Pubdate: Mon, 09 May 2005
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2005 Asbury Park Press
Author: Jim Miller
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Chronic Pain)


The April 19 article "Study raises questions on safety of pain drugs" 
raised a question of its own. I was not surprised to read that doctors are 
switching patients to over-the-counter pain relievers, believing them to be 
safer than the COX-2 inhibitor drugs that now must carry a warning.

My question concerns the state Health Department's position on medical 
marijuana. It states that "it is the position of the Department of Health 
that there are acceptable alternatives in medicine for those patients who 
would use marijuana as medicine." Apparently that position needs to be 
updated to reflect the fact that physicians no longer find many of those 
alternatives to marijuana quite so acceptable now.

A bill (S-220) posted in the state Senate Health Committee, the 
Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, would allow the use of medical 
marijuana in New Jersey. A similar bill is being held up in the Assembly 
Health Committee. I have been advised not to tell anybody that the author 
of that bill, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, is responding to 
concerns of Assembly Majority Leader Joseph J. Roberts Jr., D-Camden, and 
is holding up his own bill from being posted. Too late now.

A 4-to-1 majority of New Jerseyans say they support medical marijuana, yet 
they have failed to do anything to help the sick and dying patients they 
profess to support. They can take part by visiting the Web site of an 
organization that I helped form two years ago, two months before my wife, 
Cheryl, died. The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey ( 
has made it easy to help those who are too weak to help themselves. Isn't 
that what people are supposed to do?

Jim Miller

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