Fw: [Ibogaine] medical marijuana

Sara Glatt sara119 at xs4all.nl
Fri Jun 30 03:49:43 EDT 2006


...some more news...

MADISON - By early March 2008, tens of thousands of Maine people who
suffer from
debilitating diseases and chronic pain could find relief in a county
marijuana store
- a pharmacy that would supply pot to patients who can document that their
conditions warrant self-medication, a marijuana advocate said Friday.

"Many, many Maine people don't smoke pot for a good time; they smoke to
relieve pain
and suffering," Don Christen of Madison said Friday.

Christen launched a petition drive on Friday to get a marijuana initiative
on the
November 2007 ballot. The petition will require 51,000 valid signatures to
be turned
into the secretary of state by January 25, 2007, to be on the ballot that
fall.

According to an eight-year-old study by the Maine Task Force on Substance
Abuse,
95,000 Maine adults routinely use marijuana. Christen, leader of Maine's
legalization of marijuana movement, said that figure is underestimated and
that a
large percentage of those users are patients seeking relief.

Christen, 52, has lobbied for pot for decades. He has been arrested for
cultivation,
possession and distribution and is awaiting trial in Somerset County for
providing
pot to five people suffering from debilitating diseases under Maine's Medical
Marijuana Initiative, passed in November 1999.

Maine is one of 11 states that permits the medical use of marijuana,
including
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode
Island, Vermont
and Washington.

But the law passed by Maine citizens is flawed, Christen maintained.

"The problem is there is no provision for a distribution system," he said
Friday.
"When people voted in 1999, they thought they were getting a plan that
would work
and they didn't."

The new initiative not only sets up such a system, it also would require
the state
to offer educational leaflets, provide protection for doctors and
providers that
prescribe marijuana to their patients, and, for the first time, set a final
definition of marijuana for the state.

The initiative would allow up to 6 pounds per patient per year, an amount
set by the
federal government that allows 1 gram joints for its marijuana patients.

"That's 5.7 pounds per year," Christen said. "A patient would use six to
seven
joints a day, depending on their illness."

Christen said many sick people don't use the existing program because they
are scared.

"The potential for abuse is minimal, compared to the benefit for
patients," he said.
"What we are talking about is helping sick people get pot and keeping them
away from
the black market and its exorbitant prices."

Since Maine already has decriminalized marijuana, Christen maintained that
the state
has the right to establish a distribution system. By setting up nonprofit
outlets
that would stock marijuana grown by authorized providers, insurance
companies could
be required to pay for the herbal medication. The proposal is to have
stores called
"buyers clubs" in all cities with more than 25,000 people and one in each
county.

Christen said the initiative has built-in protection for prescribing
doctors. "That
has to turn some heads," he said.

"This initiative will be the model for the country," Christen predicted.
"We used
math and science to find out what people needed. There is nothing like
this. This
will be a Maine law, for Maine citizens."

Anyone who wants to volunteer to circulate petitions can contact Christen at
696-8167 or check www.mainevocals.net.







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