of opiate addiction on Oxycontin. You would not be able to comprehend the amount of pain and grizzly surgeries he has survived. Yet it is the illegal marijuana he ingests, which doesn't totally erase the pain, but has a strange way of making the user somehow not care as much about the pain that is important to discuss. This is something that inexperienced legislators have a difficult time understanding. It is the THC, the high, the psychoactive properties in the plant that were made by the creator, which allow you to not mind the pain as much, that drug companies with all their chemists, cannot recreate in a lab. 

Medical marijuana in its most basic form, without any patents, is all that is needed to make his and many thousands of other people's pain manageable. Sometimes in the case of the people with seizures, you need the companies to isolate certain compounds, fine ... But when does profit enter the picture? The answer to that, is any chance they can get.  

Should children be allowed access to plant form marijuana? Probably not. But neither should they be given access to glue fumes, their parents cigarettes or liquor, MSG, or partially hydrogenated oils in frozen pizza or Skippy's Peanut Butter. Because they all also threaten a weakened future performance, and shorten your life. Please do research yourself before you buy into studies that are often funded by the petrochemical industry to learn what is true versus what is falsified information. During Reagan's tragic era of the war on drugs, they hooked a monkey up to a facemask and ran an incredible amount of marijuana through its respiratory system killing it through asphyxiation, or lack of oxygen, concluding cannabis is what killed the monkey, then releasing these studies to congress, which kept it on "Schedule One." This is a strange but true story.

I know scores of high-performing professionals who were pot users as kids, now doctors lawyers, scientists, politicians. Regardless, the cat is out of the bag now, and it is a matter of time before this world changes to allow this simple plant its rightful place in society whether or not you and I, or Governor Dayton thinks it deserves one. I greatly appreciate your stance on this subject and hope you deeply consider where it's already headed, and add "people who experience chronic pain" to the bill. It is silly and ignorant to consider doing otherwise.  Kids are strong, and they will survive and thrive in this changing world regardless. The ones who want to sniff paint and glue, or want to smoke pot will find a way to do so no matter what laws we pass.  

Realize first though, that biologically, marijuana cannot be grown or procured anywhere near industrial hemp fields because it denudes the psychoactive properties of the marijuana and makes ingesting it worthless. It is because of the relative relations of the two plants and their DNA that causes this to happen. Therefore, why industrial hemp is illegal remains a great mystery.  It is not however a great mystery to the petrochemical lobbyists who inform the politicians in Washington.  For it is they who understand the great many uses that industrial hemp would have in our society that would replace the infinite amount of products and profits made from petroleum.  

Greed and fear of reduced profits is what makes industrial hemp illegal today.  Legalizing industrial hemp would put about ten million farmers back to work and greatly help reduce global warming by not only enriching our oxygen supply, but reducing the amount of poisons released into the environment through oil production.  Right now, the interior of your newer car is off-gassing enormous amounts of petrochemical poisons that are speeding up your rate of acquiring cancer (look it up).  This is one of the many things legalizing hemp would change.  The problem is 100 years of propaganda by powerful corporations to keep medicine, alongside one of the most useful industrial plants of all time, out of the hands of consumers.  

Thanks for your time.  I will be forwarding this letter to other members of the Minnesota Legislature. Let's remove and reduce the greedy war and profit mongers who have a dictator-like stranglehold on the medicines people need to survive, who yearn to profit because of their overwhelming greed and lack of concern for the citizens of the country.


about 10 years ago

Anyway, good work Shane, it was amazing there weren't more stoners there, mostly kids for extra credit.  It's the Chong and Cheech aspect of this debate, and the ones most often interviewed that keep the sterotypes going. Amazing we're living to see the progress occurring here on this now in this country, and tragic what so many have to go through because of the war on drugs


about 10 years ago

Speaking of MJ, I've walked by several places -- including homes and also public establishments -- that reeked of it but never did previously on my routes. It appears it will happen whether Herzog sends the letter or not.

I'm pro marijuana for a number of reasons, by the way. I just don't use it myself.

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Read previous post:
Bye Bye Plaza