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October 24th, 2009
12:41 PM ET

Mellowing on Medical Marijuana

You've probably heard by now how the Obama administration is easing up on prosecuting medical marijuana cases.

14 states currently have laws on the books allowing for some use of medical marijuana. Other states, like Ohio and Illinois, are considering moving in that direction.

The policy change is good news for people who prescribe, use and sell marijuana for medical purposes.

But critics are concerned, among other things, that it could open the door to the legalization of marijuana in general.

Join us this Saturday at 4pm ET as we debate this issue.

We want to hear from you.

Do you empathize with those suffering from multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease and other ailments who say they need it to cope?

Are you concerned this new move is just a bad idea?

Please leave us your comments.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
soundoff (383 Responses)
  1. John Babitskas

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Did you say Healthcare. Take the tax and put it toward providing healthcare for the poor and uninsured. The money you would save on law enforcement could be used for education, like low cost college tuition. The argument that it is gateway drug is false. Most pot smokers have had no desire to go up the ladder. Just like people who drink and do not become alcoholics. It's time to come clean. There are a lot worse things out there that we look the other way at. John in Atlanta.

    October 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  2. Robert Lake,MI

    Its about time, they want to save everyone concerned a lot of money and time just legalize it it period! I would rather my kid was out smoking dope than drinking alcohol! Want a new source of income for this country well there you have it! Its the safest drug out there bar none! Stop messing with the small stuff and concentrate on the real problems!

    October 23, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  3. Michael DiBenedetto

    I think that this is a plant not a drug.With the right rules just like on smokeing and drinking it would be good to to make it legal in the the us.It would free up law infocesment to take on more problems like other drugs.We need to be real and look at what we are spending are time on.Not on the real problems in the us.

    October 23, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  4. Dawn M. Kayes

    logic goes out the door with this subject doesn't it.
    It's a shame too. there is a high amount of stress in this world today ,and i don't believe that the government can too control ones addictiveness or not . marijuana is herbal , if anything alcohol in all it's severity is where we should really be focusing.....

    October 23, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  5. Marcus

    It is a good idea, and here in NC they also have this up for discussion. They are trying to figure out if it will be a ballot initiative or not. If it does become a ballot initiative it will pass here in NC. We are struggling here and any new manufacturing jobs will be warranted.

    October 23, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  6. Don

    14 States is Incorrect, Please report correct information, Maryland's legislature passed a medical marijuana "affirmative defense law "in 2003,You will still be Charged and have to hire a lawyer.
    NOT Even "The Memo" protects you from the Fine you WILL get anyway.
    This is supposed to be about "Safe Access" also.
    State Legislators Citing Federal Law are Doing Nothing to make sure that a Reasonable Distribution and Sales system is in place for those that cannot produce their own, Leaving Patients NO option but to turn to the streets, Many "Collectives" have been ripping Patients off pocketing profits.
    HB 2835 Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act 2009,Pending in Washington now, Will move it to a Schedule II status and States would then be "Lawfully" able to set up a Regulated Distribution & Tax System.

    October 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  7. Jerry

    I am 61 yrs. Old. I would like to take marijauna for my arthritis,but I also have infasema. Is marijauna available in pill form. TY Jerry

    October 24, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  8. Patti Dasher

    Ther are much more dangerous drugs to be concerned about such as ALCOHOL and prescription drug addiction and yet we spend all this time on marijuana. WHY?????? Lets compare drunk driving to people laughing there selves to death or having the munchies. Come on ......and as an arguement for gateway drug,,, what is alcohol????? The age of our country is such now that most people have tried pot and know it is much less dangerous than everything else so who is holding it back? Plus the medical uses are so far reaching for so many diseases unlike ALCOHOL. Also I dont ever hear of over dosing on marijuana. We need to take a closer look at why we are holding this mellow drug back when our society needs a stable drug with so many benefits.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  9. Don

    Edibles(Cookies,Cake,Brownies.Etc.) and Vaporization are the preferred method for being the Healthiest and Safest, At least the Consumers and the Medical Community agree on that point to some extent.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  10. Tamora

    I would love if marijuanna became legal. That why ppl who deserve to be in jail will be. Like killers and kidnappers etc.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  11. Bernardo

    Mellowing? federal never should have interfered with state law the federal gov is wrong and should be held accountable.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  12. Mitch

    Medical Marijuana should not just mean Marijuana for medical purposes it should also mean funding for Health care Reform. Make it Legal, Tax it, use that tax money for Health Care Reform. Everyone wins and we can stop waisting money on Non logical Drug War.

    This is the land of the free, i should be able more then able to do something that doesn't harm others. Make it Legal with the same rules as Alcohol.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  13. Dave

    Unfortunately, marijuana IS a gateway drug. The reason being that those who buy marijuana must do so from an individual who may be selling other, harder drugs. Of course, if acquiring marijuana didn't involve contacting someone who was involved in criminal activity, the problem wouldn't exist.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  14. Shawn

    marijuana should be legal for many reasons, 1. we lock up innocent people in jail just because they want to get high, we spend so much money keeping those people in jail, and we run out of jails to put the real criminals in the world, think of all the room we would have if marijuana should be legal. 2.marijuana is the safest drug out their. 3.marijuana is so much better for you than alcohol. 4.marijuana makes you feel good. marijuana was even found to help with stress, and helps you exercise, and stay in shape, those are many reasons why marijuana should be legal.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  15. jim

    I think it is about time. Our gov has spent enought money on trying to stop drugs in this country. When will the gov learn that they have lost there war on drugs? jim from tx.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  16. drug_against_war

    Taxing medical marijuana is mean spirited – this is medicine for sick people and shouldn't be taxed any more than other medicines are taxed.

    What cash strapped politicians ought to do is legalize and tax recreational marijuana use but to do that takes courage and today's politicians lack that character trait.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  17. Michael

    There are really three separate issues here. Should it be available for medical uses? Should it be decriminalized or legalized because it's harm is debatable? Or should it be decriminalized or legalized becausehaving it illegal causes more harm and deaths?

    I vote yes on all three. Leave it up to the states.

    Any state that sold permits or licenses to grow a very limited number of plants in your home or on your property would reap the tax benefits. You need to pay for your drivers license or fishing permit.. I think most would be surprised how many permits they would sell.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  18. Rasta Rob

    God doesnt make mistakes....

    October 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  19. Eric

    After suffering from pain due to 6 abdominal surgeries and a terrible head on collision my Loma Linda trained physician recommended trying marijuana. My pain is not gone, but it is much more manageable. It would be wonderful if the taxes from my medicine covered my health-care costs.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  20. Tia

    Of course medical marijuana should be legal. Marijuana historically was used as a medicine. It has no side effects as does the trillon dollar industry of pharmaceuticals. The THC in marijuana is a vasodialator. Have you ever heard of anyone overdosing on marijuana. Physicians and marijuana opposition says it destroys short term memory. How many non marijuana users do you know misplace their keys, wallet etc?

    The benefits far outweigh this non sense conversation that is truely politically not moral.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  21. Robert Stein

    Marijuana is the only medication which treats my insomia. Pills are horrible such as ambiem. also i have no health insurance and cant afford to buy them. i totally support legal marijuana beyond medical marijuana. I have been smoking marijuana daily for 30 years and it is the best thing in my life. i am a professional working male over 40 years old. it is a horrible thing that pot is illegial, it is a peacful fantastcic herb with many, many benefits. imagine our society putting its citizens in jail for pot. i pray to God each day for legal marijuana in this great counrty called America, my home.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  22. nap mitty

    There are two big problems with marijuana: it has to be smoked and it is illegal. If it were legal it would be cheap enough to eat,then it would be truly medicinal.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  23. Franklin

    Also the "gateway" theory of drug use is caused by the prohibition. Drug dealers deal with a lot of drugs and you are by proxy immediately exposed to lots of other actually harmful drugs when dealing with a dealer instead of a regulated environment. "Hey I know you're buying pot, but I've got some coke/heroine/meth/etc"

    October 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  24. Matt Leonard

    There are plenty of drugs currently being prescribed that, if abused, have much worse effects than marijuana, including death. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed for legitimate medical use, and the same goes for marijuana. So, laws allowing medical use are warranted no matter what.

    – Matt from NC

    October 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  25. Rhonda M

    Legalization of medical marijuana is a "no brainer". I can't understand why complete legalization of it's use has not yet occured. As mentioned by other respondents, the positives far outway any minor negatives that could be dreamed up. Tax revenue would increase. Tax payer dollars would be saved by freeing up space in jails and prisons that house presently illegal pot offenders. Put Mexican cartels out of business and provide jobs for American Horticultural professionals and distributers. Alchohol causes far more death related accidents and harm to the human body than marijuana, yet we have been condoning it's use since man first learned how to ferment fruit.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  26. David Pesuti

    I am 59 years old. Medical Marijuana has helped me go to sleep at night as I'm not a pill popper and don't do any other drugs. I have Prostate Cancer that spread and the surgery was unsuccessful. It's been 5 years now and hope for 2 to 3 more if I'm lucky. I have a urinary pump and need to go to the bathroom 2 to 4 times a night so I dont wet the bed.
    I watched the 3 of you laugh at me and the thousands of us who benefit from Medical Marijuana. For medicinal use you laugh....
    The 3 of you owe us a Big apology.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  27. christine

    Josh, I am a medical marijuana patient. I do not drink or take recreational drugs, and furthermore, do not like getting high. I need this medication for severe nerve and joint pain. Since it is not studied and titrated for women, I have to guess about dosing, and take it at a time I am sure I will be asleep so that I can avoid the "high." People laugh at me for this. The most difficult part of this is that I can designate a grower, but it is expensive to grow when the grower can only grow for one patient. We need to relax these rules. I refuse to smoke marijuana, so I have to ingest it. I really do not know how I would cope with such debilitating pain without the marijuana option.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  28. Daniel Schwartz

    Legalization of marijuana is long overdue. Prohibition of alcohol failed in the 1920's and it only enriched violent criminal gangs and crooked politicians and judges. It did not take our nation that long to realize what a failure it was. Why is it taking so long to repeal the prohibition on pot?

    I see 5 major industries with powerful lobbies behind the effort to keep marijuana illegal: alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, insurance, and law enforcement. If an adult could just simply and legally plant some seeds and grow their medication or intoxicant of choice for little to no cost, it would have a financially devastating impact on the above mentioned industries. No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. How many thousands of deaths a year can be attributed to alcohol and nicotine abuse? Why the blatant hypocrisy?

    Our prisons are already overcrowded, and many convicts are simply guilty of marijuana-related crimes. People, who are guilty of nothing more than minor pot possession, are being incarcerated in a very violent environment where they get "schooled" in other types of crime. When released, they are now angry at the system, unemployed, and stigmatized. Mellow pot smokers are being turned into violent thugs.

    Also, keeping pot illegal is having the same effect as alcohol prohibition. Violent gangs here and abroad are becoming extremely wealthy by supplying pot at inflated prices, and the US government is throwing billions of dollars down the drain in a futile war against drugs and incarceration of American pot users, while missing out on potential billions of dollars of tax revenues from the legal processing and sale of marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  29. christine

    Josh, I also want you to know I have been the victim of home robbery, car theft, and assault. NONE of these crimes were prosecuted. I never received any insurance payment for these expensive thefts. What the heck are the police concentrating on? Marijuana? I say decriminalize it. We would save on incarceration, court costs, and keep the so called stoners from prison assaults and wasted lives. Go after the cartels. And let us medical marijuana people get the medicine we need.

    October 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  30. Adam Windsor

    Hello, my name is Adam. I am an Afghanistan war veteran and an advocate of the legalization of medical marijuana. During my time in country I was witness to many things no one should have to see, much less be a part of. Upon my return I was diagnosed with PTSD, a mental strain that manifests it's self in several ways directly affecting my day to day life. Though I don't consider my self to be a criminal, as I have no criminal record what so ever, some people would consider me to be just that, as I use marijuana so suppress these horrible memories. I've done my own independent research on the naturally occurring substance and found it to be ONLY beneficial on the part of the user so long as it is within reason. The only legitimate argument I can see against it is that the powers that be would not be making the money off of it that they so covet. Any so called "moral argument" against it is simply absurd. How can you claim that it's a moral issue when marijuana is a plant, not a man made substance such as percocet which can be habit forming unlike marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  31. Allen

    Marijuana was deemed 'the assassin of youth' in the 1930s because of its association with 'undesirables' such as artists, poets & jazz musicians. Medical FACTS conclude that marijuana is more beneficial than harmful. The decriminalization of Marijuana and taxation thereof would vastly improve both federal and state coffers as well as put a virtual end to the south-of-the-border drug cartels who are illegally importing marijuana into this country (which is an estimated 85% to 95% of their ill-gotten revenue)... not to mention the end of the yearly slaughter of thousands of innocent people on both sides of the border who get caught-up in the battles between the cartels. The hundreds of millions of dollars the federal gov't. spends on curbing the illegal flow of marijuana would be more wisely spent shuring-up Amerca's ailing health care system.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  32. Wade

    The NATURAL resource hemp should be legal. It could LITERALLY save the country! It would also help heal the planet! Hemp not only has a medicinal purpose, but the legalization of industrial hemp would start up the farms, factories, transportation, and new business. It would add over 1 MILLION jobs to the US, and revenue would be over $1 billion a year! Not from just the medical side, but from the over 20 different products hemp is good for! STOP just talking about the medical side. One acre of hemp makes as much paper as four acres of trees. If your serious about helping the planet? Going green is the way! We are not just looking to legalize smoking weed. If people want to smoke it's not hard to find. It was even present on EVERY nuke site I worked at during the cold war. LOL It's a ridiculous law that NO ONE has ever paid attention to. Hemp was made illegal to help the rich get richer in the paper industry! And you know it! If you don't, research it! It's sad we have the means to repair the country but that's not what our government OR YOU want. Go after METH it's destroying our kids! Your boss won't let you air this, but the people are waiting for someone to be on the side of GOOD! Are you it?

    October 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  33. Steven

    It still baffles me that this nations government fears this plant so much when it clearly has so many beneficial uses. I truly believe that cannabis/hemp could turn this nations economy around.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  34. christine

    Jerry, Marinol is a pharmaceutical form of marijuana. It is very, very expensive. Medicaid only pays if you have cancer or HIV?AIDS. These rules should be expended. Many of us cannot smoke marijuana. Marinol works well. You can take it when you go to sleep to avoid the "high." However, it is very expensive, $3-400 a month. Good luck Jerry. Arthritis is a qualifying condition.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  35. Gil

    Marijuana should be legalized and regulated. Thankfully public opinion on this is coming to the more sensible (and less moral driven) side of this argument.

    I tend to believe that the main reason that the Federal Government is resistant to legalization of marijuana has to with the huge amount of money coming from the largest lobbies America has. I can assure you, the Pharmaceutical Lobby, the Alcohol Lobby, and the Tobacco Lobby are NOT interested in having marijuana legalized in ANY way as this would wreak havoc on their profits.

    Unfortunately, it is easy for these companies and our government to in turn to put out anti pot propaganda that paints out marijuana to be a venomous, evil, plant. These days (now that so many people have smoked pot) it is getting tougher and tougher for anti-pot folks (fueled some by public morals and stereotypes that have been perpetuated throughout the years, and of course like anything in government... by money) to argue how dangerous pot is.

    I ask you this. How many times have you yourself heard of someone dying because of Alcohol (alcoholism, dui, barfight gone wrong, etc), Smoking (lung cancer, or a Prescription Drug Overdose or issue they had because of a perscription drug (see suicidal warnings, etc).

    Well how many people have you heard of that died because they were smoking pot?

    Heck, even drugs which are considered safe such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Aspirin, etc, contain clear warnings. This is because these "safe" drugs are actually much more venomous and evil if taken incorrectly. It is impossible to take pot incorrectly. You can smoke, it or eat it. If you smoke or eat too much, you will simply fall asleep... I can also tell you that you wake up very refreshed!

    In 2009, there is absolutely NO reason that marijuana should be illegal. The reason it was made illegal in the first place was due to racism, and reasoning that should not be taken seriously by standards today. Pot prohibition laws fall in the neighborhood of other outdated and funny laws that you can find on the internet.

    The only difference is, this isn't funny. People are going to jail in some states for smoking a joint. Good people. Not your "stoner" stereo type people.

    I think it is scarry that Law Enforcement is using resources in these tough times raiding medical marijuana clubs under the guise of "saving the neighborhoods" or "saving the children" is ludicrous. Anyone who can put down their moral compass and get logical for a moment should be able to see that closing down pot shops simply causes people to get pot on the street (on their street in front of their homes, supermarkets, schools).

    One last thought. Legalization of marijuana would once and for all STOP the flow of marijuana and much of the marijuana related violence spilling over the border from Mexico.

    There are so many reasons marijuana should be legal. I wish I had more time to type. Thanks for reading what I did have time to write.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  36. Patti from Maine

    I was very sick and had just started interferon treatment, I couldn't get out of bed and I could not keep the room from spinning. A friend brought me some marijuana and after the first puff I felt so much better. It made me feel close to normal in just seconds. It was just amazing, I thought I would get high, and all that, but it didn't do that, just made me feel closer to normal instead of feeling like I was going to die. I see no excuse for keeping marijuana away from people that need it

    October 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  37. Michael

    LIVING NEXT DOOR TO A MEDICAL MARIJUANA FARM ! Let me start by saying its not easy, the smell is like having a skunk in your back yard! If that's not bad enough at other times it smells like bay leafs gone wild...I think that the placement of a farm should be regulated to protect the other land owners and their rights.. The traffic has grown leaps and bounds. Its day light 24 hours a day in my bed room from the grow lights in their garage! The farmers can only grow a certain amount, 6 plants per medical card holder.. At harvest they are only able to keep 24oz (the user) It should be grown by the state and drug dealers put in jail...(people who sell the Extra) trust me there is a lot of extra!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  38. Cindy R Adamich

    I am thrilled the marijuana debate now has a public forum! It's time to remove cannabis from the schedule I drug list, and decriminalize it altogether. Combine the tax revenue legal marijuana would generate, with the savings of over half a billion the government spends on the war against marijuana, and this country would well be able to afford a comprehensive health care plan for American citizens.
    I am aware there will be fierce opposition from the pharmaceutical giants who want this country dependent on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and opiate medications. Big tobacco and alcohol will also spend millions fighting the legalization of marijuana. Billions of dollars in corporate profits are at stake here. They would rather see us addled and addicted, a danger to ourselves and others, than acknowledge their role in thousands of deaths each year attributed to their products.
    Do your homework America!!! Research the science, the statistics, that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that marijuana is a viable medicine that relieves a host of physical and mental ailments, in addition to being a safe recreational drug when compared to alcohol and nicotine.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  39. Don

    It is so sad to see that about 80 Years of Prohibition and False Propaganda has Clouded so many peoples minds that they cannot even comprehend the REAL facts when it comes to the Cannabis Plant. Most will resort to a juvenile personal character attack rather than actually have a legitimate Debate or Discussion.

    October 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  40. Rich

    I am a retired Police Sergeant in upstate New York and have made hundreds of Marijuana arrests. From one joint to several pounds of Marijuana. I never once encountered any violence while making the arrests. If you were to ask Police Officers the vast majority would tell you that Marijuana arrests are a waist of Law Enforcement resources and time.

    I believe that Marijuana should be regulated by law. Adults over 21 and only for Medical and Home personal use. As well as limitations much like the D.W.I. laws.

    The Federal Government should regulate sales by taxing usage under the above guidelines. It would be a windfall to our crippled economy.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  41. Rasta Rob

    Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced legislation that would reschedule marijuana as a Schedule II drug and eliminate federal authority to prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. Titled the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act (HR 2835), the bill currently has 16 sponsors and has been sent to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  42. Liberty_man

    Mellow is good. Bout time people in this country have become aware of the insanity of criminalizing medications.

    I think the questions people should ask themselfs first. Why is cannabis illegal in the first place? Who was responsible for making it illegal and why? Why is it illegal when the underlying basis of making it illegal has been proven to be a lie.. over and over and over again. Why then is it illegal with no reason? Why is it that we need to defend legalizing it when the people wanting to keep it illegal can't come up with a single legitimate excuse for making it illegal.

