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A Greener Look At Life

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Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
It's easy to quickly correlate anything that has to do with marijuana to an image of a lazy pothead sitting on the couch or a scene from Dazed and Confused. Don't let this picture society has warped us into believing fool you; this green herb is widely believed to have many benefits if given the opportunity.

On Friday April 30, from 3-7 p.m., there will be a Cannabis Revival protest. Come to Albany West Capitol Park, between Swan Street and Washington Avenue and voice your opinion on accelerating the Green economy.

Citizens Against Marijuana Prohibition is an organization of people voicing their opinions regarding a decision that is unrightfully left up to legislators.

The New York State Legislature is getting ready to vote on a new medical marijuana law and the media is still waiting for a position from Governor Paterson. Organizations like C.A.M.P. are urging to stop this prohibition from continuing and to halt the violation is intruding on their rights as citizens.

As it relates to cannabis use, C.A.M.P. cites the first amendment and its guarantee of religious expression, including the ability to decide what is best for our own well-being, as long as it is not harming or endangering others.

Under the fourth amendment, no one should have their homes invaded and consequently be prosecuted as a criminal for growing or possessing a medicinal herb, when there has been no harm done. As with any law there is obvious exceptions, so the guy growing twenty five plants inside a 'grow house' should be not be compared to a person with medical explanation for growing a plant in their backyard garden.

Currently the government has marijuana classified as a "Schedule 1 narcotic," which means it is on the same level as ****** with no medicinal value. It's fascinating that the Government would categorize a plant like marijuana like that because in recent studies, the opposite has been proven. A Harvard study released on April 17, 2007, shows the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, halts common lung cancer tumor growth in half. It also found to reduce the spread of the cancer.

While there hasn't been enough studies to truly prove this benefit enough for everyone to be satisfied, it has to been proven to positively and effectively treat nausea, depression, pain, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping-all symptoms of chemotherapy, which is commonly used to treat cancer. It has also been known to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.

While I am not a technically a doctor(though my Facebook account might say otherwise), I can't help but pose the question of why some drugs are so casually distributed when dealing with physical pain. In recent years, people have taken a serious liking to opiates. I've seen people my age adding an Oxycontin pill-an opiate similar to Morphine, used for moderate to severe pain-to their regular night of partying for a kick-ass time. Or, by simply turning on the latest episode of the A&E reality drama, Intervention, you'd be witness to the demise of so many Americans who have been caught doing similar deeds. And while I've seen countless opiate or prescription drug addiction episodes, I to this day, have never seen one marijuana-based episode. And you can ask my friends, I watch a lot of Intervention.

According to a drug addiction support site, Opiate abuse and Opiate addiction costs Americans over $484 billion annually. This figure includes healthcare costs (and abuses of that system), lost job wages, traffic accidents, crime and the associated criminal justice system costs.

Legalization of marijuana is widely believed to have enormous economic benefits as well-which may not be a bad thing these days. Legalize.org says it best: "The illegal import of drugs into the United States is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, all of the profit going to criminals, killers, and dangerous organizations. If marijuana were legalized and regulated, the marijuana black market would be entirely eliminated and the immense expenditure on both the war on drugs and the sale of drugs could be turned to far more practical applications."

While sitting in the local Muddy Cup café, Crystal Ouimette, a resident of the Pine Hills neighborhood and SUNY Junior, came across a flyer for the rally. The current cannabis policies have had a direct and indirect policy on Ouimette's life, sparking an interest in her on the topic.

"The rally isn't directed on people recreationally using marijuana, but for people who are serving long-term sentences for possession and for New York state to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes" said Ouimette.

While chatting about the upcoming protest, Ouimette shared some enlightening and disheartening facts: Did you know New York state drug laws outlaw anyone who has been convicted of marijuana possession to obtain financial aid when going into college? This is a grant that is allowed, however, to any person who has been found guilty of certain degrees of rape and murder.

Ouimette supports C.A.M.P. in trying to release people from jail who are there for possession. With the cost of keeping a person in jail for a lifetime estimating $1 million, she can't help but wonder where all those funds could be going to otherwise to be used more constructively.

While everyone will have a different opinion on the topic, I can't help but take a look at the grand scheme of things. With everything that is going on in the world, it seems like the effort to keep marijuana illegal can be redirected toward something more worthwhile, and the benefits will exceed the lazy stoner's Saturday night.

Voice your opinion now. Join C.A.M.P. at the rally this Friday.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: The Saint Rose Chronicle
Author: Katie Waters
Contact: The Saint Rose Chronicle
Copyright: 2010 The Saint Rose Chronicle
Website: A greener look at life

* Thanks to MedicalNeed for submitting this article