Pubdate: Mon, 02 Apr 2001
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Copyright: 2001 The Kansas City Star
Author: Harvey A. Jetmore Jr


So the Supreme Court is considering whether "medical necessity" is an 
acceptable defense for the use of marijuana to alleviate unpleasant 
symptoms and medicinal side effects in serious illnesses (3/29, A-6).

This strikes me as the inverse of a TV vignette of some years ago wherein a 
condemned man, facing a firing squad, refuses a last cigarette because it 
would be bad for his health.

Criminalization of the use of marijuana has become ludicrous. It absorbs 
vast resources for enforcement, which is ineffective. It restricts growing 
of fiber-made hemp because it may be used to disguise "smoking" grade 
marijuana -- an inestimable loss to agriculture.

Want to increase the effectiveness of our police? Decriminalize and monitor 
the growing and consumption of marijuana, in the way we now control brewing 
beer and wine. Our statutes allow the brewing of reasonable quantities of 
beer and wine for private consumption. There should be an equivalent 
statute for marijuana.

Certainly police and probably the Supreme Court have better things to do 
than make criminals out of terminally ill people who seem to get relief 
from inhaling the smoke of an herb.

Harvey A. Jetmore Jr., Roeland Park
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