    Ask the right questions.. and you'll get the truth. Ask us for all the proof you want for our side.. just do the same with those who want to keep it illegal with no underlying legal reason.

    As mentioned.. legalization will lead to taxation.. What they don't mention is the 50,000 industrial uses we could have from legalizing hemp.. which is also illegal for no legal reason.

    Why is it that they destroy the confiscated drugs now when they do those sting operations on the cartels? Wouldn't it make much more sense and be much more profitable for the LEO's to give or sell those drugs to the states that do have legal medicinal use? Makes sense to me. No more work needs to be done to bring down the cartels.. take away their products and sell them cheaper at the same time. They'd go out of business real quick.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  43. Rasta Rob

    Removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act refers to the proposed removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act of the United States, the most tightly-restricted category of drugs, by the United States Congress or the United States Attorney General. (HR 2835)

    October 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  44. James keeton

    Folks this is not an issue of a dangerous drug. Everyone knows that Cannabis is safe and that it has many medical uses. The reasons for prohibition is $. The alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies otherwise known as the- Partnership for a Drug-Free America doesn't want it legal. They would lose billions. If You could use cannabis you wouldn't need all their expensive, highly profitable prescriptions. Prozac, Ambien, Ridalin, would no longer be needed. The alcohol industry would take a big hit because people would be more apt to use recreational cannabis because it is safer with no lousy side effects,ie..hangover, violence, drunk driving. The prison systems would lose billions of your tax dollars because there would be millions of people who would no longer be incarcerated for marijuana offenses. petroleum comp[anies dont want hemp because you dont need their chemicals to grow it. It can be used as a major replacement for plastics. bio-fuels, textiles, paper, etc... When you start looking at the big picture you soon start to see the enormity of the prohibition complex. It has nothing to do with getting high,stoners, gateway drug, it has to do with $$$$.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  45. Liberty_man

    Ok.. just saw a promo for the upcoming 4 oclock show. Fredrica asked where patients should be able to get it. How bout the hospitals, VA and public. And there is nothing wrong with the drug stores we have now. They are perfectly capable of handling the distrubution of all drugs.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  46. Bernard C

    Amidst a seeming prevalence in violent and sexual crimes, heinous crimes against children, it would seem to me that the government could serve its primary role of protecting society much better than by persecuting those in the "pot-culture".

    Given the recent story of Summer Thompson, I'd hate to believe that something so vile could have been prevented, if our law enforcement agents were busy protecting people from violent and sexual criminals, rather than preoccupied looking for someone smoking a joint.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  47. Jose

    Isn't this a FREE Country? Shouldn't adults have the Right To Put anything into the own body as long as no one else is Physically hurt? it's time to stop putting people in jail for this! Treat the laws Like we do with Alcohol!

    October 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  48. gwickmiller

    Get your Information from a good source – Find your local Compassion Club – Go legit!

    This is about Medical Marijuana – not free pot for everyone. This is for sick people – let them use what they know works!

    October 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  49. Volney Dunavan

    I am a professional in the field of addiction in California. Most of my peers are not against medical marijuana use. But at least here in California, anyone can go to the nearby large city, plunk down $100 and get a marijuana prescription. That is what we are against. When more traditional medications don't work, then marijuana is appropriate for certain medical conditions. But when anyone with $100 can get it for any medical condition, the system is not functioning.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  50. cindy h.

    My mom was a perscription addict an it tore our family up,I have fibromialgia an Hep-C,an i would rather smoke or digest medical marijuana as oppose to poping pills, thankyou.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  51. Dr David; physical therapist

    Cannabis consumption is a human right. It's a plant with a long history of useful applications, including medicinal. It can be highly effective with acute and chronic pain reduction, muscle spasticity control, nausea reduction, etc. Scientists can barely even study it due to absurd laws, meanwhile taxation and regulation could save the economy and decrease dangerous crime.

    Patients ought to be able to obtain clean, potent strains or grow their own in the garden. It is far less harmful or dangerous than alcohol and tobacco. Daily caffeine and sugar intake alone are more harmful to our health than responsible cannabis consumption.

    Hemp has been robbed from American agriculture. Look it up. Even George Washington grew hemp next to his cotton.

    Please have an open, intelligent forum on this topic without filters.

    October 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  52. Gus Caracappa

    Glad to see you guys in hd. Easing the laws on medical marijuna is a good thing to help people that are ill. The problem with marijuna in most states is the ease that it is distributed illegally. Anyone can buy it at any time. Drugs are big business I am sure some people in high place are making a great deal of money. That is where the problem lies and officals turn there head when it is sold on the streets. If we are not going to go after these people then make it legal so the government can get its cut

    October 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  53. Badstdad

    As a legal user here in Oregon, I offer views from that perspective. I see the recent change in Federal policy as finally legitimizing State Law.

    The issue I wonder about is: Shouldn't this make workplace/hiring discrimination illegal, with employees and prospective employees protected under ADA laws?

    October 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  54. Dr David; physical therapist

    Cannabis consumption is a human right. It's a plant with a long history of useful applications, including medicinal. It can be highly effective with acute and chronic pain reduction, muscle spasticity control, nausea reduction, etc. Scientists can barely even study it due to absurd laws, meanwhile taxation and regulation could save the economy and decrease dangerous crime.

    Patients ought to be able to obtain clean, potent strains or grow their own in the garden. It is far less harmful or dangerous than alcohol and tobacco. Daily caffeine and sugar intake alone are more harmful to our health than responsible cannabis consumption.

    Hemp has been robbed from American agriculture. Look it up. Even George Washington grew hemp next to his cotton.

    Please have an open, intelligent forum on this topic without filters.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  55. Daniel Schwartz

    I have yet to see one blog defending the status quo. Probably because there is no good defense. Are the majority of Americans actually supportive of repealing the prohibition on pot? If so, why the heck doesn't our congress do something already?

    Oh, that's right! They're in the pockets of the alcohol-tobacco-pharmaceutical-insurance-law enforcement lobbies keeping it illegal.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  56. Wade

    Legalization Of Hemp would bring:

    1 Million jobs to the US (farms,factories,stores,transportation,ect..)

    $1 BILLION A YEAR in taxes & revenue to the economy. EVERY YEAR!

    Help save trees, the planet & use less oil have less green house gas!

    That should be enough! But theirs a lot more!

    The US government is and enemy to the people. It will NEVER do what is right. Our leaders have been bought and paid for by special interest groups.

    WE LOSE!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  57. A.J. Williams

    Well i am a patient in the great state of Michigan and i am glad that this is happening. I want to see legalization on a whole in the United States! I am personally sick of spending tax dollars to imprison non-violent marijuana "offenders". We offend no one and yet get our lives ripped away from us more than a murderer! Our tax dollars even go to imprison foreigners who are doing things that are legal in their country to do. Google Marc Emery! We could tax it and create so much money to help with the deficit and stop giving money to illegal cartels! It is a medicine to so many. It isn't just for the sick and the dieing either. If you smoke it just because it makes you happy then it is considered a medicine just like any anti-depression medication out there only much more safer because it has ZERO accidental overdoses and doesn't shut down or decay any organs of your body! Really do some research people and you will find out that you have been severely lied to for years by OUR government about this amazing and wonderful plant that can save lives, the environment, jobs, the economy, and many other things, all because it makes you laugh, hungry, and sleepy! ITS AN OUTRAGE!!

    October 24, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  58. Michelle

    I posted this earlier but it was not put on here so here we go again...
    The legalization of marijuana makes perfect sense to me...
    1. It would save 10 billion a year in the (war) on marijuana...
    2. All of the failing farmers in the US could be offered this crop, creating new jobs in rural communities..
    3. All persons convicted of a marijuana crime (only marijuana and no other crimes)and serving time should be put on those farms to serve out their remaining senence growing and caring for the crops. Afterall who better to tend the crops than the masters right?
    4. It would stop the illegal marijuana trade that brings violence and unwanteds into our communities.
    5. It would bring revenue to the food and beverage companies.. creating jobs.
    In short... the money that could be saved and made in this country by the legalization of marijuana could be applied to the things that REALLY need it!! I have NEVER known anyone who smokes a joint and goes to commit a crime or crash their cars... You are more likely to get a big bag of chips and a good movie!! It is a wonderful alterative to the so called legal drugs being pushed by the biggest drug dealers in the country.... the doctors!!!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  59. BC

    Roughly 7000 people die a year from Aspirin alone. That is the same stuff you can pick up from any store. No one has died from cannabis in thousands of years of consuming it. Opponents say they are concerned with the health of people who consume cannabis. If they were so concerned over others health they would be keeping the terrible scourge of aspirin out of our children's hands.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  60. potmom

    One of the reasons marijuana is not legalized is because the pharmaceutical industry doesn't want it to be. How would they make any money, if people knew they could grow pain medicine and antidepressants in their own backyard?

    October 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  61. takamata

    i think the topic of marijuana has become out of hand. people are growing up not knowing the facts. and it's a shame. i think it should be legal for the reasons that it can be used advantageously for human consumption, not only for getting high, but also medicinal, and materials that can be made from it. there are worse things going on in the world than me smoking a joint quietly at home or in the woods to enjoy nature.

    reefer madness has to end.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Dane Carder

    Marijuana is indispensable in treating all kinds of nausea. Marijuana really settles my stomach. It has medicinal properties, I know from experience.

    Legalize it now.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  63. Liberty_man


    You left out one very important special interest lobby. The drug cartels that are smuggling it into this country now. They can't allow legalization or they'd go out of business.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  64. Jon

    This is great news. Hopefully this will lead to legalization. Locking up anyone who uses a substance is completely ridiculous. Where in the Constitution does it say that the government has the right to regulate what an individual puts into his or her body? Besides the Constitutional argument, there is the logic and economic arguments. Crime and price would drop immediately. Its only a matter of time until the government finally wakes up and realizes the destruction they're causing by throwing people in jail for a silly thing like this.

    October 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  65. Jon

    In addition to my above post I have a medical question for those against legalization. Why is the most addictive drug legal (nicotine)?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  66. Eric, VA

    Sometimes you just can't fix all medical problems by making a new prescription drug in a laboratory. Marijuana seems to do some remarkable things for those battling severe ailments. Just as naturally occurring fruits contain vitamins and minerals vital to survival, maybe there's more to naturally occurring marijuana than meets the eye.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  67. Ice Mocha Delamota

    There are ways of making marijuana a suitable prescription with minimal health risks. Why not instead of smoking the "harsh plant matter" have it vaporized or extracted? There are an abundance of health benefits and a new source of revenue couldn't hurt the economy. As a favorite quote from pineapple express, "People have been smoking pot for thousands of years and they're not gonna stop now."

    October 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  68. Roy

    its about time. marijuana is natural, unlike heroin and cocaine. the US should just legalize marijuana and regulate it just like alcohol. because unlike the chemical drugs like heroin and cocaine. no one has every overdosed on marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  69. steven quillen

    Just look at this ONE aspect of legalizing cannabis. In just a couple of years ..after american farmers start growing hemp..we will become TOTALLY non dependent on foreign oil. That reason is good enought for our elected officials to make it all legal. If someone wants to toke..they are going to do are you going to stop that?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  70. James Fisher

    Trutanich & Cooley are ignoring the will of the people and trying to regulate Medical Marijuana according to thier own skewed interpretation of the law. They have ignored accepted guidlines drafted by Ca Attorney General Jerry Brown. They want a return to "Reefer Madness" and are wasting huge amounts of taxpayer dollars on raiding Medical Marijuana dispensaries who are in compliance with the law, just not Trutanich & Cooleys interpretation of it. They have even tried strong arming the City Council over other issues.... Why isn't our Governor or Attorny General reigning them in?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  71. BCam

    Medical Marijuana will become the new ciggarrette of the 21st century. Just as we didn't think ciggarrettes weren't bad back in the day, weed smoking will be the same issue in 30 years. Like lung cancer is the reality of smoking ciggarettes today; brain damage and the "dumbing" of our country will be the reality of our future. Let's leave it alone. After years of telling our children that it's a drug in America's DARE program, now we want to tax it and make money off of it? Can you say hyprocrites?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  72. Harry

    The FDA doesn't regulate any herbal medicines. No big deal.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  73. David Keith

    I am all for legalizing marijuana for casual use, but taxing it as well overlooks the fact that a horribile injustice has been committed against marijuana users and dealers. Now they want to tax them as well? What happened to the compelling state interest that the governement used to justify its laws? Clearly, there never was one. Marijuana users and dealers are a persecuted minority. These victims of injustice need to be compensated – not taxed. Don't do it on my dime!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  74. Eric O., Long Island, NY

    I noticed Dr. Voth mentioned a need to discern the intoxicating effects, from the medicinal. My question is, since the toxicity of marijuana is lower than alcohol, and is non- addictive, why should we discern between using it medicinally or recreationally anyways? His entire argument was based upon its presumed danger of being used recreationally. So why make the distinction at all. Seems arbitrary to me.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  75. mm user

    why beat around the bush?

    most mm users find a doctor who writes an rx for $150 and they get the protection of not having to call a drug dealer or risk getting arrested.

    anyone can say they have migraines or anxiety and get an rx...

    why aren't we simply operating these dispensaries as legal clinics for the public?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  76. Donato

    Heard that guy say its dangerous to get medical weed because you don't know what % of THC you're getting, all i have to say is that if the FCC had a way to guarantee you get the highest % of THC possible then i'm all for FCC regulation LOL!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  77. Marcus

    It can't be any worse than tobacco products or booze...both of which have been scientifically proven to deteriorate health

    October 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  78. Liberty_man

    What.. no one has an answer as to why it is illegal? It's not for any of the excuses people like Eric are giving..

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  79. mike

    I am a 26 year old medical marijuana user. With out the use of madicinal marijuana i would not even be able to walk. I have nerves that are messed up in my spine and the pain is great. Also marijuana is safer than some pain medicines like oxycotin or vicoden that could potentaily be verry addictive. Medical marijuana is more natural than some of these synthetic made pain meds

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  80. Brian Rowland

    Of course medical marijuana is a good idea, and more so would be legalization outright, of marijuana for recreational use. It's not a gateway drug we know, i mean, if you could only buy toilet paper at a liquor store, dont you think sales of alcohol would increase? Same concept with marijuana, except people are buying it from drug dealers, where other goods are on sale. The prohibition of marijuana, IS, the gateway drug.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  81. NithStefDi

    If it is something that is legalized, Regulation would be possible, besides its not like the things that are approved by the FDA is safe anyway

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  82. alex

    The time for change has long come due! We must make medical marijuana legal for those in need. who are you to decide what helps other people. its about free choice with medical pot, if i say it helps me sleep my libertys should be there to protect that, in the land of the free!!! Its not regulated now because the goverment is still against it untill we reclassifty pot as a class A drug with no medical use ofcourse the goverement is going to uphold the law. untill we change the federal law, and the books on pot. it would deffinatly help the economy. other wise indoor grow opps are going to rise!!! let us have our herb its natural!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  83. Keith Brown

    Alcohol is bad enough for our country. Many lives and families are destroyed because of what people allow alcohol to do to them. Legalizing marijuana would just add to the problems of our society. People need to be civil and not just react.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  84. devon

    tetra hydro cannebanol a.k.a THC is not the only chemical in cannabis. Let alone that weed has no harmful side affects. The legalization and taxation would get us out of the current problems in the economy.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  85. Kekoa

    I am a medical marijuana user. This Dr. speaks of the marijuana dispensaries being dangerous because of unknown THC levels...I mean come on! If someone were growing pot with THC levels dangerous enough to harm you he'd be the most popular guy around! 10% or 40% THC, the users would rather have the latter!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  86. Cappi

    Legalize it. Tax it. No more wasted resources.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  87. Missy

    i believe that marijuana should be legalized. this is not becasue i am some stoner that just wants it legalized so that if they get caught, they wont get in trouble. i believe this because a good family friend was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, and is in a lot of pain, so if it was legalized, maybe it could help her be in less pain.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  88. Pat

    I'm an older woman who underwent a bilteral mastectomy and became extremely nauseas and in alot of pain post operatively. My doctoct gave me anti-nausea and pain medication to no avail. I was offered a marijuana joint and after very reluctantly taking it I felt like it was a miracle. I told my husband that after all the conventional medications that I was given, this is the only thing that helped. I feel very strongly that this should be legalized.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  89. John


    Is it standard for doctors to go through all other pain relief medication before resorting to medical marijuana?

    What is preventing people from lying to a doctor about fictional pain in order to get a prescription to simply get high?


    October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  90. alex

    It's about time for "legalized" medical marijuana to be treated as such. The next enormous hypocrisy to address is its continued classification as a schedule one drug. With legalized medicinal uses, the classification as schedule one is yet another instance of our governing bodies refusing to look at facts and listen to experts in policy decisions.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  91. Jai Daemion

    Dr. Voth's argument about non-standardized quality of medical marijuana is patently absurd. As a qualified substance abuse prevention specialist I want to add that marijuana dosage is self-regulating by users: they continue to ingest until desired levels are obtained and there is NO medical danger of 'overdosing' unless driving is involved. Dr. Voth (and CNN) need to better understand the experience of marijuana ingestion.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  92. Joe Schuessler

    I will agree with Dr. Voth on some points. Because I have no first hand experience on the matter, I don't know just what is being handed out at the cannabis club. But I don't have a hard time believing the potency is varied. Dr. Voth expressed that the FDC has standards for medicine and with the medical marijuana, it's becoming medicine by popular vote. If we're to legalize it as medicine, is it really so hard to legalize as well as standardize it?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  93. Romeo Calderon

    What about a Public Transit worker, let's say a Bus Operator or Train Operator, now that the Feds are laying off the states that have elected Medical Marijuana, if the Transit worker gets a medical marijuana card is he/she then exempt from popping positive on a random drug test for marijuana use?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  94. Jonathan

    Fred said "laced" The correct word should be "infused". Laced has a 1) negative connotation 2) implies low concentration. I want my edibles strong –> infused, not laced.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  95. Benjamin

    Hi. The gray haired gentleman made some good points about how pharmacists have regulations for dosage, etc... and that it is not good to take a drug (i.e. marijuana) and not know dosage (i.e. THC)..

    I would like to ask him,

    "Are you against marijuana medicine ENTIRELY? Or, if there was some technology, supposed in the future, that could regulate dosage, would you support it?

    Are you against the implementation or against medicinal marijuana in its entirety?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  96. dennis linville

    This is just great. For 30+ yrs we have been teaching our kids and now grand children to say no to drugs and many of us have really tried very hard to do so. we have always had the law to back us up on right and wrong. Congradulations you have made fools of us all!
    I have a great idea .since the government and the media is throwing our kids to the drug dealers,maybe they can take the money they make from taxing dope and use it to back the war on drugs?
    With all that is happening in the world to day its no wonder i am not surprized at this in the least.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  97. James

    I sliped a disk in my back a few years ago.The doctor gave me Morphine. after 2 years I was fully addicted.I had to go to rehab for the physicall dependency.After all of this I found Pot.After 2 years I can quit any time without withdraws.That is the big difference.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  98. DAVE

    I contracted HEP-C years ago as my liver slipped into Cirrhosis. Also over last couple years have Autoimmune responce from Interferon leading to Psoriatic arthrittis occurring while treating HEP-C with Interferon.

    At times I have mild continuous pain under my lungs on top region of Liver. Recently have tried Marijunna as it was noted it may help in inflamation. I received my legal staus in MI. and I can now attest that while using the marijunna, all pain has seized.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  99. Diane

    Victomless crime that costs our government puts too many people in jail, clogs the courts and it's a waste of time.

    No one has ever died from smoking marijuana, they might eat a lot but thats not a crime.

    legalize it, Tax it, and use the taxes for health reform.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  100. Ken

    With the access we have to information now, Americans can get the facts and not listen to the ridiculous claims that marijuana is bad or evil. Truth is, it is less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes, and most prescribed and over the counter drugs. It should not be a schedule one drug. It should be legalized.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  101. Morgan

    I think marijuana should be legalized not just for medicinal use but for recreation use. Marijuana is not a narcotic and should not be treated like one. Someone having morphine illegally is going to get less of a penalty than someone with marijuana because morphine is legal, but does that really make sense? Has anyone ever overdosed on thc????

