AlterPolitics New Post

A Sitting NY Supreme Court Judge With Cancer Makes A Plea For Medical Marijuana

by on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:29 am EDT in DOJ, Healthcare, Justice System, Politics

After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, New York Supreme Court justice Gustin L. Reichbach found himself immersed in a world of pain and misery, brought on by months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

He’s spent 40 years in the law — over two decades as a judge — and thus never could have imagined that he would one day find himself turning to marijuana to quell his unbearable suffering, as he explains in his NY Times Op Ed:

Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Isn’t it about time politicians began to ask themselves, “would I allow my own family member to suffer needlessly like this?”

Glenn Greenwald Debates David Frum on Universal Jurisdiction Over Torturers & On U.S. Aid to Israel

by on Friday, February 25, 2011 at 10:40 am EDT in DOJ, Middle East, Politics, World

There are few ideologies I find as confounding, disjointed, and brazenly dishonest as neo-conservatism. Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, who debates Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, is far from an idiot. I wish he were, because I like to believe every pundit — regardless of where he lies on the political spectrum — honestly thinks the arguments he puts forward are based upon facts.

We like to believe the people whom we disagree with are as sincere as we are in finding the truth.

But there is an unshakable feeling I get each time I read a column by a neo-con that the statements he/she makes are in spite of the facts they know to be true. That they are intentionally misleading their readers. They seem to spend a great deal of time and effort cherry-picking facts and inventing narratives (i.e. “They hate us for our freedoms” — which Frum reasserts in this debate as the impetus for terrorism).

I’ve dismantled Frum’s propagandizing posts in the past, but it’s a lot more entertaining to watch the masterful and articulate Glenn Greenwald do it live on video.

Here they debate Universal Jurisdiction over alleged torturers, and then they butt heads on Frum’s recent statements that the U.S. should increase military aid to Israel in light of increased instability in the region.


Former Justice Dept. Chief: Obama Gave Bush Officials ‘A Get Out of Jail Free Card’

by on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:45 am EDT in DOJ, Politics

US Attorney General Eric HolderIn an exclusive interview with Brad Jacobson for The Raw Story, a former acting Justice Department chief J. Gerald Hebert (who served the DOJ in various positions between 1973 and 1994), had this to say about the Obama Administration’s failure to hold public officials to account:

“It’s one thing to want to appear like you’re above the political fray and your cases aren’t motivated by politics,” Hebert pointed out. “But it’s another to not hold people accountable and to not bring justice.”

He also said that running the Justice Department in such a manner sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“Bush and Cheney are not above the law,” Hebert concluded. “Whether it’s the president, the vice president or any federal office holder who violates the Constitution or federal law, or there are serious allegations suggesting that such violations may have existed, then the Department of Justice has a duty and an obligation to fully investigate that.

“And if there are no consequences to any of the actions that violated the federal law in the last administration, then why would anybody think that they would ever be prosecuted for doing it in the future?”

The entire article can be read HERE.