Jan 22, 2010 - ANNISTON STAR
Again this year, a medical marijuana bill (HB 207) is before the Alabama Legislature. Year in and year out, it seems we have a bill introduced that could drastically transform Alabama patients' lives.
That bill, in turn, usually gets moved to committee, where it sits ignored throughout the session and dies. There are now 14 states, as well as the District of Columbia (near 30 percent of the country), that have adopted medical marijuana legislation and given their residents the option of using marijuana as medicine under their doctor's care.
People hear the word "marijuana" and immediately get images in their head of poorly groomed individuals wearing tie-dyed T-shirts dancing in a circle and smoking pot. Let me assure you that is not what this bill is about.
As a chronic pain sufferer, I am prescribed the legal equivalent of heroin (Oxycontin). This product is evil and very addictive and comes with a multitude of possible side effects, including death. Marijuana has proven to be a safe and useful alternative to my prescribed medications, and the side effects are getting hungry, a dry mouth, feeling well and sometimes getting a little sleepy. Those are side effects I can live with.
No matter where you stand on the issue of "drugs," it makes no sense to allow Alabamians who could benefit from this medicine to suffer. Suffer or become addicted to the narcotic pain prescriptions being handed out freely.