    October 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  102. Fay RN

    Mr. Roth says there is no evidence to support medical marijuana other than popular demand, when truthfully there are mountains of research to show exactly what marijuana does within our bodies and how it has helped many disease processes. The newest research is for its role in diabetes and reducing blood sugars. I am a nurse and I have worked on ambulances and in ER's. NEVER EVER have I treated anyone for adverse effects of marijuana. Let's really look at why marijuana ever became illegal in 1937!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  103. Ken

    If all the pot smokers admitted they smoke at the same time, marijuana would be legal.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  104. Dave W

    The gentlemen's assertion that if the THC percentage is unknown that that somehow is dangerous is absurd and nothing more than an attempt to scare the ignorant. THC is non-toxic and it is not possible to overdose on cannabis. The worst case scenario if someone consumes too much is they fall asleep!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  105. Andrew

    With respect to the variation in THC content and the lack of FDA control. We the people can decide for ourselves how much medicine to use. We have the power to grow and administer our own medicine. If we use medicine that is very potent we can decide to use less without fear of an overdose. The schedule 1 status which has prevented funding, research, and scientific studies is the main reason why there is little evidence that can be cited in defense of medical marijuana. I'm just thrilled that the citizens will have a production and distribution network in place before big pharma has had a chance to get involved. Thank you Mr. Holder!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  106. Liberty_man

    Question for Ron Brooks. Is it our policy to make everything illegal that might do a person harm? Or is it our policy to have legitimate reasons for making something illegal? We don't make everything illegal that can be abused.. alcohol, tobacco, sugar, salt.. those are all legal. We don't make things illegal for health reasons.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  107. Tiffany from Anna Texas

    In my opinion weed is not a drug it is a plant that grows from the grownd that you smoke just like cagarettes. Really you cant even say that about cigarettes because the have chemicals added to them. Weed you just let it dry and smoke it there is nothing added to it. God put weed on the world for a reason.

    "... and on either side of the river was the tree of life...
    the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
    -Revelation 22.2

    October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  108. Gary

    I do not get all the controversy. What about alcohol? What are the study's on it? Yet, there is a broad use for marijuana both industrial and madisimal. Why is it legal to drink and not smoke pot? Why is it legal to smoke cigerettes and not smoke pot? It is clearly politically motivated.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |

    Hi Great show, the first thing you need to address is when talking about legalizing cannibis, is you have to change the current classification of the drug? It is currently classified the same as
    opium and herion??? when the classification should be rated somewhere between sugar and caffine with nicatine and alcohol
    being worst!!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  110. Marcy

    I have endometriosis and minor back pain, my doctor's pain relieving cure was to prescribe me percocets. After awhile percocets become habit forming with uncomfortable and sometimes with serious withdrawls. Marijuana is something I would rather choose to use then poppin pills all day. There are misuses in all drugs legal and illegal, whats the big deal. People on oxycodone, percocets, vicodin, suboxen...prescribed can also abuse drugs. Alchohol is so dangerous but its still legal. Whats the logic in this, other than the government making there money off of it, and sending people to jail for possesion is ridiculous. For goodness sakes, the FDA approves all day long with major side affects. They allow medicines to go on the market only to take it off because people are dropping dead. Marijuana has been around since the beginning. George Washington grew it........didn't he?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Smokin UCA Bear

    Ok... My overall opinion is that there's nothing wrong with M. They say that it leads to the use of heroin that's why it is illegal. They came to this conclusion by polling known heroin users and addicts, all of them had used M. in the past therefore that led to their use of heroin. I bet if u asked the same heroin addicts if they were given milk when they were children 99% of the addicts would say yes. That brings me to the conclusion that milk could possibly be the reason people are addicted to heroin! Herbs a gift from the earth, and what is from the earth is of the greatest worth-Ben Harper. M can't be worse for u than many pharmaceuticals

    October 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  112. Richard Bird

    The drug companies don't want Marijuana leagleized beacuse it would cut into their profits for many of the drugs. I know more people abusing pain pills then abuse marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  113. Gary

    Are the alcohol company doing anything to block this from happening? What about Dow Chemical? I want to know what is being done and by whom to block the efforts of pot from being legal?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  114. alex

    this also shows how much americans need to self educate themselfs and not just belive anything thats thown into there face. we really need to rethink how we have been looking and talking about marijuana, what was the harm int he first place? are people dieing? no. are people being harmed, no. with all due respect go do your own research for yourself and see what you think abou tmarijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  115. Old lady in OK

    Of course it should be legalized. The end of the corruption in the entire law enforcement structure that deals with marijuana, and not continuing to support the horrible cartels in Mexico, and the weapons traffic? Legalize, standardize, tax and vend.

    I know people my age who have smoked daily for 40+ years. They're not addled, they're not debilitated, they're normal. I don't smoke often but I find it enjoyable occasionally. Certainly it isn't physically addictive, although one can become emotionally dependent I suppose.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  116. SA

    Marijuana is not the gateway drug in my case. If I can recall correctly, my friend's dad's liquor cabinet was the first place anyone of my friends went to for a buzz. As, in my case, I prefer medical marijuana for treatment of depression and panic attack treatment. I would prefer to grow my own, but MA doesn't allow it! Legalize now!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  117. SFV

    P.S. in the city of los angeles i feel safer going into a cannabis club than i do going to my local bank!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  118. BS

    I get medical marijuana for pain resulting from second,third degree burn scars on 33% of my body. It helps me deal with the pain of tight scars on my neck and knees, it helps me with my PTSD. I used Marijuana to get myself off of the oxycontin that was first given to me by a hospital for my pain.I think the FDA doesnt have to bother with controlling the THC levels in Marijuana because its impossible to overdose on it.Not to mention That California could pull itself out of debt by legalizing it and taxing it. If alcohol and tobacco is legal and taxed then the government sounds like hipocrites not legalizing Marijuana.I would be willing to see alcohol and tobacco made ilegal if Marijuana has to stay illegal seems only fair.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  119. shoes

    The doctor you have on right now, has no credibilty. Ask him who funds his orginization. The reason why a pot is illlegal is that you can grow it for free. I am a stage four cancer survivor and pot help keep me alive, still does. It is non adictive, you can't overdose, and you can control the effects of it. The big question is, does anyone deserve to go to priison for it. Alcohol, tobacco are much worse. But stop with it being adictive. Your much safer being around a pot head than an alcoholic. You build a tolerance to it, so the effects are very controlable. The people you have on against all have something to lose if it is made legal, mainly funding. STOP THE LIES ALREADY! Asprin is more dangerous.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  120. lynne

    i live in canada, and i am a member of the toronto compassion club. i can get my weed by going there, or even mail order. i am in a lot of pain, and smoking helps alot. there is a difference between the sativa and indica. the tcc sells both. there are alot of really sick people out there that it helps. who are we to deny them relief?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  121. edwin

    see how all the government/bigPharm guys want to control it... i can grow any kind of tomato for my own personal use whats the difference?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  122. devon

    there are 3 sub-species of cannabis sativa a more upidiy high indica a downer and stradivaris a low thc content sub-species. I have a prescribtion for cannabis . no non goverment funded study has found any harm form cannabis. and a tincher is 150+ proof alcohol with a 50% thc content.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  123. Gilberto from Fresno, CA

    I feel that medical marijuana is a good idea because it is a safe option when it comes to medication. Compared to medication in pill form that come with deadly side effects. Another reason it is good because if the government finds appropriate taxes on medical marijuana it could boost revenue for the states. I dont know what the big fuss is about medical marijuana when the government has allowed alcohol and cigarettes to be legal and those two things kill people daily.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  124. Marcus

    Marijuana has no worse side-effects than any other pharmaceuticals. Opponents of its use are fighting the stigma that's associated with the substance, rather than considering the validity of its medicinal efficacy.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  125. Randy

    I have cancer and Hiv and if my state would legalize it then it would take away 5-7 pills a day I currently take. I cant eat,or sleep with out a pill. And the pain is always there unless I take Oxycotin so why cant I have the right to feel like a normal human being with out pills..

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  126. Rose in Washington

    My elderly aunt, was spending $2000.00 a month on Morphine Patchs, for very limited relief, and a addiction to it, she got off the Morphine, and is a happy healthy, pain relieved Great Grandmother!

    Leave grandma alone!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  127. TONY

    I have smoked since 14yrs old. I"m 44 now and was poisend by stucco in1999,since then i smoked every day and i;m in perfect health. THe DR on now has no facts that are proven.ACHOL is 100 times more toxic and is the only gateway drug.Legelize it. By the way ,the way istoped smoking to drive tracter trailer. Stop ruinning lives over pot.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  128. jim parker

    i live in okla and have m.s. ankolysing spondlitis osteopinia nureopathy spinal stenois and some other i have been taking unregulated generic drugs sold at all pharmcies and was told by doctors mariuuana would help me much more than the drugs iam forced to take by this system

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  129. michelle

    Any drug has side effects. If its man made or produce in a lab. i think if it helps the people why not. all the things they say about Marijuana they can say about any drugs...its all about money and power.....

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  130. Jim

    Dr Voth is mistaken particularly in regards to the amount of THC in the medical marijuana. Just this week on CNN when the federal laws were loosened, you had video of the inside of a dispensary and each strain had a label on it telling the percentage of THC. Also many websites in the netherlands that sell seeds have the THC percentage listed. In addition people need to know that Aspirin causes more deaths than marijuana; not to mention deaths associated with alcohol and other legal prescriptions used to treat chronic pain like oxycontin or vicodin, all of which have far higher risks of addiction and overdose than marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  131. Gary

    It is about time it is legalized and regulated. If you think people will stop smoking it you are wrong!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  132. dave

    Here's my argument for medical marijuana . I was an avid pot/hash smoker from age 17-30. I am now 56. During that time I used every derivative of marijuana available including THC in pill form. Not as much fun as smoking pot. Why not take the stigma of the Dope Fiend, Refer Madness, hippie! out of the equation. Dispense THC in pill form (takes all the fun out of smoking a joint) as is currently done with most other medications. Taking the stigma out of medical marijuana seems to make sense and would not promote recreational marijuana use which seems to be the main issue here.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  133. omar

    pot is not more harmful then alcohol and alcohol and cigarettes have more deaths then any other drug and they are legal

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  134. cody roth

    Although the FDA does regulate, how can you compare a plant that you can't overdose on, with alcohol, morphiene, vicodin, that can cause numerous side affects and health problems including withdrawls. You have none of these problems with marijuana and your body has receptors made specifically for the chemical THC, which doesn't damage your body other than smoking it. Though smoking marijuana may hurt the lungs there are multiple ways of getting the THC into your system like, pills, baking them into foods, etc. How can the government legalize a drug such as alcohol that has caused so many problems. It does not even help with any pain or personal problems. It has caused so many problems in the US. so far that i dont know why they wouldnt just all out legalize marijuana due to the fact that it is a billion dollar industry which would help with the debts our states are in, aswell as help patients that have problems such as cancer.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  135. David Hogben, PhD

    Dr. Larry Scheingorn was an ophthalmologist in Montgomery County, Maryland. He had a local TV program and his own website. He developed esophageal cancer. He had a lot of pain that he discussed on his TV show and on his website. He wanted pain management and couldn't get it. He wanted and needed marijuana from the time he was diagnosed until the time he died about three or four years later.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  136. publius99

    I'm an MD,PhD board-certified medical toxicologist, with an additional graduate degree in psychopharmacology. The main advantage of smoked medical marijuana derives from "redistribution kinetics".

    Simply stated, this means that with the smoked form, you can closely adjust the dosage to exactly how much you need to alleviate symptoms.. This is not the case with "the drops". Evidently, the police officer does not understand this.

    As for the doctor who claims that anagesia from marijuana is not separate from its ability to get you "high". According to the medical literature, this is also flatly untrue.

    As for "hospital admissions" due to marijuana. No such thing– the study cited merely looked at persons showing traces of marijuana on toxicology tests. This does not mean marijuana caused the admission or even if the person had smoked marijuana recently.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  137. james mucha

    Times are changing law need to be changed, pot smoking been around for thousands of year used as medicane ......its time for a change and educate kids in school and college. And help the prisons to fine pot smokers not jail time and lose of driving priviliges ...its would boost the it tax it tax it thanks james west reading pa

    October 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  138. SFV

    the reason that there is limited viable research on marijuana is because research has been stymied from our government for decades!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  139. mike douville jr.

    marijuana is the healing of the nation. I have smoked marijuana since I was 9 years old, I've never gotten an F and have a B.A in sociology. legalize it, tax it, and regulate it. mike

    October 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  140. Nancy and Rick in Tucson

    As non-users, we suggest legalizing marijuana and benefit the USA by taxing it. This could dramatically reduce our deficits.

    To further improve our economic future, sell the marijuana that DEA seizes and increase the net revenue.

    An important additional benefit would be a reduction of the drug trade on our southern border.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  141. DEVIN

    if the fda oppose the use of marijuana because they say the side effect may vary what about the drugs that they put out that turn thousands of its user into addicts .or if we dig deeper what about the drugs that they put out that ten years later is being recalled because it killing the those who took it .marijuana has been used for thousands of years without any proven harmful side effect .we as a americans need to get over ourselves we allow tobacco and alcohol companies to get rich of our people lives which kill tens of thousands .

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  142. Doug

    Marijuana is a herb that god made and should be free to use. FDA should have nothing to do with, all the drugs that are appoved by them are still abused by some, like oxc's and other drugs. All those people on your show that are not for medical marijuana lacks the real facts.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  143. shoes

    Ask the cop how much pot has he tried, one joint does not make you expert. Legalizing it puts him out of a job. Smoking a couple of joints a day will not give you cancer. Those comments make him irrelevant..

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  144. Chris

    So here is the thing. Opponents of marijuana cite studies done by the FDA and other private entities as credible sources in the study of different drugs. Anyone can easily find plenty of blunders in studies the FDA has provided. The FDA has allowed a multitude of drugs on the market that have proven to be detrimental to our health, even fatal. The biggest problem our youth face right now is getting prescription pills from their parents drug cabinets and abusing "legal" over-prescribed prescription drugs. Recreational use of industrial pharmaceutical goods is no different than recreational use of marijuana except for lobbyist on the hill.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  145. Antonio BraveHeart

    I dont understand why everyone is making such a big deal about chemicals in medical marajuana, cigarettes kill many people every year. Cigarettes also have been proven to be made up of dangerous and fatal toxicants. Cigarettes can be proven to be far more deadly than the use of marajuana, so what is there to think of the legalization and wide acceptance of tobbaco sales and use?????

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  146. Jared

    I am in my second year at law school and currently reading a lot of 4th amendment search and seizure cases. I am amazed by the number of cases that relate to drug possession. We are about to enter the 4th decade of "the war on drugs" and I'm not sure what we have to show for it. The prohibition of anything leads to black markets whether guns, drugs, or alcohol. Because black markets are not protected by legitimate security measures violence becomes the normal operating procedure. The war on drugs is expensive in that it costs money and uses up resources that could be used for other purposes. It is very ineffective in preventing drugs from entering the country or being sold to our citizens. It also fuels international terrorism and drug cartels that cause chaos just across our border. In addition, our alcohol and cigarette policies stain the ethical and moral banner that such a war attempts to fight under. It is a difficult thing to say that all drugs should be legal but the policy currently in place is ineffective, costly, and hypocritical.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  147. grantt200

    The real reason for making it illegal is not mainly from smokers, it is the because of the profits that can be made from the bi-product.
    This is a product that has well over 5000 uses, The use of marijuana has been practice in china well over 5000 yrs ago The benifits has been known for the past 7000 yrs. During the WWII the USA trafficed in marijuana bi-product.These products came form China and India. This is the real reason why this product is illegal. The roman empire when to war over marijuana. you can make clothing building material like lumber insulation particle board and insulation, clothing insecticide machine lubrication

    October 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  148. JENNY

    Agree with James keeton previous post. you said it all.

    pasted so you can all read again....
    James keeton October 24th, 2009 2:27 pm ET

    Folks this is not an issue of a dangerous drug. Everyone knows that Cannabis is safe and that it has many medical uses. The reasons for prohibition is $. The alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies otherwise known as the- Partnership for a Drug-Free America doesn't want it legal. They would lose billions. If You could use cannabis you wouldn't need all their expensive, highly profitable prescriptions. Prozac, Ambien, Ridalin, would no longer be needed. The alcohol industry would take a big hit because people would be more apt to use recreational cannabis because it is safer with no lousy side effects,ie..hangover, violence, drunk driving. The prison systems would lose billions of your tax dollars because there would be millions of people who would no longer be incarcerated for marijuana offenses. petroleum comp[anies dont want hemp because you dont need their chemicals to grow it. It can be used as a major replacement for plastics. bio-fuels, textiles, paper, etc... When you start looking at the big picture you soon start to see the enormity of the prohibition complex. It has nothing to do with getting high,stoners, gateway drug, it has to do with $$$$

    October 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  149. Pat Lewis

    I think using marijuana for medical purposes is a great ideal Doctors are subscribing it to their patients because they know the medical benefits of it, and that it is not dangerous. There will always be pundants who are against new things in the world just because of their personal views! It doesn't matter to them that research usually proves them wrong, as with the use of marijuana. Dr. Ron Brooks states his concern about people driving under the influence of marijuana, but doesn't say anything about the people who drive under the influence of alcohol and kills hundreds of people each year. Why isn't alcohol banned? Because the Federal and State governments make so money on it, and because so many people like it. Why aren't pain medications banned, which, by the way, have so many side affects? Because our government allows them, that's why! It's time that people who are against anything new stop imposing their fact-based opinions on us. Do your research first.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  150. David Keith

    I am all for legalizing mariuana for casual use but taxing marijuana users, dealers, and growers as part of quid pro quo for letting them off the hook is nothing short of extortion. Just legalize it and leave it at that.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  151. Eric

    This is for the DEA guy....
    How could harmful chemicals like tobacco,alcohol, and caffeine be legal when they are clearly bad for you but a chemical that can help a cancer patient cope,an A.I.D.S. patient eat, a man with a saver sleep disorder sleep. I mean there are so many medical use for marijuana yet it is illegal but other more harmful chemicals is not. Why?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  152. J

    This is medicine. Impossible to overdose on. Prop 215 in California should allow patients safe access to their medicine. Could you address how interesting it is that Obama and the Feds have reversed the Bush administrations tactics and the city of Los Angeles specifically Steve Cooley has started kicking in doors again of otherwise peaceful patients following their LEGAL rights to safe access to this organic medicine.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  153. john mavredakis

    Finally! I work hard, pay taxes and smoke weed every day.why am I a criminal?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  154. James of Fixed News

    Thank goodness people are not going to be demonized for using a natural substance.

    The fact of the matter is that it is much safer than other things like alcohol, which kills thousands of people every year. Name me one person who died of a Marijuana overdose this year?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm |

    if it stops 1 murder that occurs on the streets anywhere in the united states in my option it is worth it i have smoked every day since age 12 my own father smoked with me on my 12th b-day arrested twice in my life because of it and in my life time just about every person that i have come in contact with does or has smoked bud before tax it some how so the gov.can lower the deficet bill thanks charleston , sc

    October 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  156. Joan Stewart

    Legal Marijuana for medical purposes should be part of the homeopathy treatments left away from FDA regulations.The FDA would tax it and make it part of the drug and insurance administrations. They would add additives, buffers and any other synthetic additives they would choose to change it with the excuse to purify it and monopolize it just like all other drugs of the pharmaceutical industry. Leave well enough alone. Why do you think they are trying to fight it?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  157. edwin

    Is anyone raising the religious issue here? Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Perhaps the government has overstepped its bounds in the first place by any regulation or prohibition of this god bestowed gift...

    October 24, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  158. Pat Lewis


    I think using marijuana for medical purposes is a great idea. Doctors are subscribing it to their patients because they know the medical benefits of it, and that it is not dangerous. There will always be pundants who are against new things in the world just because of their personal views! It doesn't matter to them that research usually proves them wrong, as with the use of marijuana. Dr. Ron Brooks states his concern about people driving under the influence of marijuana, but doesn't say anything about the people who drive under the influence of alcohol and kill hundreds of people each year. Why isn't alcohol banned? Because the Federal and State governments make so money on it, and because so many people like it. Why aren't pain medications banned, which, by the way, have so many side affects? Because our government allows them, that's why! It's time that people who are against anything new stop imposing their factually incorrectly opinions on us. Do your research first.

