Pubdate: Thu, 19 Dec 2002
Source: Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC)
Copyright: 2002 Evening Post Publishing Co.
Author: Stephen Levine


Thank you for publishing the Debra Saunders column about medical marijuana 
on Nov. 19.

According to the results of the Spring 2002 South Carolina State Survey, 
performed by the University of South Carolina's Survey Research Laboratory, 
two-thirds of South Carolina adults agree with Ms. Saunders that medical 
use of marijuana should be legal. As a matter of fact, in 1980 the South 
Carolina General Assembly even found "that recent research has shown that 
the use of marijuana may alleviate the nausea and ill effects of cancer 
chemotherapy and radiology, and, additionally, may alleviate the ill 
effects of glaucoma."

It was with that in mind that they enacted, and the governor signed, the 
"South Carolina Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act of 1980." 
The act created a program within the Department of Health and Environmental 
Control to allow seriously ill South Carolinians access to legal marijuana.

Unfortunately, that program has never been funded. So, 22 years later, sick 
and dying South Carolinians continue to suffer under threat of criminal 
prosecution if they choose to smoke marijuana to relieve their pain.

Enough is enough. Now is the time for those who support allowing seriously 
ill patients to have access to medical marijuana to stand up and be counted.

Since September 2001, with the War on Terrorism in full swing, the federal 
government has wasted scant resources in a futile attempt to quash the 
rapidly growing medical marijuana movement in California. Let's tell the 
feds to back off this states' rights issue, like President Bush said he 
would during his campaign. Let's tell our own state legislators to fund our 
medical marijuana program.

This isn't a War on Drugs. It's a war on patients, on people.


Executive Director

Charleston Chapter, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws 
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