Pubdate: Thu, 24 May 2001
Source: Seattle Weekly (WA)
Copyright: 2001 Seattle Weekly
Author:  K.L. Slusher, Seattle


I am writing in reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision regarding 
medical marijuana [see News Clips, "Supremes Club Cannabis," May 17]. There is 
one statement in the justice's ruling that is totally against all the 
precepts of the court. If there were a higher court, the statement would be 
all that would be necessary to reverse this decision. That statement is: 
"there is no evidence that marijuana has any medicinal value." Many of us 
know that the statement itself is false: There have been plenty of 
studies--many of them federally funded--that indicate the herb has 
potential for helping in the treatment of many disorders, from hypertension 
to arthritis, in addition to the treatments for which herb is currently 
used: cancer, AIDS, etc.

But in addition to being false, the statement is out of the purview of the 
courts: It states a medical opinion which none of the Most High Judges is 
qualified to make! The supreme court cannot decide on the validity of 
medical decisions, but only on the validity of specific laws. Marijuana was 
not on trial at the supreme court--the laws governing medical use of the 
herb were. The decision, as worded, is a warning to all of America: Our 
medical welfare is in the hands of the Republican Party and the justices it 
appoints, not our doctors!

K.L. Slusher
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