'The Blunt Truth'

Saturday, October 20, 2012
Dr. Christian Thurstone

Compass Pointe offering look at medical marijuana issue

Iowa legislators have been discussing the legalization of medical marijuana for several years. The Alliance of Coalitions for Change, a statewide network aimed at reducing substance abuse, is bringing that conversation to Spencer on Oct. 31.

"It may not be in the legislature this year, but it's coming," Mary Sloan, prevention supervisor and consultant at Compass Pointe Behavioral Health Services, said. "The constituency needs to be informed."

"The Blunt Truth About Medical Marijuana Symposium" will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Compass Pointe and will feature Dr. Christian Thurstone.

"This man has been watching and observing and collecting data about what has happened since they legalized medical marijuana in Colorado," Sloan said of the medical director of the Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention Program at Denver Health and Hospital Authority. "He's up and close and personal with this."

Thurstone will kick off the symposium by talking about "Colorado and the effects of legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes." Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy Associate Director Dale Woolery and Clay County investigator Casey Timmer will share a statewide and local perspective before Thurstone follows up with a talk about the "health effects of marijuana on the adolescent brain." A roundtable discussion and question-and-answer session will conclude the forum.

Sloan said the purpose of the symposium is to provide counterpoints to information presented by groups in favor of marijuana legalization.

"People need to look at the facts, not just from the people who say, 'Legalize it and get it over with because it's not harmful anyway,'" Sloan said. "That's an easy way out. We're a society that tolerates anything. Your tax dollars, insurance dollars and law enforcement dollars pay for this because marijuana does impair people."

While Sloan acknowledges marijuana-related impairment is vastly different than alcohol-related impairment, she also points out that it is dangerous to operate motor vehicles while using the substance.

"The difference is it focuses attention," Sloan said. "When you focus attention when you're driving, you focus right in front of your car, meaning you're not seeing the person in front of me or to the side because you're focused in one area. That's a huge piece."

Effects on adolescents and brain development are also concerns of the AC4C.

"When marijuana is available medically, we see an increase in youth use," Sloan said. "Research out right now shows people who have used marijuana regularly -- at least once a week -- lose eight IQ points by their early 30s. Those eight points are not gained back.

"That's a sad thing," Sloan continued. "We don't want our kids using. The more we legalize marijuana, the more access there is."

Sloan also says that individuals who claim marijuana is not addictive are not considering all the factors.

"It's going to be a different rate for everybody. We all have different biological risks in terms of addiction," Sloan said, referencing how other substances such as alcohol affect individuals differently.

Sloan hopes individuals, regardless of their position, will be open to the information presented.

"We can listen to both sides of the argument so we can make an educated decision," Sloan said.

The symposium is open to anyone in the 10 northwest Iowa counties served by Compass Pointe. Individuals are encouraged to register by Thursday if they plan to eat lunch at the symposium. Registration may be completed online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/nwiablunttruth, by email at mary@compass-pointe.org or by phone at 262-4381.

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  • "We can listen to both sides of the argument so we can make an educated decision," Sloan said.

    Then why won't any pro-legalization "authorities" be included in the symposium? The old "Reefer Madness" propaganda film was a joke as is this conference.

    -- Posted by Doctlby on Sat, Oct 20, 2012, at 4:41 PM
  • Agreed with the above comment, there has been a case of Reefer Madness around here for years.

    I'm sure these people will be sat down and fed lie after lie, I can only hope they are smart enough to do their own research.

    Makes sense it would be at Compass Pointe. They can't have a Dr. come in and talk about the pros of marijuana and then haul "clients" in 3 times a week for months because they smoke.

    -- Posted by PleaseThink on Sun, Oct 21, 2012, at 8:40 PM
  • I wish I could attend to shatter all these gateway goons BS..

    -- Posted by RevRayGreen on Tue, Oct 30, 2012, at 9:46 PM
  • You say what about the teenagers? I say what about the old people, the retirees I know personally who have left Iowa for Colorado and have kicked FDA dope and painkiller/methadone addiction, with cannabis.

    You want to know the truth about medical marijuana? you wont get it from these fools..

