Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The state of Michigan: Marijuana and Stem Cell showdown

Ok so I've established that I'm neither voting for McCain nor Obama. I'll probably write Ron Paul in and hope that many other people do the same. The larger the percentage for a non republican or democrat, the better off we'll be. So if people like Paul, Nader, and Leiberman can successfully steal 15% or more votes from the 2 main parties I think we may finally have a shot to get some moderation and rational thought in Washington.
But enough of the presidential election. This blog is dedicated to the 2 proposals we are currently being told to vote on in the state of Michigan. I would like to shed some light on what voting yes or no on these proposals would mean for us and they are probably the two issues I feel the most strongly about.

Proposal 1 is referred to as the "Michigan Medical Marijuana Act" It would allow patients suffering from debilitating ailments such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS to be granted the legal right to use and grow marijuana after being approved through the department of community health.
I am always amazed whenever I look at the death toll in the world from cigarrette related deaths in the millions and the marijuana death toll sitting strong at "0". Then realizing that marijuana is the one that we have deemed illegal. Scientists have been forced to run biased studies by the American government since the 60's to find proof that it is as dangerous as they say but the results have been so diluded that the arguments tend to fall flat. Marijuana is less deadly than most Americans diets. (and that's excluding fast food)
The real reason Marijuana is illegal in America has a great deal to do with the Mexican Drug Cartel and having a reason to pull over trucks full of Mexicans and send them back to Mexico. I guess this is a double edged sword for me considering I want America to take a harder stance against illegals but I also think Marijuana being criminalized is a travesty. I'm going to vote "Yes" on this proposal, not because I'm a pothead, but more because of common sense and less government control.

Prop 2 if voted yes upon, it would add an amendment to the constitution to expand the research endeavors for stem cells in Michigan. Stem cell usase has always been a passion of mine ever since I heard about them. I feel that they are the key to curing AIDS, Diabetes, Infertility, bad organs, etc. However the right to life crowd is against them mainly because of their old testament witch doctor mindset. They'd rather have human beings die painful deaths or live less than satisfactory lives than use human embryos that would be thrown in the trash regardless to help people. I mean the people who are opposed to this proposal call themselves the "Right to Lifers" but they are taking the right to life away from people that are dying.
I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that I'm not in favor of skinning babies alive, I simply think that if that little puddle of sperm and eggs can be a miracle for someone else, then it's better that we put that little puddle to use. If scientific advances find a way to turn that puddle of sperm and eggs into a living and breathing human being then I'd say that the Pro-lifers might actually have an argument. But if they are just going to be flushed down a toilet, then who's the pro-lifer now bitches?
The folks against this bill have also used bold-faced lies in their ads; saying that the Stem cell research would cost the state oodles of cash which is proposturus. If anything, this research will actually bring jobs to Michigan. The pro-life group publically admitted that they were full of shit and pulled the ad off the airwaves. This type of underhanded jibberish just shows how much they are lacking a logical leg to stand on. Once again illogical religious views are trying to trump cold hard facts.
Of course there is always the natural paranoia for some people in regards to human cloning and genetically altered mutant men, also the black market selling of human embryos for profit. Here's the ammendment in it's true form to hopefully put your worries to rest.
(1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.

(2) To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:

(a) No stem cells may be taken from a human embryo more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which an embryo is frozen does not count against this fourteen day limit.

(b) The human embryos were created for the purpose of fertility treatment and, with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, the person seeking fertility treatment chose to donate the embryos for research; and

i. the embryos were in excess of the clinical need of the person seeking the fertility treatment and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research; or

ii. the embryos were not suitable for implantation and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research.

So there ya have it, a little bit of info on the proposals. It's a no-brainer for me to vote "YES" on both props. I'm not saying that you have no brain if you vote "NO" on either one of them...but it does make you stupid. Face!!!


The H.C. said...

