Marching for marijuana

Hayden resident encourages support for medicinal use

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Past Event

4th Annual Routt County Medical Marijuana Awareness March

  • Wednesday, April 18, 2007, noon to 5 p.m.
  • Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

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— Hayden resident Don Nord says being able to smoke marijuana or eat banana bread and oatmeal cookies baked with pot has helped him live a more productive and fulfilling life in light of the myriad of medical conditions he lives with.

Nord, a vocal lobbyist for the legalization of medicinal marijuana and marijuana law reform, will again spread that message Friday afternoon as he hosts the fourth annual Routt County Medical Marijuana Awareness March on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

"This is a medical marijuana rally I hold every year to meet people interested in getting more information about medical marijuana," he said.

Nord said the event is open to the public, and he encourages people to stop by.

"It's a really peaceful event," he said. "No one is rioting or anything like that. We just like to gather around and speak about medical marijuana. People honk their horns as they drive by us - it's their way of showing support."

Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said the annual event has never caused a problem for the city.

Nord has "done it before. We've seen him out there, and everything seems to be organized," he said. "It's the freedom of speech thing, and as long as it isn't impeding the flow of traffic or anything, he has the right to do that."

Nord has been smoking medical marijuana for more than two decades, and he has a state permit to legally grow marijuana in his Hayden home. Nord suffers from ongoing complications from kidney cancer, prostate operations, foot ailments and other medical conditions that require him to use oxygen to breathe.

"Medical marijuana is not for a stubbed toe," he said. "It's more or less for people suffering from cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, AIDS, HIV. It's to help those kinds of people get through the day."

Mason Tvert, executive director of the Colorado-based nonprofit Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, said the organization is working to change the public's perception of what "4/20" is.

"I don't think there is a misperception of what (Friday) is. People know exactly what it is - it's a bunch of people smoking pot in public," he said. "What we're trying to do is transform that into a public discussion about why marijuana laws need to be reformed and why marijuana isn't a big deal."

Nord has volunteered for SAFER. During the 2006 election, Nord collected thousands of local signatures in support of Amendment 44, which would have legalized possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana by adults ages 21 and older.

Friday's events are about showing discontent with current marijuana laws, Tvert said. "What we do is try to generate public discussion about the efficacy of prohibition and punishing adults for (marijuana) use. Unfortunately, a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about it in public," Tvert said.

People like Nord are the exception, he said.

"My hope is that people will stop by and get the information they need," Nord said of Friday's march. "The more people I can help or get information to, then I've accomplished something."

A global marijuana march is scheduled for May 4, 5 and 6, Nord said.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

citizenjohnq 7 years, 8 months ago

"What we're trying to do is transform that into a public discussion about why marijuana laws need to be reformed and why marijuana isn't a big deal."

Not a big deal? Here's some facts for all. You decide.

Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, including most of the harmful substances found in tobacco smoke. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette.

Harvard University researchers report the risk of a heart attack is five times higher than usual in the hour after smoking marijuana.

The risk of using cocaine is estimated to be more than 104 times greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it.

Smoking marijuana can injure or destroy lung tissue. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 5070% more of some cancer causing chemicals than does tobacco smoke.

Reaction time for motor skills, such as driving, is reduced by 41% after smoking one joint and is reduced 63% after smoking two joints.

There have been over 7,000 published scientific and medical studies documenting the damage that marijuana poses. Not one study has shown marijuana to be safe.

Source: http://www.gdcada.org/statistics/marijuana.htm

Just something to think about.

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jeannie berger 7 years, 8 months ago

Something else to think about re marijuana usage. Go to the link below to read the latest study using marijuana to fight lung cancer by the Harvard med school

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

Sorry I can't figure out how to make this a link so you will have to cut and paste or google harvard marijuana study

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 8 months ago

Too many medications out there for illegal pot smoking to be the only thing that works. I still cannot understand how a licensed medical doctor would prescribe "smoking" to any patient that has "medical conditions that require him to use oxygen to breathe". If staying loaded constitutes a fulfilling, productive life... God help us all!