    Pat Lewis
    NY, NY

    October 24, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  159. chris weglarz

    There are just too many pro's than con's on this issue. We will save time and money by legalizing medical marijuana. The US can grow it, regulate it and tax it. If this natural plant that is on this earth can help ease pain on someone that is sick or has back or neck pain. Why not make it available to these unfortunate people that can live a better, and more confortable life. This would also help reduce the demand from the Mexican Cartel. This will help our National debt.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  160. James Bullington

    I totally agree with James Keeten. It seems obvious that pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, police departments, and prisons would lose a LOT of revenue if marijuana becomes decriminalized or legalized. It is all about $$$.
    I think the recent demise of Wall Street confirms that this is not a cynical view but a fact of life.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  161. yokoyou

    The only reason marijuana is still illegal under federal is because the government hasn't yet figured out an efficient way to regulate and tax it so they can get thier cut! Unfortunately (for the gov) cannibus is so easy to produce by ordinary citizens, they can't possibly stop everyone who wants to grow it.
    The numbers are irrefutible. Cannibus is simply LESS DANGEROUS/HARMFUL than legal drugs like alcohol and nicotine which are far more addictive/destructive but much harder to produce and use.
    This issue isn't about safety and never has been. This is about the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT getting its cut. Plain and simple.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  162. Brian Rowland

    The notion that marijuana causes schizophrenia is ridiculous. Ive used marijuana for 15 years and have no health problems, no mental problems, my IQ is 110. If marijuana were legal more people would quit using the much more dangerous ALCOHOL. Like a popular book title says, "Marijuana prohibition is driving people to drink". Its also a fact that driving under the influence of marijuana is EXTREAMLY much more safe than driving under the influence of alcohol, although you should not drive impaired on any substance.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  163. K

    Marijuana is just a plant. Tobacco use kills millions of people every year and has no medical use. Alcohol as well kills many people every year with no purpose for use. Marijuana doesnt kill people at most will make somebody fall asleep. So why is marijuana not legal and tobacco and alcohol is. Marijuana is not on the same level as coccaine, heroin, ...

    October 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  164. E. Springer

    Thus far you failed to address all diseases for which medical marijuana is perscribed and it's efficacy vs the alternative legal drugs and there effects adverse or otherwise compared to marijuana. As a medical marijuana patient it is way less harmful than oxicotin or hydrocodine. Not to mention the benefits to HIV and Aids patients or cancer patients with eating and sleeping disorders. Personally I think it should be completely legal and regulated like tobacco or alcohol. Mark Springer

    October 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  165. Jeff

    I am wondering if law enforcements concern regarding medical marijuana or decriminalzation would result in the loss of jobs or funding for law enforcement?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  166. James Bingenheimer

    I am 56 years old and have been using marijuana since the age of 19. Without a doubt marijuana has saved my eyesight after 29 years of glaucoma and 44 years of diabetes. After all these years I swear to God the most dangerous thing about marijuana is the insane law that prevents its use for medicine and other beneficial uses.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  167. Bob Nagy

    It is time that this political football from the 60's is re-evaluated. Not only are tremendous federal resources wasted trying to stop it's extremely pervasive use, but without federal regulation and taxing, the import of MJ from Mexico causes tremendous damage through organized crime.
    The reduction of human suffering through medical MJ use is thus only one aspect of this consideration. We need additional focus on reduction of damage from the true gateway drug- alcohol. If MJ in any way could replace alcohol as the popular intoxicant of choice, hundreds of thousands of lives might be saved....ask any policeman about how alcohol abuse effects their work. This is really what we are talking about here.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  168. Don Shaxon

    We should all support MEDICAL marijuana! Take a look at the company Cannabis Science.... they have a lozange that could be used by millions of cancer and aids patients. They're the public company (OTC-CBIS) that was recently feature in the Wall Street Journal. I think they're onto something.....

    October 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  169. Jack Baybeh

    I applaud the Fed's new stance. Now they need to take it a step further and lift the prohibition altogether. No one wants to talk about how cannabis prohibition is a violation of not only our constitutional rights but also of our birth right as a children of this planet. YOU CANNOT SUCCESSFULLY OUTLAW NATURE.(ie: WOD) And I'm not just refering to the fact that the plant itself is a product of nature. The want to tweak your brain chemistry is also a NATURAL inherent human characteristic. Every culture has had it's way of getting high since the dawn of mankind. No amount of legislation or threat of incarceration will kill that appetite. PERIOD. Stop wasting all this time and all these billions. It's a matter of free choice. The government has no business in your head. FREE THE WEED.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  170. Brian

    Regardless how much one consumes, you will never read a story about that person beating up their spouse, unlike alcohol. Marijuana is so beneficial and in comparison to most other drugs legal or illegal, harmless. It should be totally decriminalized.

    Brian K.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  171. Rich

    We need to have the classification of cannibis changed from schedule
    1 to schedule 2 which would shift the leagality from fed law to state law then let each state could decide through the vote ???

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  172. tom mccorry

    Dr. Voth’s concern over the amount of TCH being dispensed is quite concerning coming from a doctor. How many people die every year from medical mistakes – how many have O.D’d on pot? The worst thing that happened to me is that I ate half a chocolate cake and drank a quart of milk! Mea Culpa! Tom – CA

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  173. Hannah N

    I support not only medical marijuana, but the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Marijuana is one of the most organic drugs known to man and causes much less adverse side effects than many chemical drugs. Furthermore, if drinking alcohol can be widely accepted as a recreational activity, then why not using marijuana? I believe that if marijuana were to be legalized then national regulations could be successful. And, even though there has been an increase in marijuana-related emergency room admissions, how much is that number in comparison to other legalized drugs? Our economy could even benefit greatly if growing or distribution was taxed lightly. I do not think that it is alright for the government to tell US citizens what we are and are not allowed to put into our bodies!!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  174. casey

    Josh, really love the conversation. These guys are aparently just uneducated. There is differently a difference between the strains. Secondly people have been using cannabis for thousands of years for relife of pain and dausea stress and on and on. My mother in law had lung cancer from cigerattes. She was dying fast the oxys stopped her pain and made her throw up. When her daughter introduced her to a joint she was releived of not only the pain but no nausea. For a women wasting a way from not eating she was finally hunger and was able to enjoy peace of mind and body.
    It is clear it was a smear campaign to illealize the plant. It is time to stop the illeaglization of pot and decriminalize the pocession.
    And no people who are at work should not be allowed to operate planes or school buses while on the drug. After all they cant drink alcohol or smoke cigerattes. Can they?

    Thank you,

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  175. shoes

    Pot does not have to be processed as coke, herion, alcohol does. It doesn't do any harm, chase the meth dealers, please quit wasting resources on something so harmless, but finding reefer is easier than finding a meth lab. Tax it and be done with it. The people against obviously don't smoke it, because they are ignorant of the effects.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  176. Chris

    As a primary care PA-C for an underserved clinic in rural California I see at least 1 or 2 patients a day abusing the medical marijuana laws. But, I see 10-20 patient a day abusing Vicodin, Xanax, and Soma all at the same time.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  177. Leigh

    you keep talking about the fact that the voters have gone around the
    DEA and testing.. The US govenment wont alow us to do any research on marijuana because it is schedule I not schedule II like herion. That means our government thinks marijuana is more dangerious than herion. how may legal drugs are on the black market today really.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  178. Marian

    a lot of people have lymes disease I was wondering since this is so painful could people use this to help with the pain

    October 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  179. jill

    I live in California and voted for its compassionate use. The law, however, has become a joke and abused. Ask cities who are now fighting more and more "grow houses", look at Arcata, Ca., and the effect it has on their town. People say they have a hangnail and get a prescription. I would bet 95 percent of those who use it do not need it medically. To say the dispensaries are strictly for the benefit of the patient and are non-profit is ludicrous.

    Would I vote again for this law? No.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  180. Shane

    In the same way alcohol prohibition gave criminals like Al Capone a job in the illegal alcohol business, isn't it logical to think that the prohibition of marijuana gives criminals work? If marijuana were legalized and regulated, doctors and scientists would take the work from violent criminals in the production and distribution of it. On the topic of the intoxicating effects of marijuana, alcohol is also intoxicating and attributed to many deaths each year, yet alcohol is legal where marijuana is not. Given these two points, why is marijuana illegal when alcohol is not?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  181. J

    How do you know if it stays in your system 30 days

    October 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  182. steven quillen

    Time to get rid of RON...he is clearly for the PRISON system. Eric,,,for the BIG PHARMA. Listen to common sense and the people that use this wonder drug.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  183. Ron

    My wife and I both are disabled after back surgeries. Anyone in extreme pain knows how very little medicines we have available. Also the side-effects of narcotic pain medicines are extreme. I would welcome any marijuana medicines to help us. They would be much milder side-effects. Marianol is a great nausea relief medicine with almost NO side-effects compared to other nausea meds.

    We pray that our society does more research in true pain relief for extreme chronic pain. Life is HELL under these conditions.

    R & R

    October 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  184. YSquared

    After listening to this debate for decades, and understanding the history of marijuana criminalization, it seems the only logical outcome should be complete decriminalization of this substance. The legal hypocrisy in allowing the use of other much more harmful substances in our society is plainly outrageous.

    If there was a way visualize all of the "for" and "against" arguments on a virtual scale, from what I calculate the "for" arguments outweigh by 10 to 1. When weighing this issue, any logical thought has to come down on the side of supporting decriminalization, or at the very least allowing medical patients hope in their recoveries.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  185. kina nelson

    About the amount of THC in the marijuana. The caregivers that grow the marijuana do know a lot about the strains and strengths or percentage of THC of the marijuana and what kind of medical problems it helps. Different strains treat different disorders. Its a natural treatment, that people can not overdose on. It has helped many people throughout the centuries all over the world. This helps people in pain that do not want to take a man made substance made from chemicals. The legalization has helped the economy, it has helped people in pain not have to worry about getting trouble for medicating themselves naturally. You get tons of information to read over when you get a card and it gives you references to websites and phone numbers for any questions that you may have about the drug. If someone is concerned on the potency it is easily regulated by just taking a smaller amount. Go Montana!!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  186. Don P.

    I believe if there was a review of the proabition era, people would realize that after legalization of alcohol, the revenue from taxation of liquer, was tremendous! the same thing can happen with marijuana..there would be increased funding for standardization,legal enforcement and many other patient related benefits derived form the monies aquired. also, the chance for abuse of product isn't something that can be stopped, only the reprocussions dealt with. marijuana isn't the only thing susseptible for abuse, and shouldn't be judged by the few negative aspects related to the use. I have been declared terminal by my cardiologist, and I have many pain related conditions, including gastro issues from the many years of taking harsh prescription drugs that we as public/patients are forced to take because they are the only "legal" source of medicines. this is a real crock! Our politicians should defer tho the medical specialists and stop trying to assume they know what is best for all of us, when they don't have a clue.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  187. Liberty_man

    Ron... again.. how much harm is being done by hunting down, incarcerating, and killing people? The war on citizens who self medicate is not helping society at all.. it's making it worse.

    Dr Eric.. about the driving.. did you stop to check the alcohol in those accidents? Can you say it was for sure that the cannabis caused any accident? No! Those same people may just as well of had ambien in their system. Did you check for that?

    If you prescribe valium and your patients do drive.. should all valium users be inprisoned?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  188. steven quillen

    These people evidently have never tried how are they the EXPERTS???

    October 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  189. Dawn

    Stop saying it is addicting, I smoked it for forty years and quit on the drop of a hat with no withdrawerals.... Thats a big lie. I needed a job and might have to be tested. It has been three months and no withdrawels yet....

    October 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  190. Nick

    Good job, CNN! I think this issue deserves much more attention then it does. I hope in the future you will consider doing pieces not only medical marijuana but on the entire Hemp industry – which has wrongly been denied for a very long time. Please do a piece on the history of the hemp industry in the US (and world) . Also, look into the econonomic, social, evironmental impacts this plant would have.

    I'm surprised this story doesn't get covered more often on other news organizations. Maybe it has something to do with Ted Turner. He would make a great guest to join in the debate sometime ;).

    October 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  191. Jim

    Absolutely false that there has been zero science for medicinal marijuana other than helping nausea. And how is the message of cutting off illegal trafficking a contradiction, don't we "crack down" on international pharmacies sending prescription drugs into this country and/or crossing the border with copious amounts of prescription drugs? How is this any different? It is a shame that we even give a voice to the propaganda from drug enforcement agencies- they are at risk of losing their jobs, it is no surprise they adamantly oppose legalizing medicinal use.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  192. oldlady

    The attorney general was only saying that he was not going to use federal marshalls to arrest and prosecute users of marijuana. He did not legalize marijuana. He doesn't think that people using marijuana at home should go to jail. That's all. He will still prosecute smugglers, dealers, gangsters, etc. There are too many people in jail whose only crime was using marijuana and nothing else.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  193. margaret, GA

    of course we like the idea, who wouldnt want to have marijuana decriminalized, even legalized? and why shouldn't it be legalized for intoxicating purposes? its safe and you dont even have to smoke it, youu can vaporize it and hen the only bad part about it is gone. things happen because the people want it to happen. you see that we want it to happen, so the question is, when will cannabis be legal?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  194. Joe American

    The arguments against legalization from Dr. Voth fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Making distribution legal and imposing any degree of regulation is far better than the alternative – – ZERO regulation. Humans have used marijuana from the beginning of time. Criminalization and demonization of the plant have taken it into the black market, which perpetuates the 'bad' things that Dr. Voth claims are wrong with legalization in the first place.

    Marijuana use is never going away. Why bury your head in the sand when you can objectively take steps towards making its use safer for all users.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  195. Dawn

    Stop saying it is addicting, I smoked it for forty years everyday and quit on the drop of a hat with no withdrawals.... Thats a big lie. I needed a job and might have to be tested. It has been three months and no withdrawals yet....

    October 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  196. Gilberto from Fresno, CA

    Throughout my 28yrs. on this Earth I have heard and seen many stories of people lowering their standards, by stealing or women selling themselves for crack, meth and money to buy the harder drugs then marijuana. However, I have never heard about people selling themselves or stealing for a sack of marijuana. So for people to put medical marijuana in the catagorey of those more serious drugs is outrageous. Marijuana is made from the earth. And meth, crack, heroin is man made.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  197. selena

    As a chronic pain patient I have the choice to go to my pain management Dr. and basically have horribly addictive, constipating, mind numbing, and nasuea inducing opiates in myriad forms. Or a few sprays of marijuana tincture orally. After years of "regulated" pain therapy with opiate medications, I have lovely hemorrhoids, I've lost weight rapidly, been on more laxatives and stool softeners than my grandma, and I am in the "prime of my life" If I had the choice years ago to use the plant Marijuana in place of opiates for pain, I would have chosen the former based on side effects alone. The assumption that all legal drugs are safe is false, as a patient I would like the choice.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  198. Marcel G

    I sure am glad I live in Canada. I suffer from a progressive form of MS that I have slowed or stopped my progression by ingesting high doses of THC.

    By extracting the essential oils from the plant, I can easily regulate my doses. This same treatment has been used for years locally where I live in treating patients with cancer by eradicating the disease completely from their bodies. Look up Phoenix Tears.

    There is no way to do research as long as the plant remain illegal as anyone that requests to research it is refused. Research also costs money, and if there is no money to be made, there is no reason to waste money on research.

    We in Canada are setting up grower's co-ops of designated growers. These growers provide high grade medical marijuana to authorized patients at no cost.

    In this day and age, anyone that can still believe that Marijuana is dangerous, should learn to read. No one has ever died or gotten cancer from marijuana. The ones that continue to declare that marijuana should remain illegal either have a vested interest of a monetary standpoint such as the DEA, pharmaceutical companies, organized crime, or people too stupid to know better.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  199. Josh

    What I don't understand is why no one is comparing the use of medical marijuana to prescription pain pills. You can purchase pills that do nothing but alleviate pain and leave you even more intoxicated than you would be if you used marijuana. I've done both, and I can easily tell you that my pain was just as relieved both ways, but I was much more functional when I was using marijuana. The things that make marijuana illegal are the same things prescription pain pills cause, so what's the big deal?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  200. Anthony J

    The anti-medical cannabis zealots tout emergency room visits and the lack of regulation as evidence that medical cannabis is dangerous. However, how many of those emergency room visits are for cannabis alone and not just patients testing positive for cannabis as it stays in one's system for 30 days or so? How many visits were really for other drugs, such as alcohol? How many deaths were caused by cannabis, compared to other drugs.

    The regulation needed to test and standardize cannabis is blocked by the ant-cannabis zealots who want to have it both ways. They fight the establishment of any regulation and then lean on the lack of regulation as a reason that medical cannabis should be illegal.

    Ron Brooks just tried to claim that teenagers are in treatment for cannabis, but how many of those seeking treatment are only there because they are forced to seek treatment by the courts.

    It is time to regulate across the country and use the tax revenue to fund health care and treatment programs.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  201. ben sanderson

    How many people are doing proprietary pharmaceutical mood elevators and pain killers while driving the bus or operating machinery? You can't stop going to your job just because you've been prescribed valium. Keeping medical marijuana illegal just guarantees profits for commercial drug companies.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  202. victor knight

    Look at the warning labels on legal presciption drugs,especially high blood pressure and pain meds.Almost all warn patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it will affect you or it may cause dzzziness.What is so different about marijuana?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  203. Scott

    Lets start thinking more practiacally. For every dollar of marijuana sold legally we take that dollar out of the hands of the "bad guys." If we are really serious about ridding ourselves of the drug dealers. TAKE THEIR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  204. Chris

    Marijuana should be outright legalized! It makes no sense that you can go to any liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol, or go to any drug store and buy a bottle of Tylenol, both of which could easily kill you from over consumption. And the government is trying to protect us? There are thousands of people dieing across the border as a result of this violent underground market, and it is easier than ever for kids to get. Legalizing and Regulating it would unarguably make it harder for kids to get ( A drug dealer doesn't ask for ID). Not to mention the billions in tax revenue... There are just too many arguments for it when the other side of the coin, illegality and incarceration, is proving to be a futile effort in abolishing it.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  205. charlotte

    You can make homemade beer and wine, so how can those be regulated for alcohol percentage and impurities...what is the difference in growing your own marijuana for medical purposes..

    October 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  206. vickie latulippe

    I have arthrits, both hips replaced, lots of back pain.the pain goes from the neck down. I smoke marijuina it helps to much, that I have been able to cut down on all the pills my doctor would like me to have. I suport the cops leaving people like me out of the courts. I feel so much better.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  207. Tom Marx

    Marijuana is no big deal. Meth, cocain and heroin are the bad guys.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  208. Melissa

    Based on the conclusion that most dui's are due to marijuana usage is ridiculous. You could have smoked pot 2 weeks earlier and it will still show positive on the test which proves you are justifying your argument based on inconclusive data. There is no test that can show what day, time, or how long ago marijuana was used. On the other hand, alcohol, cocaine, heroin and any other prescription drug can be proved within a 24 hour period.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  209. willem

    I'm an international student from Amsterdam, Netherlands. I find it extraordinary that legalizing marijuana is such a big topic here in the US. A country such as the Netherlands is able to function well with decriminalized marijuana for just about anyone, and here it would be a problem for people with a medical problem?
    Perhaps cough syrups should also be banned for the possible high people get out of it...

