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Strict Guidelines Needed for Medical Pot


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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California -- When I was a young man growing up in Southern California 50-some odd years ago, smoking marijuana or “Mary Jane” could wind you up in state prison for a term of five years with no questions asked because it was a felony. It was called “dope,” and for good reason: Only dopes smoked it and you got really dopey after smoking it.
Today the approach to marijuana is certainly a lot different from when I was a teenager, and I wonder at the wisdom of such a decision.

Not being of the scientific community, but having spent over 20 years in active service in the law enforcement community, I believe I can speak with a certain amount of expertise. It is my opinion, and that of a lot of my colleagues across this country, that the constant use of marijuana tends to lead an individual towards more deadly and harder drugs. And I would venture to voice the opinion that those who use marijuana on a constant basis probably risk the chance of altering their DNA genes over a given period of time. For like the person who abuses alcohol, they have a greater chance of developing into an alcoholic than those who drink moderately and they also run the risk of altering their DNA genes.

That fact was proven beyond any doubt by a group of scientists in Sweden in the late 1950s, by isolating the gene from alcoholics and applying that study to children born of those alcoholics over a 20-year period. Those children born of alcoholics almost to the person developed a problem with alcohol, as opposed to those children born of parents who only drank on occasion or didn't drink at all. They also went on to say, “that those persons of Nordic ancestry are more likely to develop a problem with alcohol as opposed to those who come out of Central Europe, Middle East or the Far East.”

For those who abuse any substance, the body tends to develop immunity to that substance and a greater amount is needed to achieve that certain plateau of whatever it is. Then that person remains in a constant altered state of mind.

So far, the scientific community has not brought forth any evidence with regards to the benefits of smoking marijuana to ease certain pains within the body. I am somewhat skeptical about that evidence when persons such as Montel Williams (talk show host) have come forward and spoken out about the benefit he has received by smoking marijuana to relieve his pain from Parkinson's disease. This is a person of impeccable character having served as an officer in the United States Navy and having been discharged from active service from an injury he received on duty. I honestly believe that this government should take a serious look into this situation, before passing judgment.

However, I am not in favor of your downtown neighborhood pot shop open to anyone with a bad back problem. Nor am I in favor of having the local doctor dispense this cannabis to anyone and everyone who comes into his or her practice. There must be a strict control over this entire operation and it must be under government control and not left up to the states. For if you are an individual who has a great deal of pain and needs to have a certain number of marijuana cigarettes and you live in Hayfork, just like you would need a doctor's prescription for an illness, you need to go to your local pharmacy to get your prescription or marijuana medication and you would probably have to travel to Fortuna or Eureka to a regular pharmacy that has met government standards for dispensing this medication. Also, you in person with your government I.D. must be the only person to receive this medication. Jane Doe or John Doe can't run into the pharmacy and pick up your private stash of marijuana.

There must be strict guidelines governing this operation from top to bottom, and severe penalties for those who break these rules and regulations, and that includes those in the medical profession.

Jim Garvey, a former member of the grand jury, lives in Rio Dell.

Opinions expressed in My Word pieces do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times-Standard.

Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Author: Jim Garvey
Published: September, 01, 2006
Copyright: 2006 MediaNews Group, Inc.

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