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'Medical' marijuana — we should look before we leap
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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has stated that “based on studies to date — and the fact that long-term use of marijuana may be associated with significant, serious side effects — it is the opinion of the society’s Medical Advisory Board that there are currently insufficient data to recommend marijuana or its derivatives as a treatment for MS symptoms. Research is continuing to determine if there is a possible role for marijuana or its derivatives in the treatment of MS. In the meantime, other well-tested, FDA-approved drugs are available to reduce spasticity.”

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “is concerned about the negative impact of medical marijuana on youth. Adolescents are especially vulnerable to the many adverse development, cognitive, medical, psychiatric and addictive effects of marijuana. Adolescent marijuana users are more likely than adult users to develop marijuana dependence, and their heavy use is associated with increased incidence and worsened course of psychotic, mood and anxiety disorders. The ‘medicalization’ of smoked marijuana has distorted the perception of the known risks and purposed benefits of this drug.”

• Finally, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that any “change in the legal status of marijuana, even if limited to adults, could affect the prevalence of use among adolescents.”

D’Amato made clear that he supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Compassionate Care Act, which, if passed by the State Legislature, would allow 20 hospitals across New York to distribute marijuana to patients. Twenty states now allow “medical” marijuana. Our Democratically controlled Assembly has traditionally passed legislation supporting it, while the Republican-controlled Senate has rejected it.

The Legislature would do well to check with doctors and scientists before voting on CCA.

Scott Brinton is senior editor of the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds and an adjunct professor at the Hofstra University Graduate Journalism Program. Comments? SBrinton@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 203. Brinton’s profile and posts can be found at facebook.com/scottabrinton.


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Let's talk about "reams of misinformation" shall we? Because that is EXACTLY what your editorial consists of. Had you truly done your research into this before just spewing your opinion, you might have noticed and reported more accurate findings. For starters... The Compassionate Care Act is not Governor Cuomo's plan to distribute marijuana through 20 hospitals. That is a 1980 law that he is trying to re-enact as a research project. The Compassionate Care Act is a comprehensive, tightly regulated bill written by Senator's Gottfried and Savino, to allow severely ill patients access to a small amount of medical marijuana through their physicians, all through the Dept of Health. Had you done your due diligence you also would have found TONS of information and physician findings about children who are DYING from their epilepsies who have their lives restored because of certain strains of medical marijuana. You speak of long term effects? Ever thought about the damaging short term effects of the horrible drugs these children have to take that don't even work? Many of these children have no long term because they will die from the ravages of the seizures. Your ignorance and lack of at least getting yourself fully educated is despicable. Shame on you. I pray that you never have to watch your child seize uncontrollably, but I bet you would change your thinking if you ever had to. Shame on you. Don't punish innocent children for the few who abuse.

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Report this

Regardless of the way you feel personally Mr. Brinton, isn't it the responsibility to report well researched information that is true, rather than dig up outdated information and misinform the Herald readers? I have been reading and researching the Compassionate Care Act for awhile now and you obviously don't know what you are talking about. How can anyone continue to read what you print when you obviously don't do the legwork to get the right information to back you up. Unfortunately you used the Herald to share your views. You have no journalistic integrity.! It is apparent that you had nothing to write about in this issue so grasped at straws, saw what has been in recent headlines and spent a few minutes online before writing your piece! I am asking you, for all those who could benefit from the CC Act, please please don't do any more reporting on this matter! God help you if you are ever in the shoes of so many who could benefit from Compassionate Care Act! Poor journalism like this is so irresponsible!

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Report this
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