    October 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  210. Rachel

    I have mixed feelings about people who use marijuana in any capacity, but having worked in an area riddled with so-called medicinal marijuana clinics for years, I find them a very disruptive and destructive force on the neighborhood. Not only are the characters who run these clinics very questionable, but they bring in a bad element. Ever since the dispensaries have become legal, I have definitely noticed an increase in crime and general illegal activity. At one point, they were even growing plants illegally on the roof, and a freakishly high water bill from the building which we share with the clinic revealed a complicated hydroponics system, which we had to argue was the cause so we didn't get stuck footing their bill. Another clinic across the street allegedly pays gang members to provide security. Personally, I wish there would be more raids to crack down on these clinics. It feels like anarchy here in Los Angeles and this makes it difficult to run a legitimate business.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  211. Jason

    First off, I am totally for medicinal marijuana. But I think there is a deeper reason that the government is not making it legal. Money! Tobacco and alcohol are very bad for our health, but it's legal. Why? Because the government can tax it. If marijuana became legal people would grow it themselves, because it is very easy to grow, unlike growing tobacco or making "moon shine." The government would have a hard time taxing marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  212. Thomas Tafoya

    I broke my back in 1985 working in the oil field of New Mexico. My Doctors had me on so many medications I could not live a normal life!
    A friend told me to try marijuana to help with my pain. It worked! I could do things again that I could not do while being treated with legal medication. Nevada finally made it legal for sick people to keep it and use it but offers no way of getting it. We need to make medical marijuana available to those who need it.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  213. Rich

    Medical Marijuana doesn't go far enough. What about our artists, scientists, philosophers that have a right to use this mental stimulant, in the same way that tax accountants have a right to drink coffee?! Hippies led the computer revolution, Carl Sagan smoked pot! and Caffeine is one of the most biologically harmful drugs Americans consume.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  214. frankie

    Did you ever take any kind of chemo? You would realize what a joke it is to pretend that the side effects from medical marijuana are a serious problem. Pretending to be worried about not being able to regulate the dosage is a false argument by the way, it doesn't really apply. And there are plenty of over-the-counter medicines right now that warn you not to drive etc. until you see how the drug is affecting you. Why do you assume people who use medical marijuana would be foolhardy?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  215. Brendan

    1) RE:On Driving: cannabis is in the blood because it remains in your system for weeks. There have also been studies that have show people driving on cannabis are aware of their condition. Alcohol on the other hand impairs judgment and people usually have risky behaviors.

    2) Cannabis is a plant. It is not a drug. It is about as addictive as caffeine and helps some pain/nausea. It's like a glass of wine and an aspirin at the same time.

    3) Rehab: what is the rehab for cannabis? Nothing.

    4) Google "cannabis ohio state alzheimers"

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  216. norman Wilson

    Why is there an argument about legalizing marijuana when alcohol is by far a more dangerous and addictive drug – It is a no argument – making Marijuana illegal is a stupid law and all it does is pass the burden of incarceration on the tax payer

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  217. tommy

    i am a 33 year old man who lives in missouri i have A.S. and D.D.D. and i use marijuana because it works well with my pain killers to make me live my life the way most normal people do !! when will it be legal for me? and how come people can stop us from using it !! they should walk in my shoes!! tommy missouri

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  218. Albert

    I really dont understand how alcohol which is pretty much a liquid heroin is allowed and something mild like marijuana is outlawed. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  219. shoes

    Probably one hundred percent of people in the hospital for trama have eaten, does that make food a cause of accidents? The doctor prescribes Valium and warns people not to drive, why not do that with pot? People either smoke it or they don't, judging from the docs statistics alot of people do, so are all these people criminals or is the laws against it bad law.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  220. christine

    To the law enforcement person, I am NOT physically or emotionally addicted to marijuana. That argument is ridiculous. Alcohol does not decrease pain or nausea, however, marijuana does. STOP confusing people. And I NEVER drive a vehicle while using medical marijuana, and NEVER smoke it. If this medication were taken away, I don't know how I would cope with waking up in so much pain in my hands that I cannot even open up medication bottles, or prepare a meal for myself. I was an educator and mother of 4. I suffered so much anxiety watching my children manage the gauntlet of alcohol. There is nothing good to say about alcohol except that it is legal. So, a benign drug is illegal, and a destructive drug is legal. This is silly. And folks who use marijuana, whether medicinally or non medicinally, do not become violent like alcoholics become.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  221. Levi

    what about all the people on regular perscribed drugs. they can misuse them too. i know more people abusing perscription drugs probably 10 to 1 over others. the argument against this is absurd. if you have a choice to take a man made drug that can damage your vital organs over a natural substitute what are you going to do. besides all of that the doctors are only against this because they like the money from the big drug companies too much to care about the patients welfare.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  222. robert elkins

    it seems certain the opponets for the legalization, are concerned about thier jobs are at risk if the laws are mellowed. at the same time , if thier health turned to the point of disaster, would they want anything like this to ease thier pain or nausia. thanks let the people speak by voting themselves, we have been listening to the experts too much lately and you can see where we are at now. thanks for letting me vent. robert elkins

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  223. Terry Zinger

    I have suffered from a spinal condition that has caused me to undergo 17 back surgeries. I have an implanted Morphine pump to help with pain control. I used to take oral Morphine Sulfate as well. Recently I received a license to use Medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription narcotics.

    I can not tell you what a difference this has made in my Life. I recently had my pump lowered in the amount of drug I receive plus I no longer take any RX drugs orally. I am able to stay awake daily without the drug hang over from Morphine etc.

    Please keep topics such as this on your show. More people need to investigate the legal use of marijuana to control pain. Happy in Lake Elsinore California.


    Terry Zinger

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  224. Frank

    This country has legalized much more dangerous drugs than marijuana. Oxycodin, Vicodin, both prescription medications that are widely used, and very addicting. When that cop said that there are around 130000 hospitalizations relating to marijuana, does that mean that patients simply test positive for THC? THC can stay in a body for more than two weeks, yet the "high" lasts only 4-5 hours.
    Please do not confuse DUI and DWI. The "law enforcement officer" should not be on this show, he is law enforcement, not law making. get a congressman on, or some member of the FDA, they still have not allowed studies on this drug.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  225. Nicole T.

    I am a medical MJ user in CO. I have Fibromyalgia, Hyper-mobile joints (joints that are loose and dislocate) and arthritis.
    When I lived in a state w/o compassion, (VA), I had to take Marinol, it only has 1 of the thousands of therapeutic cannabinioids that are found in marijuana; and you have to keep it down long enough for the pill to take effect to help your nausea. (Doesnt help if you puke the pill up.)

    Also, you can isolate the trichomes, by filtering the bud through screens, (called bubble hash) which removes the contaminates, leaving you w/ only resin glands, containing the medicine.

    Marijunana allows me to take fewer of my prescriptions, & makes them work better, it eases many of my symptoms, it has saved my life.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  226. Ron

    My wife and I have been disabled for 4 years after back surgeries. We are always in extreme pain. The best pain medines have extreme side effects and are terrible to use daily. We wish we had other options instead of narcotic pain meds.

    Think about IF YOU were in unimaginable, extreme pain every minute of your life – would you want anything to relieve your pain?

    Please do more shows on Marijuana's medicinal advantages! Thank you CNN!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  227. Ken

    The DEA doesn't want medical marijuana legal because more people will be exposed to how harmless marijuana really is.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  228. Aryana

    Cannabis/Marijuana has many medical benefits. Marinol is not effective since it only contains synthesized THC and not the rest of the ingredients found in natural cannabis that make it more effective.

    Mexican drug cartels are suffering now since Americans are growing their own high quality medical cannabis. There is no longer a need for the terrible cannabis that is imported from Mexico which hurts the revenues that the drug cartel make. So medical marijuana is a good thing and actually hurts not helps the cartels.

    The FDA doesn't regulate alot of herbs and herbal/natural supplements. Cannabis is an herb too.

    Tax and regulate it. Unlike cigarettes and alcohol, cannabis does not kill. And people will continue to use it regardless of the laws which is making many of us criminals and putting a huge strain on the goverments budget putting pot users in jail and ruining the lives of those jailed for marijuana convictions.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  229. dstevens

    have any of you considered the amount of people who are on far more dangerous and widely available perscription drugs like vallium, xanax, and more that have been hospitalized fo rjust use not to mention driving while under the influence? there are so many things out there that are more dangerous than pot, and widely accepted as legal. Yet they arelegalized becuase the government can control them. Tax it for revenue in our current crisis, see that people dont go out and commit violent crimes unlike users of dangerous drugs. Be fair and stop relying on ancient outdated reports from people who never even smoked before.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  230. Shawn

    hahaha he couldn't answer the question about alcohol and marijuana. He was fumbling around, saying they are not related when that is the question. how is in not related when it is the question at hand. alcohol was made illegal. remember. Prohibition. 1920. created all types of crime and violence. once it was made legal again. regulation could take place again. so crime dropped because of it. but there are like 1 alcohol related crime every minute. people getting in fights, beating there kids. no one beats there kids if they have smoked marijuana. they are too relaxed. the issue is that marijuana is illegal and so was alcohol, so there are many relationships. and just like josh is saying, those that are getting it legally are made aware to not drive and if it were legalized than there could be a breathalyzer to for cops to test, and penalties for those that break the law, just like in alcohol, but the major difference is that there won't be people killing each other because there to hi to drive. unlike alcohol, which kills more than any other drug, and it is LEGAL. that is the point. a legal substance approved by government and for no reason a substance that doesn't do any harm to those who do it legally.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  231. rhonda t

    I am a cancer survivor who has used marijuana to get through the effects of chemo. It did help me and others so much, more so than any other drugs that I was given. It is a shame that this is viewed so negatively in our society. There will always be someone who is going to abuse or blackmarket this product. But to stop sick people from feeling better is just wrong. I do believe that if it was a member of their family going through chemo, they may change their minds when they see just how much help it can be. Keep up the fight!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  232. Meanpeace

    Why has it taken so long for people to realize it medical benifits? Stop cruel and unusual punishment of its users. Stop wasting tax dollars on needless eradication. Let us grow this scientificly proven medicine. Allow doctors to choose what is right for the sick not the Law.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  233. Elizabeth

    It seems to me that the narcotic opiod based drugs that are legal for medicinal purposes now, carry more health risks than marijuana. There are much worse addictive qualities and the opiods are also being sold as street drugs. Plus, the side effects are more severe, not including the addiction piece. They can also do more physical damage to various organs in the body. We should be considering replacing some of the other more damaging drugs with marijuana. By the way, why aren't we looking at making some other things that are legal but have been proven to be a contributing cause of death, ilegal, like tobacco?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  234. tina james

    I see nothing wrong with other people using marijuana for medical purposes. That should be left between you and your doctor, esp. if it eases pain and comforts the sick.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  235. Ish Spencer

    All arguments I hear against Marijuana can be used against alcohol. There is no discussion that alcohol has medical uses yet is still legal. It is used for enjoyment. We tested alcohol illegality during prohibition and we all saw the power of organized crime skyrocket. So how can people use car accidents, addiction, and abuse to deny legality when alcohol is far more dangerous but legal? Lets take the black market out of marijuana industry and keep medical marijuana legal.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  236. WesBe

    The arguments against Marijuana are ridiculous. This is about jobs. The DEA and their lobbyist are trying to scare people so that will have a job. The worst drugs in this country are tobacco and alcohol. With the amount of deaths associated with those drugs, this nation does not have the moral authority to outlaw the use of Marijuana. Michael Jackson and Annie Nichol Smith didn’t die of Marijuana use or any other illegal drug either. They die using legal prescription drugs. The problem with any drug is not its use but its abuse.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  237. Chris

    The statistics the the people opposing medical marijuana are misleading. I know in our county if a person has marijuana or alcohol in their system and they have an accident it doesn't matter if the accident is the other persons fault or not, it is blamed on the person with marijuana/alcohol in their system. I have talked to different reconstructionist about this and they have all stated that if there is an accident and their aren't any whitnesses the fault is with the person with a substance in their system and they are the ones prosecuted. So the statistics cannot be clear cut as to who really is at fault.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  238. Mitch

    Taxing medical marijuana is unfair as the people using it are using it for medical purposes and should only be taxed the same as other medicines.

    However if marijuana was made legal for recreational use then it should be taxed(only the recreational marijuana). Could even have that tax money help fund for health care reform.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  239. Anthony J

    Ron Brooks and other anti-cannabis zealots claim that medical cannabis laws makes states more dangerous. How then do they explain how Oregon set a record for the lowest rate of workplace injury and illnesses in 2007, the latest statistics available, 8 years after Oregon's medical cannabis law took effect?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  240. Becky

    CA dispensaries already pay local, state and federal taxes. Oakland just passed a special (and misguided) "extra" tax on their four dispensaries. What happened in L.A. with the proliferation of dispensaries occurred because the city failed to create regulations ahead of time. Cities like Berkeley and Oakland which created reasonable regulations and have capped the number of dispensary permits they issue simply do not have the problems that we are seeing in L.A.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  241. frederic Bennett

    The people you have on the side of not making medical marijuana legal have no clue what they are talking about. I guess they would rather in cress the amount of people jailed for it ,as we don’t have enough now. I was a federal narcotics agent for over twenty years, and I can tell you it’s worse now then when I started enforcing the drug laws. The answer is make it all legal, and give heroin addicts clean needles and drugs not full of all kinds of cutting agents. We could stop the cartels dead in their tracks, and empty our jails. I have smoked marijuana on and of for 50 years, and I can asure you I’m not nuts from it.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  242. Dee in Woodstock GA

    Why is there a continuing debate on this?

    Pot, as with NAY other drug, would not cause nearly the social problems we now have, if they (ALL DRUGS) were not illegal!

    Most of the problems we have with drugs is the crime they generate, both on the "buyer" end, where people have to steal and kill to get their drug, and on the "seller" end, where dealers are constantl;y engaged in turf wars.

    Legaliza ALL drugs. TAX them. Regulate them. Use the tax to pay for treatment centers for those who want to stop using.

    And also use the tax to pay for the funerals of those who just can't stop and who die.

    I am TOTALLY sick of wasting our tax dollars trying to put a stop to drug use. It is NEVER going to stop. We are not only wasting our money but our time.

    BTW, I do NOT use drugs of any kind and only rarely drink alcohol (naybe a 6-pack a year) so I do not have these opinions because i want to get drigs. But I think if most people REALLY knew the cost of the "war on drugs" in time, manpower and dollars, they might see that we need a different approach to the problems.

    Also, I have glaucoma, and I have heard that pot is used sometimes to ease the effects of glaucoma. I don't even smoke, but if it got worse, and if I got to the point where i could not pay for the eyedrops I am currently using, well, I would opt for the pot and just have to smoke,, although I hate even the smell.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  243. Ish Spencer

    Why is it that Republicans are anti medical marijuana but are for states rights? It is so hypocritical to be pro state rights unless it is against what you want.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  244. Tyler

    I'm a teenager with cerebral palsy and I support medical cannabis. Call me naive, or "stoner," or whatever you like, but the muscle relaxation I feel when I use the plant is incomparable to anything else. Along with daily stretching and exercise, cannabis helps me with my mobility, speech, and reduces my spasticity. I don't live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and do not want to be prosecuted because of something that aids me. That would be like a police officer arresting me for assault with a deadly weapon because I walk with lofstrand crutches. My ultimate question to the panelists is: Will age restrictions be a factor in obtainment of medical cannabis

    October 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  245. heythere

    Wisconsin is also a state that is considering legislations on Medical Marijuana. AS OUR GOVERNOR DOYLE SAID, " DOCTORS ARE ALLOWED TO PERSCRIBE MORPHINE!" AND said he would sign a bill!

    October 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  246. R.B.Higgins

    Pres. Obama and our US Attorney General did not qualify what they were talking about. This plant is controlled in this country also by the Mexican Drug Lords. These so called Dispensary's bye it (from whom) for $4,000.00 and sell it for a profit of $24,000. to $25,000. So much for medicine.
    San Diego had NO dispensaries until AG Holder made his statement and now there are over 50. Some say its just a plant well so is Local Weed that killed 2 boys in our desert 2 years ago..opium is also a plant and look who it finances, The Tailiban funds their WAR with the $$$$$ from this plant.

    Only licensed Doctor's should be allowed to provide it from their facilities..Any Doctor that violates these should have their licensed revoked.

    This drug is a precursor more hardened drugs..let one of your family members get killed by some one high on marijuana or a school bus or train engineer and then lets see what you all have to say.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  247. DavidB

    I am 36 years old. I was in an accident 7 years ago in which my pelvis was crushed, bladder and intestines destroyed, and nerves where severed. For years after my accident I was prescribed Morphine, methodone, vicodine, and neurontin all for pain. And all were taken at least three times a day everyday. On top of that the drugs all had side effects so I had to take other things like paxil and ambien for depression and anxioty and to help me sleep. a couple of years ago my brother had me try marijuana because I was still in alot of pain and I was doing damage to my liver with all the pharmaceuticals. Long story short, it worked and I was able to stop taking ALL other meds within six months. The only reason it took that long is that I had to suffer through withdraws with each presciption that I dropped. Now I do not take any other meds and if I was to quit smoking marijuana my only choice would be to go back on the meds that were destroying my liver and causing depression or just deal with the pain. The only problem is that I live in a state that has no medical marijuana so I have to live like a criminal just to stay healthy.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  248. Carl

    I do not see much of a difference in the US government dispersing cigarettes to soldiers during WWI to help calm their nerves and keep the awake, Doctors of the late 30’s – 50’s prescribing alcohol or legalizing Medical Marijuana. It would still be a controlled drug like valium or codeine and would still have abusers and illegal use. I would recommend that it go through the rigors of testing like saccharin or aspartame. Bottom-line, tie drug industry profits to it and it would already be legal.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  249. Fay RN

    There are many proven benefits of med. marijuana not just relieving nausea. It reduces internal pressures in the eye helping glaucoma, it provided analgesia for many chronic pain conditions, it reduces blood sugars, reduces testosterone levels in males. This country has never been able to separate recreational, medicinal and hemp. We IMPORT hemp from Canada. Yes this issue is political and always has been. Money families with other plans Dupont and Hearst ran a smear campaign and it became illegal in 1937 so they could get rich from plastic and paper! That is the bottom line LEGALIZE, REGULATE, TAX AND FUND HEALTHCARE FOR USA!! Stop with the fear mongering.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  250. Ann

    Make it legal and just maybe we will be slowing the drug cartels......

    October 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  251. Christine- OR

    I am very much for the legalization of medical marijuana, even for marijuana in general. I feel that the population has become paranoid about this completely natural drug, which is not hard to understand, considering all the misinformation and propaganda out there regarding it (Anyone remember Refer Madness?). The laws against marijuana were made out of fear back when people didn't understand anything about it. The sale of marijuana could balance the budget and help provide health care to the uninsured in this country.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  252. Randal Coon

    I am not sure what makes sense, except perhaps consistency. As law representative expressed, maybe no one has ever shown a medical use for marijuana [debatable], but CERTAINLY, no one has ever found a medical use for alcohol OR tobacco, yet both are legal, because people want to use them. Why not be consistent?

    October 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  253. Dulcie - Denver

    I never thought I'd become a medical marijuana, but like your guest, I am unable to take any anti-inflammatories form my severe arthritis. I was just told to take Vicodin and given a prescription for a large amount of it. I don't want to take high doses of narcotics. Medical Marijuana is just another tool in my toolbox to remain able to work and function. I had not touched marijuana in over 30 years when I applied for my license.

    The opposition on your program really don't know what they're talking about. Dosage is actually very easy to control with a little practice. Colorado is embracing medical marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  254. Jeff

    The medical marijuana issue is beside the point. It's time to end the prohibition of marijuana overall, just as it did with alcohol many years ago, and start regulating it to help achieve purity and standards of quality, to help start it on the road to becoming a respected industry, just as it has with distillers, brewers, and wine-makers. Such an industry would create many new jobs. Purchases of the product could be taxed. Expenses currently wasted in law enforcement against marijuana, and black markets for the drug would disappear. Finally, many new jobs would be created, including farming, growing, QC, packaging, marketing, advertising, etc. That we are focussed on the medical issue is merely a distraction and of little benefit until full legalization has been implemented.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  255. TONY

    Everyday you here of law suits over prescribe drug.Turn on cops tonight you will see more crimes and deaths from alch. The dea will never win against it .The people that want to keep the statis quo take alch, pills,like Mulla russ limbo the hipocrit.I dont know anyone who got sick on pot.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  256. Fred

    maybe MJ would still be alive on MJ instaed of PX drugs for pain

    October 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  257. Sammy D

    I know one thing that Cannabis works. I had a case of gout. The pain was unbearible. I smoked some cannabis and the pain was gone. It works. I never threw up from cannabis but liquor wow! Make it leagle and tax it.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  258. Joe S. Watson

    So far I have not heard a single argument against the legalization of marijuana that could not be applied to alcohol.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  259. Deb

    I am writing about the conversation on marijuana One of the men compared marijuana effects to that of velum. This is not a good comparison. Alcohol would be closer to velum than pot. Different strains of pot effect everyone in different ways some like it some do not.

