Marijuana controversy continues for local nurse
Medical marijuana proponent says government is lying about benefits
With four more states legalizing medicinal marijuana this year, changes in how it is viewed nationally is opening the floodgates for passage into uncharted waters.
At least 25 states have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes, and Colorado; Alaska; Washington, D.C.; Oregon for recreational used in the last decade, and in the Nov. 8 election Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Pennsylvania legalized it for medicinal purposes.
In the last 40 years, public opinion has changed drastically on the controversial topic. In 1969, 12 percent of poll-takers were in favor of legalization, but this year, according to an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 61 percent of poll-takers support legalization, with varying opinions on how it should be used.
Proponents of marijuana (cannabis) believe medicinal compounds in the plant can alleviate pain and provide significant relief for medical conditions, including Delores Halbin. Halbin, a Barry County native and cardiac nurse, saw the benefits first-hand.
"My husband, Gene, was diabetic, had a stroke and developed a painful, fairly untreatable form of glaucoma," she said.
Seven surgeries and narcotic prescriptions brought no relief to his pain.
"He was basically bed-bound, because the pressure in his eye was so high," she said.
After using cannabis, however, Halbin said there was a dramatic difference.
"For the first time in three years, he said, 'My God, it doesn't hurt,' and it would last for 2 hours," she said. "We have receptor sites all over our body for cannabis, and for narcotics, except in the eyeball, so there was no relief for his eye pain except cannabis."
The couple began growing cannabis, and advocating for its legalization to alleviate pain and help children with seizures. But in March 2014, they were arrested, and having no access to cannabis, her husband's condition worsened, and he died in 2015.
Halbin says people are dying every day while waiting for the government to legalize it.
"It's very frustrating to health care professionals to sit around and wait for politicians to make health care decisions for people who are dying," she said. "This is practicing medicine without a license, and that's exactly what they are doing."
According to Halbin, cannabis could replace narcotics and the host of detrimental problems it brings to society -- and the government is aware of this.
"I don't know a single person who has not been affected by a drug addiction, or who's been devastated in jail because they're a prescription addict, and we can solve that problem," she said. "We need to decriminalize cannabis so we can move on to prosecute rapists. We've got to get our country off narcotics and [legalizing] cannabis is the way to do that.
"Narcotics are so addictive, but cannabis will saturate pain receptors and not allow narcotics to settle in, so if you switch to cannabis, within a couple of weeks, you are no longer addicted to narcotics."
Halbin said cannabis is not hallucinogenic and the recreational 'high' is overblown.
"It's not like LSD, [commonly called acid]," she said. "You can never get that impaired except on the edible candies they sell in Colorado. Xanax, however, wipes out every fourth thought we have. Every drug has side effects, but cannabis will not kill you or make you an addict or criminal."
By comparison, Halbin said cannabis is safer than prescription drugs, which will cause people to need more until they become a criminal. The "gateway," only opens, she said, when users get caught, then switch to narcotics and prescription drugs.
Halbin said the research is just starting on all of the benefits of cannabis, for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, childhood neurological and other cancers.
"The endocannabinoids [a group of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and throughout the nervous systems] in cannabis can attach themselves to cancer cells and destroy them," she said.
A petition started by Show Me Cannibis that would allow individuals to grow six plants, failed. However, Arkansas recently passed legislation making the drug legal for medicinal use.
"Our petition was challenged by nine federal judges and we lost," she said. "The same thing happened in Arkansas, but they had a back up bill."
Halbin said current legal medicinal use of cannabis is limited it to specific conditions, including seizures in children.
"Cannabis is to seizure patients what insulin is to diabetes patients," Halbin said. "It was the only treatment for seizures, until big pharma came up with black box drugs, so these kids are having to take these drugs, which are huge doses of narcotics. That throw them into cardiac arrest. The child quits breathing, they rescue breathe them, and if they wake up, the seizures stop -- when there is a plant that will save them."
Halbin says making the public aware of what the government is doing is key.
In 1998, she said, the federal government applied for a patent (No. 6630507) to use cannabis for medical purposes, while still classifying the drug as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it is considered as having no medical benefits. And that the government sends cannabis to glaucoma patients who received it under a previous cannabis glaucoma program, which stopped taking new patients in 1992 under the Bush administration. The government also has a cannabis farm in Mississippi.
Therefore, Halbin says the feds are committing fraud.
"They've known about [the medicinal benefits of cannabis and had the patent] all along," she said.
Halbin said another infraction is that the government subsidizes cannabis for Israeli soldiers, which is allegedly is the number one treatment for PTSD and pain, while U.S. veterans are given addictive narcotics, committing suicide or put in jail for life for using it.
"About 3,700 vets from Afghanistan and Iraq are serving seven to 10 year sentences for cannabis, or taking oxycontin for PTSD, and we wonder why they're all committing suicide."
As a result of the contradictions, Halbin said thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the government, by individuals and organizations, such as the Missouri Nurses Cannibis Association.
For more information, people may visit the Show Me Cannibus' website and Facebook page, or google U.S. patient No. 6630507.