    Meth is Death

    Pot is Not

    The Law is Wrong

    Not the Bong

    Crack is Wack

    So is Smack

    Coke is a Joke

    Smart People Toke

    Gas Station Weed

    Will Make Your Brain Bleed

    Just Say Nope

    To FDA Dope

    Say Yes

    To Cannabis

    -- Posted by RevRayGreen on Tue, Oct 30, 2012, at 9:51 PM
  • Iowa

    On Feb. 17, 2010, after reviewing testimony from four public hearings and reading through more than 10,000 pages of submitted material, members of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy unanimously voted to recommend that the Iowa legislature remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Iowa Controlled Substances Act.[55]

    -- Posted by RevRayGreen on Tue, Oct 30, 2012, at 11:01 PM
  • here is how this so-called 'symposium' will go down..

    "Ladies and gentleman, just a word of warning before the election 11/6/2012...one of three states may legalize marijuana for adult recreational consumption. You need to stem the tide".

    -- Posted by RevRayGreen on Wed, Oct 31, 2012, at 12:14 AM
  • my hemorrhoids are irritating me today,i need medical marijuana;i feel bad today,so i need some medical marijuana;my back hurts,give me some medical marijuana,these are all complaints that doctors hear that will then be legal to prescribe a prescription for bud. that's it.I can see legal usage for cancer patients but not the folks who say they need it for the aforementioned maladies they make up.If you think youths and others raiding parents or grandparents prescription meds is bad now,just wait til the youngsters get a load of freely available herb from the local stoner down the street who is handing it out like candy.vote no on medical marijuana unless it is restricted only to cancer patients or we will be a pothead nation like all other states who have legalized it.

    -- Posted by big12cc on Wed, Oct 31, 2012, at 10:09 AM
  • Iowa Lawbreaker Clel Baudler is that you ?

    Say big12cc, what about the OLD PEOPLE?

    2/27/2011- Update: Legislators Cover Baudler's Non-Hemmorhoid Infected Rear

    A legislative "ethics" panel today voted against sanctions on fellow Representative Clel Baudler who by his own admission violated California law in order to fraudulently obtain a prescription for marijuana. Baudler claims that he abused the California system to demonstrate the folly of medical marijuana laws. His principle complaint is that California allowed the medicine to be dispensed, not by qualified white-skinned physicians, but rather by "orientals." According to the Des Moines Register, the panel determined that it did not have the authority to punish a member who violated the laws of a different state.

    Even before the hearing, Baudler had the vote of confidence from Republican Majority Leader Kraig Paulsen, who was no doubt motivated by a desire to enhance the Republican Party of Iowa's appeal to the white supremacist community.

    Results of today's hearing came as a blow to advocates for medical freedom, limited government, and racial equality. Mike Pesce, who raised the initial complaint told the Register that the Iowa Constitution allows for the removal of legislators who commit "malfeasance" and that breaking the law, albeit of another state, certainly rises to that. Representative Scott Raecker (R-Urbandale), who sat on the ethics committee, disagreed, comparing the Aryan-advocating Baudler to Holocaust victims, saying that lying to a dark-skinned California doctor was warranted just as it would be acceptable to lie to "the Nazis."

    -- Posted by RevRayGreen on Wed, Oct 31, 2012, at 1:46 PM
  • Big12cc: there is evidence that medical marijuana can alleviate the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder (especially) and similar mental illnesses. Right now, the average person with such a disorder pays $300 a month or so for their prescription drugs. Those on a cocktail of pills pay more. I went off big pharma drugs to alleviate the hardship on my family and/or the taxpayers to afford them. Also, my body chemistry is incompatible with most of the mood stabilizers and anti-depressants -- I gained 75 lbs of which I've only lost 40, I was losing my hair, having girly issues, had low energy, etc. and the doctor's wouldn't listen to my complaints about all that, so I had to discontinue the drugs, and the doctors.

    I pay cash for a mix of legal herbs from Walgreens: St. John's Wort, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng, Vitamin B. I wish I knew a certified herbalist to help me get the dosages right and possibly more pure forms of the herbs, but it works kind of okay for now.

    If medical marijuana could help, and only cost a fraction of what big pharma charges, without the side effects, why would it not make sense.

    If I was to have a major manic episode again, some crazy and perhaps harmful things could occur. If I had a major depressive episode again, I could die by my own hand.

    It's good to keep things in the middle, and with 10% of the population suffering from some kind of mental illness, doesn't it make sense to offer all the available choices for treating them?

    -- Posted by AmyPeterson on Fri, Nov 2, 2012, at 10:11 AM
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