    I would also like to comment on the man that said that there was not any credible group that thought marijuana was a medicine but the American people are saying that it works for their pain and we the people are credible people.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  260. bluzlvr

    Just ask you want your surgeon, airline pilots, dentist, etc. taking a few hits for their "medical problem" before they take your life in their hands? It's incredible to me that the American Public has become so desensitized to the consequences of marijuana use that they are now apathetic to this issue. Taxing marijuana?? What a joke.!! Of course there are some doctors who favor legalization. Just imagine the extra money they put in their pockets for "prescribing" this much-wanted drug. (i.e. the doctors of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Anna Nicole Smith to name a very few). Regulation would be a nightmare. How can "medical" mj be regulated?? What is the cut-off level ...How much THC in the body is considered to be medical v. recreational? MJ is in no way a harmless substance!!! Comparing it to alcohol is apple and oranges.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  261. Anthony

    100 % of my friends who have a license smoke for recreation.Wise up people!!!!!


    October 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  262. Joe Piff

    435,000 deaths per year from cigarettes
    0 deaths from marijuana uhhh forever
    You choose
    facts speak for themselves

    If it will improve the quality of life for a terminally ill patients why not?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  263. D

    I think that marijuana should be legalized in the U.S. Have these dispensaries in all State's and tax it. This is more money going into the Government, money that the "dont" have. I think it's a great idea to legalize, like in Amsterdam.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  264. Jennifer

    Somebody ought to research the REAL story about Big Pharma's role in all of this...are they in collusion with law enforcement??

    October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  265. Josh Williams

    Making medical marijuana legal would make it taxable and help the economy, plus it is used for medical reasons which cannot be said about squares or alcohol.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  266. bob da grower

    when millions of people take part in something illegal, daily, it undermines the meaning of something being illegal. Prohibition doesn't work it just makes people undermine the law. When people know something is right, no law will stop them from doing it. Legalization will make this country more peaceful, if you don't like pot don't smoke it.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  267. Duane

    Unfortunately I am am undiagnosed marijuana user. I've been "driving while using" for at least 20 years. Law enforcement will never understand. But remember they work for the people, and they need to adhere to what the people want.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  268. steven quillen

    Now....I want to know why the NEWS is not telling the PEOPLE of this country the TRUTH about why this substance was made illegal? you know ... Du pont ....paid government officials ,,,...Hurst...oil companies etc.?? Why not tell the TRUTH? And please don't forget the Pharmacueticals.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  269. Walt Oldendorf

    I have been using Marijuana illegally for years for the pain in my back, legs and neck. It has made a huge difference over my narcotic use, and I am still functional. People misunderstand the "buzz" associated with Chronic use. Could you tell the corrections gal on the news was under the influence of Marijuana?

    It is time to lift the ban that was created to get rid of Mexicans in the 1930's for more work after the depression. It didn't work, and a whole industry of hemp was ruined; fiber, oil, both had multiple inexpensive uses in America.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  270. pat lee

    Both sides have valid points. But just like the people that are against it, we too (patients) have faults to. Both sides are fighting with negatives. Both sides are just going in circles. Are both sides at the table when drafts and laws are drawn up? Is there mediation?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  271. James

    If we could legally grow and distribute marijuana at facilities with modern security it would cripple the drug cartels. I believe over 50% of their profits are from marijuana. In addition to drastically reducing crimes associated with marijuana farms.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  272. jim

    marijuana use should be completely legal . Adults should decide what "medication" we want to responsibly use, not the government! marijuana is much safer than alcohol . Marijuana does not cause liver failure and gastrointestinal bleeds. Marijuana users should not be jailed!!! this is a joke! Decrim and tax stamp programs are the way to go . This is a free country?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  273. Daniel

    Medical marijuana is just a veil toward the bigger picture. This issue goes far beyond everyone's opinions. The plain and simple fact is... cannibis has never been linked as a primary cause of death. In secondary cause of death situations (car accidents, etc.) cannibis holds a much lower rate in comparison to many FDA related drugs, which also hold a drastic primary death rate. Everyday millions of Americans ingest Adderall, Ritalin, Viagra, Lithium, Neurontin, Viagra, etc, etc... just one of these drugs are responsible for more deaths than cannibis. At the top of the entire argument, this is a free country and as free people we have the right to do with our bodies as we wish. My body, my choice.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  274. Rolando Rios

    I have always been convinced that marijuana is far more effective than most of the drugs that drug compinies pettle on t.v. airwaves. I can trust the drug compaines to buy as many congressmen and lobby every branch to keep the drug wars going. Why would they give away all that money when people are dying to sell the U.S. their goods.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  275. Justin Kander

    Medicinal cannabis is so freaking important, hardly anybody knows how revolutionary this is going to be. Cannabis is the cure for cancer, in extract form. A man named Rick Simpson has cured hundreds of people of cancer and other diseases up in Canada, and other people who have followed his instructions for making hemp oil have had as incredible results.

    However, I would like to note, it does not matter if I am acknowledged here or not. Rick is currently on a speaking tour in Europe about the oil, and High Times is coming out with an article about him in December. Soon, this world will change, and all those who have opposed this medicine will see how wrong they were. What is most important is that people get this medicine, and the majority of mankind's diseases are wiped away.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  276. marsram

    In country's like North Korea and China we cry out for freedom for the people of those nations but they are still jailed for expressing their political views. In this country smoking marijuana is a political expression but the citizens are still jailed for smoking a weed. So how are we any better than the countries we criticize for not allowing their citizens to offer their expressions freely?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  277. Lusi

    I am all for legalizing Marijuana, but I wonder if that would cause drug cartels/dealer to dispense more serious drugs.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  278. TONY

    Legalize Marijuana! It doesnt lead to harder drugs or a lot of people i know would be doing them. Where i live the police make marijuana their main priority. Whoever smokes marijuana is going to continue to smoke marijuana regardless of if its ever legal, so it may as well be taxed.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  279. Jaynseattle

    Marijuana the amazing pain/Rescission killer, tax marijuana. Period end of story it will put us back on top (world economy) especially if it is associated with a public option and will force off the strangle hold of the big tobacco/pharma/insurance strangle hold on our economy and tax dollars.

    Marijuana needs be studied and used for the good of the people not demonized by special interests! Please to all of us suffering out here and stop these villianifiing monopolies.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  280. Dave Wellman

    It's no wonder that well-funded Pharmaceutical interests have always fought against legal marijuana. It's a non-addictive pain-killer and anti-depressant that NO-ONE has ever overdosed on, that can be grown in anyone's backyard. How much "legal medicine" is sold to treat the same conditions, and how much does "Big PHARMA" stand to lose??

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  281. Frank

    We the people have voted,
    law abiding citizens will be & are currently being discriminated by "policaly correct" doctors that work for the medical industry,
    why not overhaul this part of the National medical debate so those who are "legal" have federal protection from doctors who oppose this right.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  282. Joseph peeler

    The cop lied . Period. He is only worried about his paycheck. Dr. V is using figures off of the top of his head. Fabricated. I've been involved with the trade for over 40 years, and can tell you flat out the numbers quoted by him are NOT CORRECT. Pot is successfully used for pain management and depression. There is NO EXCUSE for the continued criminalization of a weed.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  283. Marlene G Cohen

    Josh, YIPEEEEE!!! Another prescription drug for everyone to abuse–just what we need. There are already too many pain drugs being abused and YES, I'm an expert. I have a brother who's life has been ruined by marijuana which he started as a teenager and is now 64. Along the way he graduated to other drugs. Don't believe that marijuana is harmless. For many, it is a starting point for more and worse to come.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  284. David Hogben, PhD

    For those doctors who oppose the medical use of marijuana, what are they doing to treat nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. As I understand it, they aren't doing very much.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  285. Dave S

    I was able to go off my opiates (Oxycontin) and antidepressants with medical pot and I feel ten times better. I don't understand why the insurance companies aren't on board with this, they would save millions in drug costs.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  286. David Bedford

    Do the dispensaries truly know the sources of their product? Is 100% coming from local pot houses all year long, or are they ignorantly funding illicit sources right across the border from El Paso where I live?

    David Bedford
    El Paso, TX

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  287. John

    I have my card , and if it wasn't for Medical Marijuana I would be in constant pain. I don't mind if dispensaries are regulated . All I want is to be pain free . I have developed an allergy to other pain medications .

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  288. jd

    The American voters are speaking up and are voting to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana.

    Legalizing pot creates an entire new domestic industry, relieves burdening prisons. Lets put this new revenue into education, healthcare and improve senior citizens homes.

    Is high grade marijuana the next renewable fuel source for for autos? Would the high grade marijuana have the same amount of btu's as sugar cane does in brazil?

    Polticians in opposition of legalization will not be elected

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  289. Joshua

    I think everyone is missing the point. Our society is suppose to have a strong state and weak central government. The fact that the Feds are relaxing just shows that they are doing what they should have been doing the whole time.

    The only reason more studies haven't proven how safe and beneficial marijuana can be is because the government banned testing on marijuana when they didn't get the results they wanted.

    And I speak from experience when I say me smoking half a gram of marijuana is twice as beneficial and half as impairing as me taking a Xanax. My wife will tell you it worked better then the $3000 a pill medication she was prescribed during chemo for ewings sarcoma. And in my younger days, I've seen many fights break out due to alcohol, but never from marijuana.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  290. Zach Murphy

    Tobacco kills more than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS and homicide COMBINED. Coffee, caffeine, kills more people a year than marijuana because nobody has ever died of smoking marijuana. If marijuana was legal think of the uses we can use hemp for. Hemp has over hundreds of uses, for example the constitution is written on hemp.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  291. ANDREW


    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  292. seer rawbuck

    The Cultivator's Handbook by Bill Drake: ISBN:914728-31-8

    Great history.
    Info based on government studies.
    Indicates only one species is federally illegal (satavia).

    I've noticed NO mention of its affect of lowering blood sugar, but that is easily demonstratable.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  293. Elvin Laton

    The marijuana issue is one of the most infuriating forms of intrusion into our lives by government. Marijuana is hundreds of times more benign than alcohol or tobacco.
    The outlawing of marijuana was a prime example of power politics. There can no logical case be made for denying people the the freedom to grow , process and smoke or injest the herb.
    The criminal "injustice" system needs criminals to justify its existence. What better "gateway crime" than some college kid getting a buzz at a rock concert!
    Also, legal marijuana would put the insomnia medication people out of existence, unless they refined their own special "weed" sleeping pill.
    Freedom; what freedom! Government is in the anti-freedom business!
    Marijuana should be regulated and taxed on par with alcohol. If anything it should be kept out the hand of minors,just like alcohol!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  294. Ernie

    I think this is a very bad idea and people who want it generally want to legalize it for recreational use. We have such a problem now with prescription drug abuse that we should not add another factor in it. We have so many so called pain management centers where people are going and getting prescriptions for pain pills and then driving and endangering lives and children. I am a police officer and I can tell you that it is very hard to prosecute a DUI when someone is on pills vice alcohol. I think the government should focus on regulating what we currently have in place and correcting the problems with the prescription pill abuse before adding another factor in that we cannot easily prosecute. This is just another way for Obama to try to get votes instead of fixing the problems in the United States.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  295. John E

    Any arguments made by government or police officials against the legalization of marijuana on moral grounds are laughable at best. Most of their other arguments are laughable or nonsensical as well.

    Legalization would bring down the crime rate by taking the money out of the equation, probably lower the rate of alcohol abuse, and provide additional tax revenue. End of story.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  296. Michael P.

    I believe if they legalize it they need to restrict what it's legal for. For incurable diseases and medical marijuana can ease the pain or side of effects of those diseases then so be it. Do it in a safe way that protects those who will participate so they can be sure of what it is they are purchasing. However if people are getting medical marijuana cards for back pain, stress... then NO. Sure it may seem to that person that their quality of life is better but it does NOT solve the cause, just the effect. That I do not support. Address the cause and guess what, the effect goes away.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  297. Thomas Spratte

    As a medical card holder in the state of colorado, I have great results from marijuana. I am a c-6 quadriplegic I use it for spasms in my legs, appetite and helps ease my stomach from all the prescription meds I am on. I have tried marinol which does not work. I think the issue is that the drug companies are not getting their piece of the money, ppl who use marijuana for medical purposes are real patients with real pain. We do not want to just get high. Medical marijuana is grown especially for certain illnesses. What ever my issue is that week I can go to the dispensary tell them what my pain is and they have a string of marijuana that specifically helps what ills me.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  298. dean

    ///////////////////// ATTENTION JOSH ////////////////////////

    if marijana is going to be legalized it should be regulated the same as a beer and ciggaretts. If the goverment regulates doesnt that just mean that they are the new drug cartell ?
    as far as driveing under the influence, how many perscription drugs already have warning lables stateing not to drive or operate machineare? and how many people use persciption drugs that dont have a perscription for them? (thats why there is a problem with doctor shopping)

    October 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  299. Claudette Bourque

    It is time for the government to govern and stop trying to protect people from themselves. Whether or not someone chooses to use marijuana medically or otherwise should be their own business. If they are not hurting anybody than I say leave them alone. Prohibition does not work other than having alot of people getting rich from the illegal trafficking.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  300. Old Man62

    It should never have been criminalized in the first place. It should be legal and regulated in a similar manner as alcohol. Is America the "land of the free" or not?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  301. Mike

    !. the laws were based on fraud for profit, why not talk about that?
    2. !0,000 uses, only .,01% of those can be smoked
    3. Page one of the Bible, instructs all of us to use all of god's plants
    4.To not change the laws should be illegal
    5. we know it is non-toxic, non habit forming, so why make it a problem
    6. I am discriminated against by the laws because of where I live
    7. who is currently making money from the laws, law enforcement
    8. the hemp seed is perfect for and designed for human consumption
    9. this same oil was used to power our vehicles, until crude oil
    10. the plant eats pollution, one of its main food sources
    11. Cannabis industry would replace all industries which pollute

    What if, just what if we make it a non-issue. Drop all laws except imports restrictions, where the government could make extra fees.
    It is such a big deal right now, that if the laws were just dropped, but driving laws were super enforced, we could move on to better things.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  302. mtnman46

    i would rather be living next door to a medical marijuiana patient than have someone like officer ron brooks with his legal alcohol and guns. it's too bad that you let someone as ignorant and naive as officer brooks on your show. He stated the doctor words were hogwash. i will listen to a doctors thirty plus years of medical experience than the brainwashing that brooks has received and tries to do the same to others. it would be different if officer brooks knew what he was talking about, but obviously he doesn't. the only things worse than a bunch of drunks, are a bunch of drunk cops, with guns. I seen that before, i'd rather be around a bunch of people stoned. anyone who's been there knows who is the bigger danger to society or the safety of citizens on the street. And the doctor who disagreed was only because of greed. Why would he want to lose money to the competition when he makes his house payments by prescribing worse addicting man made drugs to his patients.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  303. Rusty

    I have 2 herniated disc in my my back and in constant pain.I tried the prescription route and come to find out that they were bad for my liver!So I switched to pot to hel alleviate the pain. It never crossed my mind to go to harder drugs because of its use.I lived in Miami<Fla and never had a problem with the authorities.I recently moved to another state where the pot laws are very harsh.After living here for for 1!/2 years I decided to purchase some pot from here.When met with the supposed seller ,he turned out to be a law enforcement officer.Before the supposed transaction was made 4 law enforce officer surrounded the vehicle with weapons drawn.I was immediately arrested and charged with use of a telecmmunications device during the commission of a felony.I was also charged with intent to purchas pot.I spent 1 1/2 days in jail. At this point I am affraid to purchase more,so must deal with the pain the best that I can!Why not legalize pot?It could be taxed like alcohol and cigarettes. I am all for the legalation of pot!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  304. Dave Berry

    Law enforcement officials like to cite everything except the actual side effects and benefits of the plant itself. They mention the correlation w/ crime and guns, the support of gangs and cartels, and marijuana's role as a "gateway drug," yet all of these are a result of its illegal status not the plant itself. When I hear your guest say it's not a medicine, all I hear is semantics. It could also be said that it is not a drug. Perhaps we should hear from medical and science professionals, rather than law enforcement officials who make their living defending arbitrary laws and who make no distinction b/w a so-called drugs like marijuana and real drugs like cocaine.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  305. Jay in Arkansas

    I live in a state where cannabis is not legal for any reason. I have glaucoma, I have to buy from the "black market", my Doctor is not allowed to even speak about cannabis. But for over three years I have purchased and used cannabis. I only have partial vision in one eye, and to save what sight I have, I must break a very stupid law. The thing that gets to me most, is after forty years of failed "drug war", it is available everywhere, and sold to anyone with cash, even your kids. Legalize it and take the criminal element out of the trade. Or admit that you support an ongoing criminal enterprise.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  306. Etienne Cloud

    Making marijuana legal and regulating it just like alcohol would take it out of the hands of drug dealers. No one buys moon shine anymore, but during prohibition people bought alcohol all the time from moon shiners. Now we have liquor stores and no more moon shiners. The same thing could happen with marijuana, and oh yeah who in the world has ever died from marijuana? I guarantee you that someone tonight will O.D. on alcohol and die, but thats okay everyone drinks right?!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  307. Norma Moretz

    Forget medical. Just legalize it. Period. (Since when can human nature be legislated. A man's gonna do what a man's gonna do - and everybody else is gonna do it, too! The 40+-year War on Drugs was lost 40 years ago. All of those billions should have gone into Health and Human Services; treat the few addicts; leave everybody else alone.) PS: I'm a 74-year old 'conservative' Southern lady who hasn't and doesn't want to smoke dope or do drugs...

    October 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  308. mike

    How about all those prescribed pain killers(such an abuse can actually kill the person) ?? Mellowing marijuana sounds alright..shouldn't Marijuana deserve the same category as Oxy contin, Hydro codon, Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam, Lorazepam..list goes on & on...DEA worried about smoking while driving then what about Pill popping while driving??? ~ 🙂 it just a comparision,, How DEA fed up by Pharmaceutical companies & Alcohol manufacturing Brewaries....

    October 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  309. Nicolas Ramirez

    Marijuana is a plant and not a "drug." It should be leagalized beacause when have you ever heard of someone overdosing on it? When have any violent issues occured while on Marijuana? How many people die from driving drunk.....huundreds of thousands each year. This country needs to realize that Marijuana is harmless and they realize. If anything Marijuana would make you a better person. Why are pills legal if they pretty much do the same thing, and yet people overdose on pills each year to. The country needs to stop being ignorant and realize that it is harmless, those that oppose it are those that don't know what it does and only assume the worst.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  310. Joshua

    I am a medical marijuana patient, and i grow it for myself and two other state employed people who use it in a healthy, constructive, legal way here in northern california to raise the quality of their lives. I agree with the couple of previous posts that stated that this is only an issue for debate because the healthcare and prison industries want a piece of the extremely profitable pie, so the ever-increasing monopolization of free market capitilism can continue to put more middle or lower class monies into the hands of the disgustingly weathly few.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  311. Cody

    I think the argument that law enforcement agents make that medical marijuana has not been approved by the FDA is ridiculous! FDA has approved drugs that have killed more here in America than all our soldiers killed in combat in the last 8yrs!! Most of the drugs you see on info commercials have not been approved by the FDA and some how make right on TV and tell you to ask your Doctor about it! Also Alcohol kills daily, with drunk driving accidents, also altering ones personality greatly! I have scoliosis and have consistent daily back pain, my spine is curved twice! Most make the argument that drugs or medicine just masks the problem and does not fix it, but with scoliosis there is no cure, all you can do is deal with the pain! So in my particular situation Marijuana Helps Me immensely!! Thanks for Reading!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  312. Steve

    It looks like the majority of opinions here are in favor of legalization of medical marijuana. I couldn't agree more. Many, many people benefit from its use. I believe it should just be legalized – period.

    The true history of the criminalization of marijuana sheds incredible light on the issue. Marijuana (hemp) created the potential of competition for the paper and other industries. A concerted effort was undertaken, including the use of yellow journalism, to make it out to be an evil substance. It's all about money.

    No person has ever died from an overdose of marijuana, while thousands die overdosing on prescription drugs every year. People die from alcohol overdoses (or alcohol poisoning). Why would it be that this wonderful, natural plant is more frightening than anything one sees on a prescription drug commercial? The list of side-effects of most pharmaceuticals is astounding, including the potential of death.

