Pubdate: Wed, 14 Mar 2001
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2001
Contact:  P.O. Box 181, 52-66 Lower Stuart Street, Dunedin, New Zealand
Author: Jason Baker-Sherman
Note: Headline supplied by newshawk


MICHAEL GROFFMAN (22.1.01) does not once in his criticism of my view
acknowledge that the harmful effects of cannabis prohibition, to both the
individual and society, are far greater than those posed by cannabis use.
Nor does he recognise that responsible solutions to any problems caused by
cannabis use are precluded under a regime of prohibition, hence my support
for the regulated legalisation of cannabis use by adults.

It is also true that cannabis use is far less harmful than Mr Groffman
believes. This was demonstrated in 1988 when US Drug Enforcement
Administration law judge Francis Young issued his report, after two years of
public hearings into medicinal cannabis use, which stated that cannabis is
"the safest therapeutically active substance known to man . . . far safer
than many foods we commonly consume". He recommended that cannabis be made
available for some medical purposes saying that to deprive sick people of
this medicine would be "unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious". The DEA,
which grudgingly carried out the inquiry following a 16-year court battle
with pro-cannabis groups, was allowed to reject its own judge's findings.

Jason Baker-Sherman, Dalmore
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