Hey Tabor,
I'm glad to see you writing about something other than football. That's mainly because I know next to zero about sports. (football's the one with the sticks, right?) Politics, on the other hand I know a little bit more about. So here's my spin on the two proposals.
*Medical Marijuana*
As a cancer survivor who used M.M. to relieve the symptoms of radiation treatment I would be a complete hypocrite if I didn't support it. As you know I've even testified on youtube as to my experience (http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=d5fIYUooBng)
*Stem Cells*
This is a little more of a sticky situation. I work at a major research institution and I've had quite a few conversations with doctrate professors who understand the problem way better than myself. The people in favor of stem cell research usually have their opinion fashioned from a very simplistic point of view. "It's not a life, so why not?" The people against it usually fashion their opinion grounded in their morality instead of good science. There are a lot of good questions that arise from this issue and most of them are related to Abortion which is why it's not being debated rationally. When does life start? Liberals act as if there is a stopwatch on the fetus that magically says life starts at the second trimester even though they can't tell me when that exact second is. The best answer is "when the baby leaves the hatch" because at least you've put an actual timeframe that can be justified. This however means I can hit the kid in the head with a bat as long as he's not all the way out. The strangest part of all this is that they don't even need to create the embryo to get stem cells. (site; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211172631.htm) I joke that the Liberals responded to this news by saying, "But can't we kill them anyways?" There is a slippery slope argument to killing life and defining life that I do worry about. The viability argument is strange to say the least. Can I kill grampa because he can't live without his oxygen machine? The problem is; This issue is way too politicized toward the abortion issue. I'm going to have to think long and hard about whether this is even necessary before making my final decision. Good Post!

TABOR said...

Hey H.C. thanks for the comment! I hope that you get the word out about your own experience with medicinal marijuana to display to voters the first hand benefits before they just get caught up with the whole "dirty hippy" stigma that so many people seem to attach to pot.
As far as the Stem Cell issue goes. I'm one of those guys that thinks life begins at birth. However I am against abortions in the third trimester even though I don't consider the child to be "alive" yet. Maybe we don't need embryos to create stem cells but we have embryos so why not use them? Roe vs. Wade isn't going to be overturned anytime soon, so why not at least embrace one of the few benefits that comes with abortion? It seems wasteful to allow a substance with so much medical potential to be simply discarded. We as Americans are already so wasteful as it is.
As far as the Grandpa on the oxygen machine annalogy goes. I think that if Grandpa wants to die rather than live off of a oxygen machine he has every right to pass away with dignity. The hard line right-wingers would call that "killing" and that it's against god's will. I say that if he was going to die without breathing machines, then it's against God's will by keeping him alive by man made means. It's kinda like the Terri Shiavo thing. That poor woman should have been allowed to die years before she was finally granted that mercy. But hey, that's just one dude's opinion.

The H.C. said...

Hey Tabor,
Thanks, and you can rest assured that I have, and will continue to do, whatever I can to get the word out about my experience and get M.M. legal. As far as the Grampa anology. If Grampa, or anyone, wants to take his own life they should be allowed to die with dignity. The issue is really; Can someone else kill Grampa? Then it gets a little sticky. You know there are a lot of bastards that would kill their own mother to get an inheiritance just because she caught a cold. That's my real concern with "Grampa". Once you've opened the door to one person deciding the fate of another person, a lot of peripheral issues come into play.

TABOR said...

I see your point. Only Grampa can decide if he wants to do die. I never said anyone else should be allowed to kill grampa. But the slippery slope is there once again. What if the children can convince the senile old man that life isn't worth living. What if someone makes the decision to die because they were duped by smarter more able-minded relatives that can capitalize on their death.
I remember watching an HBO special with Dr. Kevorkian and the people on that show were in such pain, they were desperate for some kind of release. Kevorkian asked them a series of questions making sure they were competant and truly wanted it before he put them down. I considered him an angel of mercy, not a killer.
My dad watched his Mother slowly die over the course of 4 years from cancer. Finally passing away on the day of my dad's high school graduation, she was only 40. He has always instilled a belief that death is better than suffering because he still carries the mental scars of her slow and painful death. I guess that has molded my opinion on this issue quite a bit.

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