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7 September 2011
The head of Serento Gardens Alcoholism and Drug Services will speak to officials at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville about the medical use of marijuana.
Ed Pane, president and chief executive officer of the Hazleton organization, said it may be the first time the topic has been presented at a Pennsylvania medical center.
"I knew eventually a day like this would come," Pane said of the speaking engagement on a once-taboo topic, "and that there would be many more of them."
His presentation at Thursday's annual Palliative Care in Medicine seminar comes as medical marijuana bills are stalled in Pennsylvania's House and Senate.
He plans to talk about peer-reviewed medical research that demonstrates the effectiveness – and at times, the superiority – of marijuana in the treatment of an array of conditions, he said.
He'll be speaking to those in the hospital's Palliative Care and Supportive Medicine department, which offers pain relief and other symptom management for patients with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses.
"I feel strongly about it," said Pane, a board director of Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana. "I think someone who is suffering, who is vomiting from chemotherapy or someone who is having severe, agonizing spasms caused by multiple sclerosis should be able to use it to ease the symptoms."
Pane stressed that he does not support the use of marijuana as a recreational drug.
"We're not talking about recreational Xanax here. I am saying that this (marijuana) is a drug that the government has kept out of the hands of physicians but not out of the hands of 12-year-olds," he said. "The irony is just terrible."
An addictions counselor for more than 35 years, Pane said others in his profession also support medical marijuana.
"The majority of my colleagues join me in this opinion. It is my hope that my dedication to counseling those suffering from addiction and also fight for physicians' rights to recommend and patients' rights to receive medical marijuana can bring some sanity to this issue," he said.
While a Geisinger spokesman provided information about the palliative care department to the Times-Shamrock newspapers, Geisinger physicians did not respond to a request for comments about the seminar or medical marijuana.
Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/…..z1ceXjQyui
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