Pubdate: Sun, 03 Apr 2011
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Author: Nicholas Scarson


Vote No on SB 423. This bill puts unnecessary and ineffective
restraints on patients, physicians and the caregivers who help those
who suffer every day. This bill will force our suffering neighbors to
return to ineffective and life-threatening narcotics that take money
away from caregivers and the state in order to funnel it to
pharmaceutical conglomerates that don't care about Montana. It will
not stop the miniscule criminal activity associated with medical
marijuana; just as federal "regulation" has done nothing to stop the
illegal trafficking of legal narcotics.

The abuse of prescription drugs represents 30 percent of the overall
drug problem in the U.S. In Montana alone, the state reports more than
300 deaths per year can be attributed to prescription drugs.
OxyContin, for example, is one of the most addictive, abused and
dangerous narcotics routinely prescribed to patients with chronic pain
conditions. The DEA reports that from 2000 to 2001, there were over
450 "OxyContin verified" deaths in the U.S. If we take a conservative
estimate of 200 "OxyContin verified" deaths a year since the DEA's
report was published in 2002, an estimated 1,800 people have died as a
result of this legal narcotic.

As of today, the DEA has recorded zero "marijuana verified" deaths in
the United States. It is undeniable, even according to the DEA's own
statistics, that medical marijuana is unquestionably a safer
alternative to many prescription narcotics used to treat chronic pain.

Unquestionably, regulation is needed in the medical marijuana law;
however SB 423 will force the medical marijuana program to effectively
operate "underground and in the dark." This bill sends the message
that we are only willing to help our sick and dying neighbors unseen
and in secret. All the voters ask is that medical marijuana be treated
in the same manner as all legal pharmaceuticals.

Nicholas Scarson

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.