Thursday, May 3, 2012

Medical Marijuana

There are 3 billionaires in the United States funding the movement to legalize marijuana. They already have already succeeded in decriminalizing marijuana in Massachusetts and now, during a presidential election year when voter turnout will be high, they are pushing for "medical" marijuana on this November ballot in the state. Here are the facts: • The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never cleared marijuana to be used as a medicine. Marijuana has never been tested for medicinal use unlike all of our prescription medicines and over-the-counter medications. • Teen marijuana use is higher in states with legal "medical" marijuana than states without it. Massachusetts teen marijuana use is already 30% higher than the national average. • Most people who buy "medical" marijuana are not cancer patients. In Colorado, where "medical" marijuana is legal, only 2% of "medical" marijuana users have cancer, glaucoma or HIV. In California only 3% of "medical" marijuana users have cancer of other serious illness. • Most doctors do not recommend their patients for "medical" marijuana. In Colorado, only 10 doctors make the majority of all the recommendations for "medical" marijuana. • The American Medical Association has officially stated that they recommend more research for marijuana-based medications. Once marijuana has passed the proper strict requirements that every other medicine has to pass, they will consider a non-smoked form of marijuana medication. But no form of inhaled smoke will ever be considered safe, healthy or medicine. If "medical" marijuana is made legal in Massachusetts, there will be 5 pot shops in each county in our state. These pot shops will sell marijuana, hash, bongs, pipes, grinders, pot-laced food, candy and drug paraphernalia. Do you want a pot shop in your neighborhood? If "medical" marijuana is made legal in Massachusetts, it will be the first time a drug has skipped over the strict medical safety standards set by the FDA and made into a medicine by voters in a poll booth. Do you want to open your family medicine cabinet and reach for a drug that has not been thoroughly tested? Below is a sample letter to send to your state senator and state representative. I am also sending a copy to the chairmen of the Public Health Committee at the State House. Here is the link to find emails for your senator and state representative: PASS THIS EMAIL ON! THANK YOU!!! Marilyn Marilyn G. Belmonte 781-572-1478 (cell) 781-229-2638 "If ignorance is bliss, education is power." April 6, 2012 Dear Representative or Senator, On behalf of the youth of Massachusetts, and as a Massachusetts citizen, I am writing to register my concern about House Bill 3885, which would allow the use of “medical marijuana” in Massachusetts. I believe that all drugs and medications should go through the rigorous testing for safety that the FDA requires. No medicine should ever be available to the public without proper scientific research. DO not allow marijuana to be the exception. This topic is not appropriate for a vote. Please consider your position on medical marijuana very carefully. It will change the lives of many generations to come. The 2009 Centers for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports that Massachusetts’ youth marijuana rates are nearly 30% higher than national rates. Massachusetts cannot afford to lessen the perception of harm among its youth by allowing the use of “medical marijuana” in the State. Approving the use of “medical marijuana” in Massachusetts would severely undermine drug prevention efforts across the State at a time when marijuana rates have already risen dramatically in the Commonwealth - and have been rising rapidly nationally for the past four years, after a decade of decline. “Medical marijuana” in Massachusetts would further normalize marijuana use and thereby lessen the perceptions of its dangers and negative effects on youth. It is merely a ploy to produce a commercial product that causes impairment. Legislation to pass “medical marijuana” in Massachusetts would drive youth marijuana use rates up higher than they already are, as it has in other states that have passed this type of legislation. Current research shows that “medical marijuana” programs like those outlined in HB 3885 increase youth accessibility to marijuana. SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association) 2008-2009 State Estimates of Drug Abuse show that four of the top five top states, and fourteen of the eighteen states with the highest percentage of past month marijuana users ages 12-17 are states with “medical marijuana” programs, and addiction rates among 12-17 year olds are also among the highest levels nationally in states that have “medical marijuana” programs. Additionally, the American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health, and Institute of Medicine all agree that smoked, inhaled, or ingested raw marijuana is not medicine, since it has not passed FDA standards of safety and efficacy. There is no way to control dosage or strength, and there are serious risks to smoking the whole marijuana plant since it contains thousands of unknown components, many of them carcinogens. For these reasons, I respectfully request that you vote against House Bill 3885. Sincerely,

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