Pubdate: Mon, 03 Jun 2002
Source: Plain Dealer, The (OH)
Copyright: 2002 The Plain Dealer
Author: Bruce Mirken
Note: Mirken is director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project


The recent wave of obituaries for the brilliant scientist and author 
Stephen Jay Gould commonly left out a significant fact: Gould was a medical 
marijuana user.

Diagnosed with a particularly lethal form of cancer in 1982 and given eight 
months to live, he survived 20 years - and endured the horrors of 
chemotherapy thanks to medical marijuana. While other drugs failed to curb 
the nausea caused by his treatment, he wrote, marijuana "worked like a 
charm." He added, "It is beyond my comprehension that any humane person 
would withhold such a beneficial substance from people in such great need."

Gould went on to testify in the 1998 Canadian court case that eventually 
resulted in the establishment of that nation's medical marijuana program.

What a shame that our nation's leaders - as addicted to "war on drugs" 
rhetoric as they are allergic to facts - failed to consult this great 
scientist before declaring war on the medical use of marijuana.

Bruce Mirken

Washington, D.C. 
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