Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2000
Source: Nelson Daily News (CN BC)
Author: David Malmo-Levine


To the Editor:

Re: Mayor Exner's opinion on the Nelson Compassion Club. ('Mayor Exner
clarifies views on medical marijuana' NDN, July 18, 2000)

Mayor Exner wrote that "My understanding is that the active ingredient
in marijuana, which is used to control nausea in chemotherapy patients
is available by prescription from our local physicians in a
synthesized (not smoked) form."

The truth is, that: 1) THC is only one of the "active ingredients" -
the other cannabinoids act in ways to compliment THC.  For example,
CBD, which is found in smoked cannabis but not in pill form, reduces
impairment from too much THC. 2) Synthetic cannabis is also prescribed
as an anti-depressant and appetite stimulant. 3) Not all smoke is
harmful. Tobaco smoke is harmful because it is grown in cheap chemical
phosphate fertilizers which contain radioactive isotopes. Mullein,
coltsfoot and many, many other smoked botanicals have been used as
medicine - by indigenous cultures, and even Europeans before the
recent needle/knife/pill fetish - for thousands of years with few
negative consequences.

When the Mayor writes "it is inappropriate for any unlicenced,
unqualified individual to venture into prescribing or selling a banned
substance", one must assume that what is "appropriate" is for
Canadians to stand by and watch sick people suffer until the
government recognizes cannabis and gives patients permission to ease
their suffering.  It must be "appropriate" for healthy people to still
be subject to jail time for choosing their own herbal stimulant,
relaxant and euphoriant without their elected representatives
permission.  It must be "appropriate" for poor people to be excluded
from the new emerging herbal healthcare system, not being "qualified"
to have a good job and decent standard of living.

If one day, the police came to arrest the Mayor for his "unhealthy"
choice of coffee, tea, chocolate, alcohol or tobacco, perhaps then he
would see the hypocrisy of his anti-cannabis user/grower/dealer attitude.

David Malmo-Levine
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