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MAP - Drugnews - Minnesota

Media Awareness Project Drug News
  1. US MN: PUB LTE: To Address Painkiller Addiction, Open Up
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 27 Aug 2015 - I applaud Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger and the Star Tribune Editorial Board for highlighting the need to address the alarming rates of addiction to and fatal overdose of prescription painkillers and heroin ("Minnesota needs state strategy to fight pain pill, heroin addiction," Aug. 24, and "Pain pill abuses are aired at conference," Aug. 26). While it will not be a panacea, emerging data suggest that modifying Minnesota's medical cannabis program to allow intractable pain patients to legally use medical cannabis can help ("State weighs medical cannabis for chronic pain," Aug. 26). Medical cannabis is far less addictive and much safer for the patient than opiate-based painkillers, having resulted in zero fatal overdoes. Studies out of the University of California found that medical marijuana was effective at treating neuropathic pain, which is notoriously unresponsive to commonly prescribed painkillers Finally, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last October suggests that medical cannabis reduces the rate of opiate overdoses. Researchers found that states with "[m]edical cannabis laws .. [have] ... significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates" than states without medical marijuana laws.
  2. US MN: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Is the Answer to
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 26 Aug 2015 - Minnesota certainly does need a new strategy to fight opioid addiction ("Closing the gateway that leads to heroin," editorial, Aug. 25). Unfortunately, Gov. Mark Dayton bowed to the pressure of law enforcement lobbyists and supported a limited medicinal cannabis law that excluded intractable pain. Studies have found that states with medical marijuana laws have fewer deaths from opioid overdoses than those without. Other studies have shown that cannabis has the potential to manage pain symptoms and at least reduce the dosage of opioids needed to manage severe pain. The risks of opioids include addiction and death from overdose. Cannabis is a much safer alternative. It has a much lower risk for dependence, and there has yet to be a documented death from overdose. Minnesota's medical cannabis law was designed with a research component, and the state is currently offering sessions for public input on adding intractable pain to the qualifying conditions list. Public testimony will be taken at a meeting of an advisory panel to be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Sept. 3 in the Minnetonka City Council chambers, and comments are being accepted online (tinyurl. com/psrkk8h). If the state truly intends to research this alternative to opioids, this presents the perfect opportunity to update the law by Jan. 1 as the current statute dictates.
  3. US MN: Medical Pot Sales To Begin
    Los Angeles Times, 29 Jun 2015 - (AP) - This week, Minnesota will be the latest state to enter the world of medical marijuana. Patients and advocates already have changes in mind, and clinics don't start selling the medicine until Wednesday. The state has some of the tightest restrictions in the country.
  4. US MN: Long Drives, High Costs Likely in Latest Medical Pot
    Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 29 Jun 2015 - (AP) - There will be no baggies of pot awaiting patients this week when Minnesota joins 21 other states in offering medical marijuana. Instead, the nation's latest medical marijuana program is a world of pill bottles and vials of marijuana-infused oil. For the qualifying patients seeking relief from pain, medical marijuana advocates and some lawmakers, Wednesday isn't the finish line, but the first step. The state's restrictive approach, unseen in the industry, is expected to mean high costs, long drives and reluctant doctors.
  5. US MN: PUB LTE: Such Resistance Cannot Be the Product of Clear
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 12 Jun 2015 - What is it with these doctors? They can't prescribe medical marijuana because it might, what... turn them into addicts or heaven forbid, kill them ("Patients scramble for pot doctors," June 11)? It bothers me that they've justified their actions on that basis when, really, all they're thinking about is their own professional safety. I watched my mother die of ALS over the course of a year, and I would have moved heaven and earth (or to Colorado) if there was the slightest chance something might ease her suffering. No human should have to suffer like that when there is something that might ease their pain. Shame on all of you doctors for hiding behind the veil of unknown risk when the known risk is a horrifying, painful death.
  6. US MN: PUB LTE: Such Resistance Cannot Be the Product of Clear
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 12 Jun 2015 - Regarding Ed Gogek's June 8 commentary "Why docs don't favor medical pot": While there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink cancerous tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug. If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and it helps the patient feel better, it's working. Medical marijuana is a quality-of-life decision best left to patients and their doctors. Drug warriors waging war on noncorporate drugs contend that organic marijuana is not an effective health intervention. Their prescribed intervention for medical-marijuana patients is handcuffs, jail cells and criminal records. This heavy-handed approach suggests that drug warriors should not be dictating health care decisions. Robert Sharpe, Arlington, Va.
  7. US MN: PUB LTE: Embrace Inevitable: Legalize, Tax Pot
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 16 Jan 2015 - Gov. Mark Dayton's proposals this year include a half-cent metro-area sales tax increase to pay for transit. In my industry as a jeweler, our sales tax is already high enough to drive a very high percentage of diamond buyers online to avoid many hundreds of dollars in tax on their once-in-a-lifetime, expensive engagement ring purchase. Instead of raising the sales tax, how about embracing the inevitable and legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana? New taxes collected could be designated for infrastructure renewal without raising sales taxes and driving more business out of state. This could be quite a boon to our economy, provided lawmakers strike a good tax rate balance to avoid driving pot sales underground.
  8. US MN: PUB LTE: Did You Notice How We Gauged Support?
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 10 Nov 2014 - By putting "Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis" and "Legal Marijuana Now" under the names of legalization candidates, Minnesotans saw legalization on the ballot for the first time and voted for it in record numbers. Dan Vacek's plebiscite-by-proxy theory worked so well that even the monopoly media censorship of minor parties couldn't stop the voters from seeing legalization on the ballot. Vacek earned 57,602 votes for Legal Marijuana Now, spent less than $500 and outpolled better-funded, better-publicized candidates from the Independence, Green and Libertarian parties - all of whom supported marijuana legalization but didn't say so on their ballot designation.
  9. US MN: LTE: Our Children's Futures Can't Bear Another Blow
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 29 Oct 2014 - Two years ago, we lost the vote on two vital issues: The marriage amendment and voter ID. There is another big issue lurking and, it seems to me, will be coming up in the near future. That is legalization of marijuana. It is already legal in Minnesota for medical use, and that has been a first step to further open the door to "recreational" marijuana. From information out of Colorado, it has been socially disastrous and legally chaotic. We failed to protect the future of our children and grandchildren two years ago. Don't let it happen again. Get out and vote for the conservative candidates who will support your values. It really is important.





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