Pubdate: Sun, 07 Jul 2002
Source: Reporter, The (Fond du Lac, WI)
Copyright: 2002 Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
Author: Bruce Mirken


A public health official quoted in The Reporter in a June 23 story about 
marijuana is misinformed about marijuana's effects on the immune system and 
its alleged dangers for AIDS patients.

Research conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams of the University of California, 
San Francisco, and presented at the International AIDS Conference in 2000, 
found that AIDS patients using marijuana kept their virus under control 
just as well as patients given a placebo, and gained more disease-fighting 
immune system cells than the placebo-patients. They also gained more weight.

In her book, "Nutrition and HIV," internationally known AIDS expert Dr. 
Mary Romeyn writes, "The early, well-publicized studies on marijuana in the 
1970s, which purported to show a negative effect on immune status, used 
amounts far in excess of what recreational smokers, or wasting patients 
with prescribed medication, would actually use ... Looking at marijuana 
medically rather than sociopolitically, this is a good drug for people with 

Advocates of prohibition need to spend less time dredging up inaccurate, 
out-of-date "facts" and more time keeping up with the current medical 

- - Bruce Mirken

Marijuana Policy Project,

Washington, D.C.
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