    The side effects of marijuana? Maybe it affects short-term memory "while you are high." Other than that, not much really. The Aspartame many people drink in their Diet Coke every day is more dangerous. Marijuana is less addictive than most, if not all, medicines. There have even been studies that show it can be helpful in preventing or lessening cancer, and is immensely helpful in pain and other areas.

    My real fear is that the pharmaceutical industry will figure out a way to patent it and take control of a natural plant. That would be a tragedy. They already have all kinds of ways of limiting the marketing power of natural remedies, herbs, supplements, etc. Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  313. jim

    just a small comment,all these doctors and pharmacutical companys dont want any of this to happen because they cant control it for one.nor do they get to line there-– pockets!!!!!!!iam a primary caregiver in calif..lets let the men play with the men,,this is a mans game..

    October 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  314. Jersey Joe

    I am 20 years old and do in fact still smoke marijuana not on a daily but at least once a week as a relaxer. Personally I dont enjoy smoking weed I would much rather eat it like a cake and would feel much safer that I know my supply is coming consistently from the same source rather then one week from washington heights, the next somewhere Pennsylvania. America is marijuana country hate it or love it! Will people abuse the product of coarse the same as they abuse legal pain killers and etc... If legalized the money the plant will produce can provide more than enough to aid those abusers with a rehab center and might even give us a tax break in other fields. All this talk regarding drug drivers, and high at the work place is nonsense if it happens that is not due to legalization of marijuana its due to the persons mentality.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  315. Mike

    In order for everyone to be politically correct the
    War on Drugs
    gets the new label of
    Terrorizing Citizens on Drugs.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  316. sylvia grant

    My son has degenerative disease of the spine and is in excruciating pain. In the past, at times, he has had to crawl to the bathroom. For awhile he was an alchoholic to try to get rid of the pain. But now uses medical marijuana, no longer drinks at all, and is certainly not a threat to society. Why isn't alcohol restricted at bars to, say, only 1 or 2 drinks?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  317. Matthew

    38 year old white male....I don't smoke it and wouldn't if it was legal, but I am 100% in support of making it legal and treating it as we do alcohol. Those still living in the world of anti-Woodstock and/or those who simply want our government to legislate personal behavior they disapprove of are entitled to that opinion, but it's time for a new approach. Let's tax it, regulate it, and allow for personal freedom of use of this naturally grown subject.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  318. Robin

    Medical Marijuana should be legalized and people should be able to grow at home. Cigarettes cause more death to people And alchohol. If they want to stop something believe me stop tobacco production. Tobacco can cause a headache Marijuana relieve the pain from the headache. Tabacco causes heart disease and so forth. I am 26 years old and Ive been having heart problems due to tabacco. Marijuana i assure u does not bring these type of problems. They label it a drug but they know that it is more good than bad for u. Until uncle Sam figure out a way to get his cut in (profit) then they will just throw it on the back burner.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  319. Rob C

    All other arguments aside how about the government stop exercising powers not granted to them by the constitution? As far as I can tell the only laws the government has any right to establish and enforce are laws to protect people from other people not theirselves. Until you have harmed some one or their property you have broken no VALID law. America would be a much better place if the government acted within it's legal constitutional roll.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  320. Braeden

    Not only should Marijuana be legal for medicinal purposes but for recreational purposes too. The government overstepped there boundaries by illegalizing it. When prohibition was put in place it lasted for 14 years and hundreds of thousands of arrests before being repealed. How long and how many arrests have to be made, before marijuana prohibition is lifted. We can have "legal" drugs like ritalin on the market that have side effects like: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; joint pain; purple or brownish red spots on the skin); behavior changes (eg, aggression, hostility); blurred vision or other vision problems; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes (eg, agitation, anxiety, depression, irritability, persistent crying, unusual sadness); seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; suicidal thoughts or attempts; uncontrolled speech or muscle movements; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

    Heavy marijuana smokers show less evidence of lung injury than heavy tobacco smokers, and it may be cannabinoids that are protecting them from developing a condition like emphysema.

    That's according to the principal investigator of a study done at the University of California at Los Angeles

    When did a government for the people turn to a government against the people.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  321. bill

    I am a medical patient in the state of montana. Heres why i do it ....
    Pain reduction, completly takes away nasuia and headaches away, reduces my stress levals, helps me and concentrate.
    Heres how...
    I suffer from chronic back problems, it does help with pain.

    I at times suffer with mild head aches and nasuia, it completly takes the symptpms away.

    i suffer from high levals of stress, it takes it away.

    Alot of people don't realize what marijunia is really all about. When i watched the episode today i was very uneasy about how the ones against it were really stretching it with their arguments against its legalization. This concerns me becuase even though evidence has shown its medical purposes they ignore it. Also they tried to say in a way that it was more dangerous than alochol and other drugs which is crazy. It makes me sad that the police are supposed to be there to enforce the law, but instead they ignore state law, popular vote, and even after the fedral government made their statment on legal states. In my opinion they are hypocrites becuase they are ignoring the law.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  322. Carol Cisneros

    The Food & Drug Adm. want to control everything, including vitamins... Marijuana is no exception... the FDA controls through fear mongering and categorize marijuana as a narcotic along with heroine, cocaine etc.. Is it not true that marijuana, like Ambien is a mild hypnotic; it interferes with the synapsis that tell us that we are in pain...that is why it is so good for those who live with chronic pain. Medicines (drugs) like predisone, which is given for asthma patience is one reason why some people need hip replacement later in life... I know, cause I am one of those... There are so many instance where a prescription medication is the drug of choice at the moment, only to find out later that it is the drug of choice that lawyers go after due to some damage from that medication a year later. We live in a chemical nation... yet we are organic beings... Lighten up bozos and light up, smoke one for me... CC Hamster

    October 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  323. Fred in Las Vegas

    As in any topic there are two sides to reach story. The site of the story which you did not cover, is the big business in the arresting an incarceration of people who use marijuana. It would be an arresting to know the budget spent on this, this includes the use of helicopters fuel, personnel, the use of privatized Prisons. There's big bucks in arresting marijuana users, just think of all the individuals that would lose their jobs if the enforcement of ridiculous marijuana law stopped.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  324. Rich


    re: the Marijuana debate...As a retired Police Sergeant in upstate New York. I would suggest that CNN ask the street level Police Officers what their experiences in making Marijuana arrests were ? I'll bet the vast majority of Officers in the trenches would tell you that Marijuana arrests are a waist of Law Enforcement resources and time.

    I believe that Marijuana should be regulated by law. Adults over 21 and only for Medical and Home personal use. As well as limitations much like the D.W.I. laws...which in most states are already on the books.

    The Federal Government should regulate sales by taxing usage under the above guidelines. It would be a windfall to our crippled economy.

    Rich ( upstate New York )

    October 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  325. Steve

    This is a very interesting topic. If one can step back and take an objective view, the evidence is striking. There are so many more sensible arguments for its legalization than there are for maintaining its current status as an illegal drug.

    One guest on CNN said that 65% of all teens currently undergoing drug treatment are being treated for marijuana. First, marijuana is less addictive than caffeine. Second, when a teen gets busted for having a joint on them, they're given a couple of choices. They can either do jail time, some sort of huge fine, etc., or they can go to some treatment sessions. People who only smoke pot don't go into convulsions when they're deprived of it. They like it, just as people like ice cream, and some smoke too much of it, but it's not really addictive in the way cigarettes are, for example.

    The "law enforcement" guest raised some serious issues. Remember, though, that there are others in law enforcement who are in favor of the legalization of marijuana. They see the vast amounts of time and resources spent on arresting and imprisoning marijuana users, and believe resources can be put to better use.

    Finally, the old notion that marijuana users turn into freaks who go around raping and pillaging is all but over among educated people. The fact is that someone who uses marijuana is far less likely to engage in aggressive behavior while they're high. Alcohol, on the other hand, is responsible for thousands of bar fights, domestic abuse, and of course, deaths by drunk driver.

    Given what's currently legal in this country, most sensible people just don't see any good reason for keeping marijuana use a criminal offense.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  326. Sami A

    Why hasn't anybody looked at the root issue here, and gone back to understand why marijuana became illegal in the first place? I'll give you a hint: Lumber lobby, Mexican immigrants, and personal agendas.

    There is absolutely no reason marijuana should be illegal. It would be beneficial in so many ways – blow to the mexican drug cartel, stop wasting money on this failed "war on drugs", it would be regulated and taxed, and would create an entire new industry.

    What ever happened to progress? We're arguing about a plant that has been used by different cultures across the globe for several thousands of years. Do people really think that it just suddenly became a terrible drug 80 years ago?

    October 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  327. Junio Nunez

    I am a medical patient and have had my depression,anxiety and insomnia treated by MMJ. I cant say its gone completely but there is a lot less sleepless nights and no more panic attacks! Hopefully 2010 will be an eye opening year, and finally a plant that has been persecuted since the 30s will be legal and taxed like it should be.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  328. gabriel

    I think marijuana should be de-criminalized. No one has ever died from it, and yes, sometimes it can make you drowsy, but then so do other medications such as pain-killers, muscle-relaxers. (ect.) Also marijuana doesn't make people violent or make them addicted like meth and heroine do.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  329. MMJ Patient

    We as patients need protection against the law. So many people are in prison for simple possession.

    In washington state we need a legal outlet for MMJ. People that can't grow there own or find a provider are out of luck unless someone breaks the law. This is totally wrong.

    If other states are considering MMj Law
    Make licensed outlets available.
    Consider recognizing other state Recomendations.
    Protect those patients from federal, state, and local LEO.
    Make it law and not an affirmitive deffence.

    Help us to live as normal as we can with what we have.

    Research studies, Get the truth.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  330. Jayme

    Hooray! Its about time!
    But your anti-pot guests sounded like they are losing the war! We cant test BECAUSE its illegal! & the guy talking about mixing issues was mixing issues in his response! People abuse all kinds of legal substances all the time, would he be ok with it if they posted do not drive/work high signs in the despensaires? Regulations would be good.

    I am a recovering opiate addict. I have severe pain in my knees from an auto accident & back pain from an accident in 1st grade. I self medicated, cause who wants to give a 7 yr old pain meds? Im a methadone patient now & can only take diluad or morphine for pain. I would LOVE to be able to have medicinal marijuana & for those with cancer & A.I.D.S. should have every right to use a medicine a Doctor has recommended without worry of prosecution. Not to mention the huge economy boost, the purging of non-violent marijuana offenders from our prison systems, & the blow to the mexican cartels! Im not saying legalize all drugs but marijuana is not as bad as legal drugs!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  331. Jason Simpson

    How long shall people suffer? Legalize it! Stop cruel and unusual punishment of Americas citizens. Give us a cost free natural unharmful scientificly proven "drug" straight from the hands of God.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  332. Jan Rosenbaum

    If marijuana were legalized and had the same requirements as tobacco reguarding public use, and alcohol reguarding driving or harming another under the influence; it would free up law enforcement rescources, add tax revenue, and remove much of the drug cartel and street gangs income. Looks like a win, win, win, to me. You would think by now people would realize that you can not legislate morality. Better to legislate against harming others, which should be a moral imperative no matter what other values you have.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  333. kody

    Marijuana is not a bad thing, since it has been used there has not been one death that has had to to do with this harmless, fun, and soothing drug. Over the years i have found out the real truth about this drug and all the amazing things it can do, especially after listening to a speech by Marc Emery a.k.a Prince of Pot who would also agree with me that it is not bad at all especially compared to Alcohol and tabbacoo which damage and kill alot more people. In conclusion I think that Marijuana is harmless and that the law should be alot more concerned about bigger things then a so called gateway drug.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  334. scott

    all you anti's need to lighten up and focus all your energy on problems in this couintry that really matte,. unimployment, murder, rape, CHILD ABUSE AND SEXUAL ABUSE. how about terrorism. Listening to your show on saturday I didn't here ANY real facts about the negative aspects of medical marijuana, or plain marijuana. I'v suffered from cronic back pain and insomnia for years and the only thing that has given me releaf without a lot of side effect is marijuana.

    I've been around a lot of people over the years that smoke and I have never, N E V E R!!!!! heard or seen anyone, A N Y O N E get violent, get in a car accident, overdose, lose self control, die,....etc from
    being under the influence of marijuana.

    As far as the arguement that this is a "gateway" drug, HOGWASH!!!
    Legalizing this natural substance would help bring relief to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in this country. not to mention the revenue it would bring in. tThis being said, just think how it would help lower health care costs. I've spent hundreds of dollars on perscription drugs that are ten times more addictive with ten times the side effects. Oh they help the pain, but put you in la la land also. The comments that you can't regulate the amount of THC doesn't hold any ground with me. I'll gaurantee that no one on your anti panel has ever been under the influence of marijuana. But I would lay bets thats almost every one of them has been under the influence of alchohol and driven a car.

    I think the anti's would be totally flabbergasted if they knew the real number of people, successful people, that smoke on a regular basis.
    And yes I am a successful business man and have been for years!
    Oh ya, and get this, all I have is a high school diploma.

    In closing I guess I wouls like to say that we need to focus on more iportant thing like real crime like murder, rape, sexual assualt on adults as well as children, child abuse, TERRORISM, racism, the economy. the list goes on and on.

    October 24, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  335. Tony El- Kassouf

    I watch the 4 o'clock show, and the cops on the show pissed me off by saying cannabis has no medicinal effect. I' ve had epilepsy for the past 15 yrs, with no pharmacy drugs able to get rid of it. I've taken every single drug there is for epilepsy, and NOTHING HAS WORKED! Tell the people, the cops you had on the show, that are against it to go threw the hell that this disease has caused and then let's hear what they' ll have to say! It is not addictive, like alcohol and all the fights you see with that, it is dependent, and makes you nice with other people, so your not gonna do anything harmful! Now let me ask this specific question, didn't ALCOHOL used to be illegal, hmmm?! And I forgot to tell you about something, the pills i take for medicine are the pills sold on the street used AS DRUGS, and I'm allowed to take those, HMMMM, none of those worked then 2 yrs ago I started smoking weed, and it's working BETTER THAN ALL THOSE PUT TOGETHER! Let me talk to those cops!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  336. Crohns Disease Patient

    I was referred to a medicacal Marijuana evaluation center by my gastrointestinal doctor. With my disease, I feel pain from eating basic foods sometimes. It also allows me to have a good night's sleep without having to wake up in the middle of the night from either pain or nausea. So yes it does help.

    I am all for taxing marijuana. Create profit for states and cut into business of the Cartels.. I also believe that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol when enjoyed responsibly. ..

    However there are individuals who abuse the drug. Monitor through heavy regulation and I am all for it...

    October 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  337. Jayme

    I also feel that the real "gateway drug" is cigarettes!!!! & then of course, there's alcohol, with liver damage, horrible auto accidents, & lousy late-night decisions, but once you reach legal drinking age, its socially acceptable! I think if they were to legalize it, tax it, & regulate it, weed could help our failing economy & unemployment rate. Not to mention freeing up our officers to fight real crime. As for those traumas one of the guests was talking about, most drug tests only detect the presence of THC, NOT the time it was ingested, nor the levels. THC is said to stay in one's system close to 30 days, so whose to say that those trauma victims ingested THC the day or week before the accident? Its time to end this country's "reefer madness" war on non-violent marijuana users!

    October 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  338. Tom P.

    It is unethical for marijuana to be illegal.

    It is also really stupid.


    October 24, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  339. gary unworthy of life in sc

    have advanced chronic pancreatitis, the pain is off the charts and constant, body can not absorb food properly so i went from 180 to 114lbs (6'), live in agony, am very literally starving to death, the pain management Dr.s put me on the strongest pain med knowns to man for last 3 years , but have now kicked me out due to a positive THC drug test. by law in south Carolina even a stage 4 cancer patient in the last months of life are not only denied pain meds but will be put in jail for using THC if caught.

    October 24, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  340. Linda Adler

    Cannabis has been proven to hold medicinal value by virtue of the US Government holding a patent claiming it's medicinal value for a host of medical conditions. The industrial value of non-psychotropic cannabis hemp can be shown in the fact that it was used exclusively for years prior to the late 1920's. With technological advances, just think how much more it could be used for today. Our farmers could actually farm again.

    Law Enforcement Officers afraid of losing their jobs? Divert them to enforcing/cracking down on real crime and true illicit drugs (chemicals), gun crimes, etc. The cost of housing a prisoner in the US runs somewhere between 25 and 35K dollars a year. That doesn't include the cost of prosecuting and the arrest/bust/hunting down of the marijuana growers.

    Cartels would have no need to grow and sell here in the US if we legalized it for our own people to do the same.

    October 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  341. Winter Johnsen

    I have been a patient for almost 20 years from a slip and fall, as well as a car accident 5 years ago, being treated with Narcotic pain meds, which have gone up by 100% in 15 years. I have also smoked MJ for pain relief, sleep aid, and appitite helper due to the meds and injurys. Now I have to take a piss test for MJ, and if I fail, I will have to be detoxed and left w/o pain meds that have helped me for 2 decades. Pretty fair, huh?!?!

    October 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  342. Melanie, CA

    You really had the guests stacked against medical marijuana, in number, time given to speak, knowledge of the pro side of the issue and moderating the conversation. The few who were supposedly "Pro" were poor advocates. Why didn't you take the time to get some of the people more prominent in this field? There have been many studies done worldwide that support the use of medical marijuana, and to spend the hour letting the misinformed guests who are against it laying out their opinions as if they are facts was irresponsible. The hostess is included in this, by seeming to let the people against carry the conversation. She needs to learn to count as well, as I counted 13-14 states on the moving map shown that are working to pass this as well, not 9.

    I am disabled and have problems with pain medication so I am now going to try marijuana. Thank God I have this available to me through a safe state regulated shop, or I would be getting unknown quality from someone on the street and have to worry about the areas of town I woiuld have to go to to buy it.

    Almost everyone knows someone who has benefitted from marijuana. As the population becomes more aware of the true facts more people are in favor of this. I think this was illustrated by the number of people that responded that are for this issue. You should also notice that their is a distinct age influence regarding those for and against.

    October 24, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  343. Michael S.

    Marijuana has been used for thousands of years. George Washington grew it and so did Thomas Jefferson. Presidents Clinton and Obama have both admitted to using it, even if only once which I sincerely doubt.
    It is ignorant to think that future generations will not continue to use marijuana and industrial hemp. It just simply is not the dangerous and useless drug that they try and portray it as. I'm not saying MJ shouldn't be used responsibly, but like alcohol prohibition marijuana laws are not in line with reality.
    Ultimately the laws against marijuana are more harmful to the user and society than the drug itself. People who oppose marijuana try and bring other drugs into the picture. The main argument against it is marijuana is bad because cocaine in dangerous. It just makes no sense.
    THANK YOU CNN! for covering this I love tuning in when marijuana is up for debate and invariably they always show that polls are 60% opposed and 40% support marijuana but the people who write in and comment usually support it 10 to 1. Meanwhile theres always some federal agent regurgitating the same old tired bs lines and every time they get shot down by everyone else on the program. LETS GET REAL, Legalize it!.
    Speaking of Obama, He invited that Harvard professor and that Police officer to come and sit down and have a beer with him, and I'm betting after that beer the president lit up a Marlboro. I think its one of the most important issues facing America today because people in the country will continue to be incarcerated by these stupid laws and people will continue to lose there jobs and students will continue to lose scholarships because of intrusive drug policies I bet they dont give you a drug test before you take the oath of office. Thanks for the forum.


    October 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  344. Don.S

    I think it is about time it was made legal so we as a nation can profit from it ,instead of tax payers paying to house offenders over one of the most harmless drugs, there has never been one person in history ever overdose from the use of marijuana,the worst car crash was from the person that drop there joint, there are more deaths do to all other drugs out there then marijuana,and as far as a gate way drug gos i think the pills in the medicine case are more of a gate way drug for our youth now days so i thunk CNN should do a show on whats , what about the cause and effect ,and if it was to be legal where would that leave the marijuana drug lords , not only would we make money in taxes but we would literally save hundreds of lives from the grips of the drug lords as far as marijuana gos so lets open our eyes and do what is good all around, and CNN should do a story on the pro's and con's of this . and don't let the suit's and tie's make that decision while he sits there on his 5th scotch on the rocks and getting ready to drive home on his legal booze and going to pay his way out of his 6th DWI so who is hurting who..............................