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techdubb12 7 years, 8 months ago

citizenjohnq:

Firstly, I find it interesting that you compare marijuana to a legal substance in terms of its harmful affects (and that often the affects of marijuana are of a lesser consequence).

Secondly, one of your facts: "Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette."

This always raises a few questions: 1) How many cigarettes are smoked by an average tabacco smoker per day? 2) How many joints are smoked by an average marijuana smoker per day? (Keep in mind that joints are often shared between several people, unlike a majority of cigarettes.) 3) Recalling your answers from 1 and 2, what does the aformentioned fact really mean?

As long as tabacco and alcohol are legal, the anti-marijana camp's only leg to stand on is that it's currently illegal. (Note: I never argue that Marijuana is healthy, mentally or physically.)

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cheesehead 7 years, 8 months ago

I can't see how prescription marijuana would be any worse than the opiates currently prescribed. I'm not saying I buy into SAFER's B.S., but I don't understand why a Dr. can't prescribe marijuana if it helps.

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citizenjohnq 7 years, 8 months ago

Tech: Good points. I'll do my best to answer them. But before I get to that let me just make a couple comments. If a doctor would prescribe marijuana that's their choice. I'm not entirely against 'medical marijuana'. But I am against its use outside of that context- which is SAFER's objective- to legalize non-medicinal use of marijuana (while using the Red Herring of promoting medicinal marijuana use as a means to their ends).

The study pointed to by dreamriver: A valid point, but if you read the link provided you'll notice that the study never was tried IN humans. All the cancer cells that were treated by this method were those that had been human cancer cells implanted in to lab mice. Bottom line, the study does shows progress against cancer in a lab (a controled environment) in mice, but not in humans- lab or not.

Here you are Tech:

1) Here's a link to some worldwide info on cigarette consumption. http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/atlas8.pdf I'll briefly highlight some: -Currently, over 15 billion cigarettes are smoked worldwide everyday. -The annual cigarette consumption per person in the US is between 1,500 and 2,499 per day. -Less developed nations generally consume fewer cigarettes than their more developed counterparts.

2) I'm agree that many 'joints' may be shared in a group. So let's roll with a scenario: -Four(4) people share one joint fairly equally; we do the math and the fact would hold to its logic of depositing the same amount of tar into each person's lungs as a filtered tobacco cigarette- continue with the division and 8 people would each have half the amount of tar...

3) It means that the myth of "marijuana is better for you than cigarettes" is just that, a myth. That marijuana is just as, if not, more dangerous than tobacco smoking. We know that tabacco smoking is not healthy, hardly anyone would deny that- even pot smokers. Thus proving the "anti-marijuana camp's" other leg to stand on. Yes, tobacco and alcohol are still legal, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous. I see the double standard here. But the other facts I mentioned speak for themselves, that being that those that use marijuana are more likely to use other more serious drugs. The fact that more people smoke and/or drink and DON'T use marijauna speaks for itself.

Cheesehead: I agree with you on this. To add to what you said. Many people refuse to take the opiates and other drugs that are prescribed for them by doctors, and that is their choice. So should we allow people to choose if they would want to use marijuana if prescribed by a doctor? I would follow that to say let people choose, but as with any other prescription they would be made aware of possible side-effects, etc. (It should be noted that most marijuana RX'es are prescribed not as smoked marijuana but as Marinol- which is either injected or mixed with food.)

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 8 months ago

"Keep in mind that joints are often shared between several people"... and just how many of these people sharing it have the prescription?

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cheesehead 7 years, 8 months ago

JQ's response does a good job of showing how Nord's alliance with SAFER is shooting his medical marijuana cause in the foot. I might be willing to check out a rally for medical marijuana, but not a pothead rally.

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kingsride 7 years, 8 months ago

cheesehead; And therin is the problem that has always been Nords credibility issue. I would like to know who the dr is that has him on oxygen and encourages him to smoke pot.

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