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Amendment to legalize medicinal marijuana touted at Lemon Grove rally

Published: Fri, July 19, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

By William K. Alcorn



Getting help for patients suffering and in pain is the primary goal of the Ohio Rights Organization’s effort to place a constitu-tional amendment on the 2014 ballot that would legalize the medical use of cannabis, better known as marijuana.

“We’re not passing legislation. We’re trying to pass a right,” said John Pardee, president of ORO at the organization’s rally Thursday at the Lemon Grove Restaurant in downtown Youngstown.

“The amendment would not only ensure that our loved ones will have the right to use cannabis to ease their suffering, it would give farmers the right to grow hemp as a profitable agriculture crop,” Pardee said.

Though members of the small group at the Lemon Grove meeting all seemed in favor of legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, not everyone agrees.

Dr. Steven Matson, president of the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said in an email that he sees daily examples in his practice that marijuana is a drug of abuse and dependence that has serious negative consequences for many users.

“I see previously healthy teens now relegated to illegal activities to fuel their drug abuse that started with marijuana,” he wrote in the email. “We know that teens that start smoking marijuana have a significantly increased risk of cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs use ... and a four to nine times increased risk of experiencing drug abuse and drug dependence later in life.”

Speaking for the amendment to legalize the medical use of marijuana was longtime proponent state Rep. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, who recently introduced House Bill 153, which allows people with chronic or debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer, Crohn’s disease and sickle-cell anemia, to cultivate or otherwise obtain and use marijuana for treatment of their ailments.

“I’m moved by the fact that people are suffering. Marijuana use for medicinal purposes needs to be legalized and decriminalized,” Hagan said.

“It’s worth fighting this fight,” said Youngstown native Mimi Peleg, who works as a counselor in Israel for patients receiving medicinal marijuana.

Medicinal marijuana is legal in that country, but still is considered a “last resort” medication, Peleg said.

Patients in Israel are required to get counseling on, among other things, the safe use of marijuana and the consumption methods.

Providing counseling and re-counseling and locating distribution centers separate and away from marijuana growers are keys to the success of the program in Israel, she said.

“The drug war and violence has to stop. The only people who would not benefit from legalizing medicinal marijuana are large corporations and drug cartels,” Pardee said.


1michael1757(456 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey Matson,that's your position because of your job. Are you sayin' you never "Puffed the weed"? It seem's in our generation,at one time did,or still does smoke pot. How many of us are engineers,doctor's,lawyer's,hell.the president,so,with that being said,pot,should be legalized.

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2Photoman(1178 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Medical Marijuana??? You've got to be kidding! Pass approval of this idea into law and suddenly a substantial portion of the population, previously experiencing great health, will develop a medical "condition". Will we then be forced to pay for treating this condition through Obamacare?

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3dmacker(440 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I wander what medical condition Bob Hagan will develop. I'm sure he is all over this idea.

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4AtownAugie(848 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

The program schedule calls for Tokin' Bob to fire up the communal bong at 4:20. At 5, the cash Twinkie bar opens.

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5cheybaby2(102 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This Is So Stupid , Marijuana is Not Addicting What a bunch of Crap. I smoked it as an Adult for 5 yrs, I quit with no problem, All it does is relax you and make you want to eat, They give it to aids Patients, Cancer Patients, My nephew bought it on the Streets For His Dad Who Died of Brain Cancer, The chemo made him Sick, He didn't want to eat. It helped a lot You People Who Never Smoked It Or Say You Didn't To act better then everyone else is plan stupid. Heroin Kills, Crack Kills & so Does Alcohol. Marijuana Never Did. As long as our Government doesn't put Chemicals in it, Its safer then the food we eat.....

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6bunkpatrol(304 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Anyone who trivializes the medicinal benefits of MJ or resorts to the political fingerpointing has obviously never helped a loved one alleviate some suffering or helped them to die compassionately .

Shame on all of you. Follow the money made by its illegality or research the racist propaganda responsible for its prohibition and you will realize what pawns you mouthpieces are. I think I need some momentarily in order to help me tolerate your ignorance. But I suppose Pfizer ,Anheiser-Busch, or CCA might rather jail me over it.

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7Silence_Dogood(1603 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This is insane.

Everyone needs to watch the movie "Reefer Madness".
This movie proves that within days of your first toke you will murder, rape, blackmail people,betray your lifelong friends, and in the end you will be incarcerated for the criminally insane.
We have enough problems in society, we don't need to add more. Hagan must be stopped. Its all the fault of those JAZZ musicians, the evil they have brought upon us. The madness, the madness!

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8BrianKelly007(1 comment)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

When a loved one is wasting away unable to eat due to Chemotherapy, AIDS Wasting Syndrome, or Multiple Sclerosis, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left in our lives, let's have the compassion to allow them safe, legal access to it.

Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

Yes! on Medical Marijuana Now!

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9redeye1(5413 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Brian I can agree with you , but how do we stop others from using it? Let's face it the person getting the weed for medical reasons won't be able to stop others from using it. How would you feel if one of your family would get hurt by someone who smoked a little weed and then decided to go for a drive and hit someone in your family.

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10Dagwood(408 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Does Obamacare cover Medicinal Marijuana?

Because if I'm gonna take on the expense of this dumb plan at least let me get some enjoyment out of it.

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