Pubdate: Wed, 15 Aug 2001
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2001 The Sun-Times Co.
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Americans expect the Food and Drug Administration to vouch for the safety 
of prescription drugs, but the recall of Baycol, a cholesterol-lowering 
drug made by Bayer, after the deaths of 31 people, shows the FDA is more of 
a tool of the pharmaceutical industry than a protector of Americans' health.

Like Lotronex, Rezulin and fen-phen before it, Americans who put their 
faith in the FDA drug-approval process jeopardized their health and even 
lost their lives taking drugs that ultimately had to be recalled.

Meanwhile, bureaucrats in the FDA and other federal agencies continue to 
balk at allowing Americans to use marijuana for medical purposes despite 
more than 5,000 years of recorded medical use.

The prohibition of marijuana extends to its non-psychoactive cousin, hemp. 
Hempseed is a source of complete protein that lowers cholesterol levels and 
builds the immune system. Yet the bureaucrats who tell us what we can or 
cannot put in our bodies prefer that we take dangerous synthetic 
pharmaceuticals instead of safe and natural products derived from a plant 
that could give struggling family farmers a fighting chance if only the 
Drug Enforcement Administration would let them.

The harm caused by cannabis prohibition has seeped into nearly every facet 
of American life. It's time to allow our citizens to reap the many benefits 
offered by this God-given herb.

Gary Storck, Madison, Wis.
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