Pubdate: Thu, 10 Aug 2000
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2000 The Register-Guard
Contact:  PO Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188
Author: John Deleau


The article about the debate in courts over medical marijuana 
(Register-Guard, Aug. 5) was very troubling.

At issue is the ability of doctors to medicate their patients. The 
government has decided to prescribe certain medication, even though it has 
been proven time and again to be effective and safe. Officials' mindless 
adherence to a simplistic and erroneous policy shows a complete disdain for 
the well-being of citizens.

I have followed this and other debates over marijuana, and read many 
articles written for and against its use. It appears that only the 
government can find any reason to condemn it.

Study after study by qualified professionals finds it to be less harmful 
than alcohol or even tobacco, yet the policy remains the same.

The article states that Congress and the Food and Drug Administration have 
"found the drug to be unsafe." Bill Bennett, President Reagan's "drug 
czar," rejected a study initiated by his office and Congress because the 
study didn't find any long-term, adverse consequences to its use. He 
subsequently told the panel to try again and come back with the conclusions 
he was looking for.

The use of marijuana does not cause death, yet the FDA continues to put 
drugs on the market that do.

I am appalled that our so-called democratic government will refuse a 
citizen his or her right to seek amelioration of suffering in the name of 
the status quo.
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