    October 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  345. Mike Kennedy

    I say only allow it if the recipient is about to die. Using marajuana for disease only worsens a sick ppersons condition, but hey this is America so hey I guess allow it. By allowing this these people are allowing the introduction of heroine to people.

    October 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  346. Mike Kennedy

    Why is CNN promoting destruction and death better known as DRUGS?

    October 24, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  347. john Johns

    The U.S. has had a wrong minded war on drugs since Nixon.
    Drug legalization is the only way to crush the cartels.
    If you could get a 10000% profit selling pencels the cartels would
    sell pencels.
    Senator Harrison would roll in his grave if he could see what his
    law has wrought.
    The MOST dangerous drug out of them all is alcohol.

    October 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  348. Robert

    just come to Michigan and see what they are doing to the sick people trying to put them in jail

    October 24, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  349. Mark in FL

    I'm 50 years old and I haven't used marijuana in many years; however, I did use it when I had hapatitis. My doctore said that I needed to eat and rest, both of which were dificult. I had a friend get me some marijuana and fresh fruit.; then I ate and rested. A few weeks later, after taking a blood test, my doctor explained that he had seen many cases of hepatitus and had never seen anyone recover so quickly.

    Years ago, I used to use marijuana to help me stick to boreing, mondane tasks around the house. I was very organized at the time. These days, my house is cluttered with unfiled papers unfinished projects.

    1) Whenever I hear someone argue that there is no credible evidense that marijuana is medically usefully, it becomes absolutely apparent that they are either ignorant, liars, or both. I'm glad to see that people are starting to push back against the lies they are being told by the right, and the direction our great country was heading in, in regard to becoming a police state.

    2) We keep hearing about health care cost escelating out of control, yet I hear law enfrocement arguing that people someone should be taking a pill made by a pharmasudical company, when the person could be growing their medication in their back yard.

    3) I'm really tired of seeing my tax dollars, and people's money wasted on rediculious matters, but then someone walks on to my property and takes my childs bicycle or skateboard that he workeded hard for, I hear the officer say, "I can't do anything about it because I didn't see it".

    3) The officers often state that there are so many people in rehab for marijuana use. I'd like to know how many of them are there becaues the courts offer them a choice of rehab, or a criminal record, that could make them loose their job.

    4) We incarcerate a higher percentage of our population, by far, then any other country in the civilized world. I'd like to see some of these police officers and procecutors go to rehab for their addiction to jerking other people around.

    5) They claim that smoking marijuana is dangerous? When compared to some of the side affects of many FTA approved drugs I hear advertised on TV, somking marijuana appears to be relatively harmless. Perhaps the real problem is that the drug companies might not make so much money if people can grow their own medication.

    6) I know my own body better than anyone else. If I used marijuana for pain managment I could tell what dosage worked best, better than somone else.

    7) As for public safety, how many FDA approved drugs do you see advertized on TV that warn about operating equipment before knowing how you are affected by the drug? How is medical marijuana any different? The assumption that everyone whom uses marijuana for recreation is false, and quite frankly, I could care less if people do use it for recreation. At least, to use it legally, they have to receive medical training from a doctor, which is a safety step not required for someone to use alochol.

    Mark in FL

    October 24, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  350. Kent Walker

    The rich and powerful (pharm, alcohol, tobacco and petro) companies are running our Government and they fear MJ will replace their $Billions$. Look, it's been around 10,000 yrs for Indust hemp and 4,000 yrs for medical MJ. Most of us have smoked it and has anyone ever overdosed like alcohol or other drugs???

    Get real, fire it up and let's smoke this recession into recovery!

    I'm a 20 year Marine/Army Attack Helicopter Instructor Pilot treating my PTSD and injuries from a helicopter crash. This year I was arrested for rolling papers and enough MJ for 2 joints because I refused to sign the ticket here in NC. Now I'm a criminal with my mug shot on the county's website....stop the insanity.

    October 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  351. James Smith

    Earlier The one guy was talking about how medical marijuana has no proven medicinal uses besides nausea yet it should still be outlawed because Congress and such deem it illegal. However, if you want to discuss the government doing things that dont make sense lets look at the fact that the drug ecstasy was actually deemed legal by the court system when it was first brought up to be illegal due to proven medicinal use in various forms of treatment with couples. This is one of the only drugs to be passed as illegal WITHOUT congressional support. It was outlawed due to lack of studies on the drug, however, by outlawing it studies could no longer be done to prove it benefits. Medical Marijuana should be completely made legal!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  352. TK

    I watched your piece on Mellowing with Medical Marijuana today. I am literally amazed that we have a situation right now in this country where our financial system is being raped and our constitution trampled upon...............yet we can spend valuable time and resources nipping at each other over whether to let people use marijuana when a LICENSED MEDICAL DOCTOR (key point here!) recommends/suggests it to a patient for a particular ailment that the patient and doctor TOGETHER have MUTUALLY determined it worthwhile to do so. Wake up America!!! You are about to loose your country and do not even realize it because we are pitted against each other over such trivial matters such as this!!!

    October 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  353. Mark

    Thank you CNN for all your coverage on this subject.

    End the Drug cartels life line and Mexico's suffering from our prohibition of marijuana..
    Marijuana has been used as a medicine since the Chinese first started recording medical benefits of plants..

    that has ripped apart more lives than drugs could ever do..
    this assault on American rights has to end...

    October 24, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  354. Greg Nemec

    This is about time; so much tax monies have been spent on law enforcement towards a plant that has more potential for relieving the pain and suffering of so many. Remove the tax burden by reducing the penalties of the law and those costs associated with it. Then tax the legal use of marijuana for funding a strong, comprehensive and working health care system for "all".

    Also, I watch a friend of mine succumb to the addictive use of prescribed narcotics because of an injury early in life. I believe now as I did then that the responsible use of medical marijuana would have avoided his addiction and withdrawal, which almost ruined his life.

    October 25, 2009 at 2:40 am |
  355. David

    With the numbers of support for this topic, I suggest you do another story and this time interview Bill Mirken of the MPP Marijuana Policy Project and Don Duncan of Americans for Safe Access.

    Thanks for reporting on this important topic.

    October 25, 2009 at 5:19 am |
  356. Adam Windsor

    The American People have spoken!!!! Is this not a democracy??? Is this NOT a system where the power lies in the hands of THE PEOPLE!!!!! It must not be!!! We must fight this NOW!!!!! No more of this, I can't stand it any more!! Lets get the MILLIONS of people in favor of this, march up to capitol hill and SMOKE!!! They CANNOT stop us, they WILL NOT stop us WHEN we UNITE!!! Get off of your computers and get on the streets! We must protest this, we must fight!!! The saddest part of this whole situation is the fact that it's had to come to this in order for the people of the United States to get what they want!!!!! WE MUST RISE UP OH, REVOLUTIONARIES!!!

    October 25, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  357. Joan

    What part of the Constitution gives the government have the right to take away a person's freedom, property and vote because of what he smokes, snorts or shoots up his veins? The war on drugs is nothing but a pretext for tyranny. It started with the repeal of prohibition as a jobs security program for all those about to be unemployed alcohol warriors. It was really handy as a justification for the persecution of Mexican workers, unneeded during the Great Depression, for persecution of "uppity," free thinking African Americans, and later for the persecution of dissidents. (Vietnam war to present.)

    It really has nothing to do with the risks and benefits of these plants or products. It has everything to do with keeping power over people.

    We've all become serfs in the privatized prison military financial insurance complex. Our highest aspiration is to land a position with a generous neofeudal corporation who'll give us good benefits. To do so we submit to humiliating piss tests, where the evidence of our own bodies testifies against us.

    The will of the people doesn't count anymore. This country ceased being a democracy long ago. If we ever were.

    October 25, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  358. Garrett

    God's holy herb will prevail eventually.

    October 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  359. Paulino

    I forgot to add a quote by mr Terrence McKenna

    Terence McKenna quotes:
    "If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on."

    October 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  360. Mike

    I thought we already learned this lesson with prohibition. Why not set up government regulated marijuana stores? I feel sales could help our economy more than most people think.

    October 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  361. john

    any one who thinks marijuana is a "dangerous drug" really needs to educate themselves. Tylenol is a more dangerous drug than pot. What are the reasons it's illegal? many… it was originally intended to stop mexicans from entering the US. Also, US grown Hemp was used for rope for decades… until of course Dupont invented nylon.

    use your heads people… legalize it!

    October 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  362. Rose

    Working in hospice I see so many patients dying of tobacco and alcohol-related diseases. Isn't it ironic that we would resist legalizing a drug that can relieve such suffering, while tolerating the legal of tobacco and alcohol, two drugs that kill so many and contribute to the high cost of health care?

    October 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  363. Barbara Navarro

    It is not logical for alcohol and cigarettes, which kill thousands of people a year, to be legal and marijuana, which kills zero people a year, to be illegal. Marijuana should be treated like alcohol...don't sell it to minors, don't drive under the influence, and otherwise let people choose for themselves whether or not to use.

    October 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  364. janet friesenhahn

    Legalize pot accross the board sell it through state licensed shops like liquor and put a sin tax on it. Think of the underground economy that could be cut out think of the tax money that could be raised. Think of the local money that could be made on the trafffic tickets for driving while smoking. Think of the money saved on jail time and court time for pot.

    October 25, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  365. Max

    Medical marijuana is one of the only available drugs which can successfully inspire appetite and reduce nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as reduce pain for other ailments such as multiple sclerosis. The side effect of this drug is minimal, the methods of use are wide range, hence reducing the possibility of interfering with medical treatments or conflicting ailments (such as lung cancer). An added benefit: Not only does the drug help on multiple physical fronts, it also relaxes the patient. LEGALIZE.

    October 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  366. John

    Of course it should be legalized. The groups most against it are the pharmaceutical industry and the alcohol industry. They don't want the competition so they buy off the Congress, much like the health care lobby and a public option! How does the little guy get a lobby? We had a President that did cocaine, and we're debating medical use of some weed? Come on and get real, no wonder the modern industrial world laughs at us!

    October 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  367. Lance Napier

    If it's really for medicinal use – What's wrong with the prescription form(s) already available? And why do so many think it's so necessary to alter their mood? or just: get high!

    October 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  368. Lois Fox

    Marijuana must be legalized. Why is is okay to get drunk on alcohol, but illegal to chill out smoking pot? In addition, I can't help wondering if the pharmaceutical industry is somewhat behind keeping marijuana illegal. Heck, if people who are suffering from pain can get relief with marijuana, they might not need high cost pain pills. Think about it. By the way, I never smoked marijuana, nor have I ever taken illegal drugs of any kind. It's just not my thing. I'm a "square." Lois

    October 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  369. James Fotheringham

    Marijuana is a plant created by God ... NO MAN or GOVERNMENT has the right to make it illegal. It is a MEDICINAL HERB ...NOT a drug. If government would have less concern for the big drug companies and more concern for their people it would never have become illegal in the first place. Unfortunately, governments love the money they get from the lobbying drug companies more than the health of their own people.

    October 25, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  370. Mac

    People using marijuana for medical purposes should not be prohibited from using a substance that alleviates their symptoms. While much of the evidence is anecdotal, it can't be disputed that marijuana has a medical benefit for many people.

    Concerning marijuana generally, there should be legalization, regulation, and taxation , just like alcohol. It is appropriate to impose age restrictions as well as to prohibit certain conduct like driving under the influence while using marijuana, just as we have on alcohol. A significant amount of research suggests that alcohol is a far more damaging drug than marijuana. Prohibition of marijuana and not alcohol is arbitrary and inconsistent.

    Having worked in and around law enforcement for nearly 30 years, I believe we are due to reassess our drug enforcement priorities, focus on prosecuting dealers of drugs like methamphetamine and other truly dangerous drugs. Using scarce law enforcement resources to go after marijuana generally and medical marijuana specifically, is a waste of resources and an unnecessary restraint of our liberty.

    October 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  371. ryan chandler edinburgh indiana

    marijuana should b legal in all aspects not just will open up jails and prisons 4 people who deserve 2 b there,it will help with addiction in the usa,cause pot is not batteling with addiction 2 vicidon because of my chronic pain and use 2 b addictad 2 xanax cause my anxitey both prescribed by a dr.pot helps both of my medical problems but have the risk of going 2 jail just trying 2 feel better ,its a crying shame drs give out hard and bad drugs with so many side effects.and ruining so many peoples lives because they become addictad to the pain and nerve meds.i have never had a bad side effect on pot and i sure aint addicted 2 it cuz that just dont happen with pot,no addiction with it and its not a drug .the government needs 2 really wake up and realise with it.stop the madness,legalize it in all aspects its a good and safe medicine.but its sad im gonna have 2 move 2 another state 2 feel better in a safe way cause i live in indiana and it will never become legal here not even 4 medical purposes,its sad everybody wake up n realize legalize its norml

    October 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  372. natural healing tribe

    Marijuana is not a drug – Marijuana is a herb – its usefulness is well documented over 10,000 years ago in Chinese medicinals.

    Thomas Jefferson mentions the herb in his garden journals.

    The propaganda campaign that made marijuana "illegal" began in the 1920's-1930's – truthful and historical information on the matter can be found everywhere. (i.e. "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" by author Jack Herer)

    One reason marijuana is now illegal; it's one of the most useful and beneficial plants on earth – with positive solutions and remedies that can be grown and cultivated naturally, without a patent to pay, if this ancient and common herb was decriminalized,

    Decriminalization rather than Legalization.

    October 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  373. Francis

    Hi everyone I'm from canada and use marajauna for crohn's disease. It stops my abdominal pain within 5-10 minutes, controls my nausea, helps me sleep, and helps with diarrhea. Also it opens up your mind and helps figure out why one week your good then one week your bad. It really bothers me when people say there is no medicinal value, these are people who have not tried it for a medical condition. The only thing i feared about trying marajuana was that it might not work. It was at the back of my mind and was the hope that kept me going. I did my research on it and did not try it blindly, I was forty years old when I started using it. Now I could go to sleep and not sit on my couch with a hot water bottle till three or four in the morning Here in canada we have a medicinal marajauna program that is controlled by the federal government not the provinces. We have about 35 million people and only about 3000 people accros the whole country are able to use it legally, where as the state of california has about the same amount of people and about 130, 000 people are allowed to use it. I asked my doctor and he basicaly side stepped the question and said I would have to see a pain clinic. Crohn's is on the list of about six things the government allows but only if other treatments don't work. You could buy it from the government or grow your own or get somebody to grow it for you. The government only produce one strain. I found different strains work for diiferent alialments and different people and some work better for nighttime and some work better for morning and daytime. They would rather want me to use prednisone, remicade, and other drugs with serious side effects. The thing I like about marajauna is I could use it only when I need to without the serious side effects. I'm not really scared about getting busted by the police because this is not texas. A prosecuter would probaly avoid prosecuting me due to the fact that all the advances in the medical marajauna program happened through constitutional challenges. What I fear is in the work place where you can get fired, denied workmans compensation just for testing positive. Company's are under pressure to create safety programs, and every three years they have to improve there program when they get audited. I believe in safety in the workplace, but find that alot of company's only practice this when convienient and doesn't cost too much money. Together with a strong voice we can change the world but we often don't speak out. I am just as guilty of this as everyone else.

    October 25, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  374. Dan

    Medical Marijuana is a drug, just like all the others used by physicians to treat medical conditions. Many of the folks who don't wish this to be legalized argue that it will lead to rampant abuse.

    All of the other drugs have their abusers, from vicodin to percocet to the really strong medications. They are abused and misused all the time, and nobody questions their viability for use to ease peoples' ailments.

    However, the abuse is overshadowed by the enormous good that they do. Medical marijuana will have the same issues. It will be prescribed inappropriately to legitimize illegal use. However, it also will be used to relieve the pain of folks who have no other avenue to ease their suffering.

    In short, it will be used for its intended purpose, as well as abused by those who will use their prescription pads for personal gain. This will be no different than any other drug that is legally used in our society.

    It should never be generally legal any more than we should be able to purchase morphine over the counter at Walgreen's. But it is time that we stop making criminals out of those who are suffering and those who seek to alleviate their suffering.

    October 25, 2009 at 7:56 pm |
  375. Daniel Schwartz

    Probably half of the law enforcement officers that raid marijuana dispensaries and half of the judges and prosecutors that work on the cases use pot!

    October 25, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  376. KR

    Who cares if someone suffering or possibly dying from cancer wants to smoke pot to help with the pain or to encourage appetite to stay alive? Who cares if it increases appetite in someone with anorexia, therefore saving a life? Now alcohol, it is legal. And in my opinion alcohol is more dangerous. Alcohol ruined my ex-husband. Yet alcohol is legal. And really, who cares if it were legal at all to everyone? We have bigger problems people, like the economy, jobs, healthcare reform, two wars, the foreclosure crisis, global warming, Pakistan, AIDS, and an H1N1 pandemic. So who cares if marijuana is legal? Really, it couldn't make things any worse than they already are. Make pot legal, heck, it might help the economy.

    October 25, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  377. Carrie me to a Public Option

    I don't indulge. I would if it meant the horrible nausea and pain of cancer or other diseases was overwhelming me. If that should happen, which is more likely than not these days, I would prefer not to be considered a criminal. This wil directly affect me in case of a medical disaster. I should even be able to grow it if I needed it. Why should something so natural and beneficial be criminalized? It is like outlawing aspirins for headaches because someone wants you to purchase a $1,0000.00 prescription that does the same thing but has horrendous side effects.

    October 26, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  378. Richard

    If America were to legalize marijuana and get american companies and farmers growing it, it would effectively cut the mexican cartels strength in half while helping to invigorate the economy. As a bonus, carcinogenic pesticides which are used on mexican cartel marijuana would no longer be used making marijuana a safer drug to use.

    October 26, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  379. Ann

    If we did legalize marijuana, we probally have get from China!

    October 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  380. June

    I take oxycontin and percocet as I live in chronic pain from failed back surgeries. I also have many other problems where I suffer chronic pain all over from having many surgeries and untreatable conditions.
    I can't take medical marijuana because it is illegal in my state and even get tested for it. If they find it in my system then my insurance will drop me and I won't be able to see my pain doctors and then I won't be treated for my chronic pain.
    I would rather get off the harmful pain drugs and get on medical marijuana as I believe it is safer then the oxycontin and percocet. I feel that the insurance company owns the way I have to choose my health care and this makes me very angry just because Marijuana is illegal.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  381. Shelby

    I've steered my way through the hazards of life for 76 years. If I want to smoke marijuana, whether for medical reasons or not, I should be able to make that decision for myself. I don't believe the hype that it is a "gateway drug".

    October 28, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  382. Jayme

    I also think that this is a money issue. The government makes entirely to much money off marijuana! They bust you & charge you court fee's, probation fee's, drug test fee's & so on & so on. The government wants to keep all this money, instead of generating jobs for John Q. Public.

    I agree that taxing marijuana is cruel, but I think it's the only way that the government will allow it to be legal. I am glad that these 1st steps to make it completely legal are being taken. I feel that it should be my choice, as a grown, tax-paying citizen of the land of the free, to use a herb that god put on this planet as I choose!!!

    October 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  383. Vivian Davie

    of course I am not concerned that this could lead to legalization of marijuana as a whole. First of all let me start with using marijuana in ALL STATES for medical reasons. It is about time. I am 62 years old. I have been switched from medication to medication since the sixties for my chronic situation. All that has ever happened is that I have become financially barren , the pharmaceutical companies have developed medications tha have stolen my money and caused me side effects that have made me need more medications. I have never been able to try marijuana legallly, but I have tried it illegally 30 years ago. It was ablessing. However, it was too difficult to raise children and explain illegal drug use, so I naturally stopped. I have dreamed all of these years of feeling pain and anxiety free again. Now I am addicted to pain killers and agoraphbic. I will spend the next twenty years if I have that long stucjk inside my four walls and in on meds that give me side effects that make me miserable. So I say please....bring the medical use of marijuana on in all states it is time for government and the pharmaceutical companies to stop killing us with their control, because they fear losing money.

    October 30, 2009 at 11:59 am |