Pubdate: Wed, 23 Feb 2000
Source: Daily Times, The (MD)
Copyright: 2000 The Daily Times
Contact:  (410) 749-7290
Author: Jos E Hopwood


To the editor:

A meeting of a House Committee of the General Assembly of Maryland on
Thursday will take a long overdue look at the use of marijuana for
medical purposes.  I say overdue because marijuana use was
discontinued on orders of Congress in 1937 over the objections of both
the American Medical Association and the American Pharmaceutical
Association.  I say overdue because the medical uses of marijuana were
well known to medicine all over the world for thousands of years
before 1937.  The English did not discover that it was not medically
useful until 1972, when we told them so.

The current bill is the result of the work of Darrell Putnam, Colonel,
U. S. Army, retired, of Frederick.  Col. Putnam was a retired Green
Beret officer who had seen hard service in Vietnam and was slowly
dying of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.  He found that only by the use of
smoking marijuana could he survive the rigors of his disease and its
painful treatment.

This brave officer broke the law to live. He died recently. He was a
farmer and horse breeder and as such got the backing of the Farm
Bureau of Frederick County as well as the county General Assembly
Delegation for this bill.

This is his bill, this is his legacy and it should be

There has never been a death in the entire history of mankind that was
directly caused by marijuana.  It is not a physically addictive drug,
like heroin.  It has no business being classified as a dangerous drug.
 It does not cause illness, not even a hangover.  People who use it,
legal are not, have my complete respect.  They are not criminals,
(felons,) they are good patriotic citizens who live up to the American
ideals of individual freedom we all share.  (Don't we.)

Citizens who use drugs do not deserve to be treated as criminals.  We
now have imprisoned two million people in this country, about sixty
percent on drug charges.  By this time next year this will increase by
another hundred thousand or so.  Why?   So politicians that could not
be elected to dogcatcher can be delegates and senators by demonizing
and jailing our drug using citizens.

Write or call your Delegate or State Senator.  Tell them that two
million people in prison is vastly too many, and that you can afford
no more taxes to support their Neanderthal vote grabbing.  The time
has come.

Quantico, Md
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