Pubdate: Tue, 28 Aug 2001
Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2001 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers
Author: Gerald M. Sutliff


KUDOS TO the Tribune and to Kate Scannell for her excoriating article about
bottom-line underpinnings of drug research. However well Dr. Scannell stated
her case, the reality is worse and positively detrimental to our health. 

Drug companies are major political campaign contributors to both major party
members, especially to those likely to be re-elected. The pharmaceuticals
actively lobby against research that has the potential to lower the
consumers' expenses for medication. Examples abound; however, none are more
obvious than their decades old effort to prevent research into the potential
medicinal benefits of marijuana. 

There are economic reasons for this. Marijuana can be easily grown and could
be readily available to all who could benefit from it at low cost. It cannot
be patented, therefore cannot be priced in a legal market to assure obscene

Gerald M. Sutliff, Oakland
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