Pubdate: Tue, 08 May 2001
Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Copyright: 2001 The Providence Journal Company
Author: Danny Terwey


Thanks for comparing the dangers of OxyContin and marijuana ("Ever seeking 
escape," editorial, April 20). The hypocrisy of most people supporting 
militant drug prohibition is apparent as soon as the debate addresses 
specific substances. This is no exception.

Marijuana is, by at least one criterion, the safest pharmaceutical 
substance that is also recreationally used. I base this assertion on a 
pharmacologic concept called the "therapeutic window," the range of drug 
doses sufficient to treat symptoms without causing intolerable side effects.

For opiates, this window is relatively small. It's the same way with 
cocaine, alcohol and even aspirin. Two pills might ease your pain, a 
hundred might kill you. But there is no lethal dose of marijuana, meaning 
that clinical "overdoses" simply result in the patient getting too high. 
Since inhaled marijuana vapors (but not ingested THC) is easy to dose, this 
form of administration virtually eliminates the concept of a clinical overdose.

This drug helps cancer and AIDS patients stay fit enough to cope. Anyone 
denying that fact is either ignorant or dishonest.

Please, oppose the placement of prohibitionists in the legislative, 
executive, and judicial branches of our government.

Danny Terwey
Santa Cruz, Calif.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth