Medical Marijuana: Virginia Nurses Association Reiterates Its Support 9/9/05

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The Virginia Nurses Association the first in the country to come out in favor of medical marijuana, has reconfirmed its support for therapeutic cannabis and called for immediate legislation to legalize its medicinal use. Representing some 80,000 Virginia nurses, the association declared last week that it "will continue" to seek the regularization of medical marijuana as a therapeutic substance.

"The Virginia Nurses Association will continue to support legislation that would legalize the medically prescribed use of cannabis/marijuana for the purpose of relieving pain and distressful symptoms of acute, chronic, or incurable illness," the group proclaimed.

Thanks to the efforts of people like Mary Lynn Mathre, a central Virginia nurse and addiction specialist who helped form the medical marijuana advocacy group Patients Out of Time, the VNA was the first state nursing association in the country to call for recognition of medical marijuana. Since then, 13 more state nursing associations have joined the call, as has the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, and dozens of other medically oriented groups.

"Nurses are the most respected profession in the US and their opinion counts, or certainly should count, more than the absurd to ignorant statements made by US government officials, most of whom are attorneys or law enforcement specialists that have no true understanding of medicine or the medical use of cannabis," said Mathre. "Nurses, medical doctors, social workers and all other health care professionals have spoken with resolve through their professional organizations and they have said patients need cannabis now. These are the experts politicians should be guided by in this demand for compassion and reason," she noted.

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Issue #402 -- 9/9/05

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