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Monday, October 13, 2008

Michigan Voters go To polls Over Proposal 1 - to Allow for Medical Marijuana

LANSING--Michigan voters will decide Nov. 4 whether they want their state greener. Not with an environmental plan but with the leaves of medical marijuana.

Proposal 1 would establish marijuana as a legal remedy for some illnesses. Growing, possessing, selling or using marijuana is illegal under state and federal laws.

Marijuana alleviates the pain associated with cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS and many other ailments, according to marijuana proponents. Critics say smoking itself is unhealthy and the proposal would encourage recreational use. Many Health risks associated with smoking Marijuana can be reduced, if not eliminated by using a VAPORIZER to Smoke Medical Marijuana
Marijuana works differently for different diseases. Some cancer patients have used it to stimulate appetite when undergoing chemotherapy, to help keep them from losing too much weight. Sufferers of glaucoma can go blind from high ocular pressure, the pressure inside the eye. Marijuana lowers ocular pressure allowing patients to see.

Marijuana also helps those with Crohn's Disease. A 26-year-old Michigan resident with Crohn's Disease who did not want to be identified said that marijuana helps him deal with the pain. Traditional medications make him nauseous, he said.

The Michigan Department of Community Health representative James McCurtis said his department couldn't legally take a stand on the proposal.

"We sympathize with people who have debilitating diseases. On the other hand, marijuana is a drug that people smoke causing other health problems, so we see both sides of the issue," he said.

Proponents of medical marijuana argue that the adverse health risks of smoking can be avoided by using a vaporizer. It heats the drug to the point where THC, the active chemical in marijuana, can be extracted without combusting the plant.

The proposal would also allow registered patients to possess either 2.5 ounces of or grow 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption according to Dianne Byrum of the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care. The growing area would have to be enclosed and locked.

"When you allow people to grow marijuana it opens the door for more illegal selling," said Leelanau County Sheriff Michael Oltersdorf. "It makes it more prevalent."

Oltersdorf said he didn't believe the proposal would pass but asserted that no matter the outcome it is his job to enforce state law.

Even if Michigan passes Proposal 1, it wouldn't stop the federal government from enforcing U.S. laws concerning marijuana. On June 6, 2005, the Supreme Court decided that the federal government could still prosecute marijuana users in states with medical marijuana laws.

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