In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 9, 2005 / 2 Sivan, 5765

Hard on drugs, soft on suffering

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Someday, Washington will catch up with the 72 percent of Americans over 45 who believe adults should be able to use medical marijuana if a physician recommends it, according to a 2004 poll by the AARP. First, however, voters are going to have to make some noise.

Or as Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in this week's Supreme Court ruling that upheld the federal government's authority to prosecute medical-marijuana users, despite California's and 10 other states' medical marijuana laws, "the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress." Too bad, the drug-war hawks have Washington spooked. Lawmakers don't want to appear soft on drugs, so they are afraid to call an end to prosecuting people in pain.

That's why marijuana is a "Schedule I" drug in the federal lexicon, which puts the drug in the same legal classification as heroin. Less dangerous drugs — like cocaine and morphine — fall under Schedule II and are available for medical use. But not marijuana.

That's because there is no recognized medical use for marijuana, according to the American Medical Association, the drug warriors respond.

Fair enough. But the California Medical Association supports medical marijuana. Chief Executive Jack Lewin, a physician, explained that his group believes the government should listen to doctors who recommend the drug. What's more, in passing Proposition 215 in 1996, state voters have spoken, and from what Lewin has seen, "it's not doing a whole lot of harm."

Many California doctors recommend the drug because they've seen salutary results with marijuana not found with its legal pill-form equivalent, Marinol. For some reason, Marinol doesn't take with many patients, who find relief by smoking, drinking or eating marijuana. Marijuana, they say, relieves their nausea, mitigates the ravages of some diseases and increases appetites depressed by chemotherapy.

Doctors have risked their careers recommending an illegal drug. They don't need a study when they can look at the faces of afflicted people who finally have found something that works for them. And many users note that medical marijuana relieves their nausea without drugging them into oblivion.

Sure, some medical-marijuana boosters may be looking for an excuse to smoke pot. Two years ago, I went to a Santa Cruz, Calif., event where a young man told me he took medical marijuana for an injured knee.

Yeah, right.

At the same event, however, I saw 93-year-old Dorothy Gibbs, who suffered from post-polio syndrome. She found that marijuana eased her severe nausea. As a member of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical marijuana, Gibbs joined a different lawsuit against federal prosecutions, after the Drug Enforcement Administration raided WAMM and seized 167 marijuana plants.

Gibbs is now dead, WAMM founder Valerie Corral told me on the phone yesterday. In the six months after the raid, 13 WAMM members died — almost 10 percent of WAMM's members. This is a group of seriously ill people — and the kid with the bad knee was not one of them.

Corral, an epileptic, believes she suffers fewer seizures because of medical marijuana. She used to take more powerful pharmaceutical drugs that "made me feel as if I was underwater. " With marijuana, she said, she is more functional.

Back to Congress. Ten states have legalized medical marijuana. Republicans who believe in states' rights should support these states, but in 2004, only 19 Republicans voted for a measure offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would have blocked federal enforcement for users of medical marijuana in states that have legalized its use.

It failed 268 to 148.

Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., voted for such a measure in 2003, but backed off in 2004. Locally, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., voted "no" last year.

"We've got 70 percent of the Democrats," said Bill Piper, of the anti-drug-war Drug Policy Alliance. Most, but not all.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., is one of two California House Democrats, as Piper put it, "voting against their own state."

Donate to JWR

I got no answer from the staff of Pombo or Cardoza as to how either of them plan to vote on this year's Hinchey-Rohrabacher bill. Which means, perhaps, they could be swayed by input from constituents.

The White House drug czar John Walters has been a strong opponent of medical marijuana. As he sees it, pot-heads are using sick people to push marijuana.

I am sure he is right. And I don't care.

This year, I watched a friend die who lived longer, I believe, because she could drink a tea that revived her appetite, mitigated her need for other pain control and probably bought her a few extra weeks with her children. Marinol didn't help her. Marijuana did.

So I'll quote what Dr. Marcus Conant once said to me. Conant is the doctor who identified the first cases of Kaposi's sarcoma among San Francisco AIDS patients. He also successfully sued to stop the federal government from acting against doctors who recommend medical marijuana.

Conant explained: "To deny sick people relief because of abuse is not humane."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2005, Creators Syndicate