Media Awareness Project Drug News
  1. US MN: LTE: Tactics Targeted by Editorialists, but Are What

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 09 Aug 2016 - In its Aug. 8 Short Takes space, the Star Tribune reprinted an editorial from the Washington Post condemning the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his war on drugs, which includes extrajudicial killings of drug lords and pushers ("The Philippines' drug war: Homicidal justice kills the rule of law"). What the editors don't know is that Duterte is the first president in my lifetime (and I am 65) who cannot be bought. I personally know a rich businessman who had bet on the wrong horse for president. The day after election, he flew to Davao City (where Duterte lives) with a bag full of cash. He waited one whole day and couldn't get in to see Duterte. All of these human-rights activists condemning the extrajudicial killings do not know the situation in the Philippines. Duterte won the election with a wide margin in a three-way race. The Roman Catholic Church (the Philippines is 86 percent Catholic) supported his opponent, who also was supported by the then-current president. Duterte ran on the promise to get rid of the drug lords in the way he did in Davao City. And he is doing exactly what he promised. That is democracy in action.
  2. US MN: PUB LTE: Show Me, Using Data and Facts, Why It Can't Be

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 02 May 2016 - I'd like to point out some inaccuracies in the April 23 article "Marijuana wax is a rising concern." In the states that have legalized marijuana, what we haven't seen is an increase in crime. We haven't seen an increase in death. We haven't seen any real social problems in these states that stem from legalized marijuana. At the end of the article, Brian Marquardt, statewide gang and drug coordinator for the Department of Public Safety's Office of Justice Programs, states that making marijuana wax is as deadly as smoking it. This is a false statement. While it is true that people can die from explosions from making the wax as mentioned in your article, I don't know of anyone who has ever died directly from ingesting marijuana in any form. It's physically impossible to take as much as you would need to overdose.
  3. US MN: Hemp Legally Harvested In Minnesota For Study

    La Crosse Tribune, 25 Sep 2015 - ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Hemp has been legally harvested in Minnesota for the first time in more than 60 years. A new state law passed this year allows researchers from the University of Minnesota to collect wild hemp. Researchers scoured the overgrown grounds at Fort Snelling Wednesday and cut some wild hemp.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.