Pubdate: Tue, 07 Dec 2004
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2004 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: only publishes letters from state residents.
Author: Francis A. Zeccon,  Jr.
Related: Organizations in Support of Therapeutic Cannabis [PDF]


I'm responding to an As I See It by William T. Breault of Worcester, 
"Marijuana should not be reclassified" (Telegram & Gazette, Nov. 23), who 
incorrectly gives the reader the impression that neither physicians nor 
American health organizations that treat patients for AIDS and other 
diseases support the use of medical marijuana. Nine states (Alaska, 
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and 
Washington) have laws protecting medical marijuana patients and caregivers 
by removing state-level criminal penalties on use, possession and 
cultivation of marijuana by patients whose physician documents they may 
benefit from its medical use. Seven of these states have established 
confidential state-run patient registries that issue identification cards 
to qualifying patients.

More than 50 American health organizations support medical marijuana.

This list includes the American Nurses Association, 11 state nurses 
associations, American Medical Student Association, National Academy of 
Sciences Institute of Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, American 
Public Health Association, Lymphoma Foundation of America, The Montel 
Williams MS Foundation and AIDS Action Council. The American Cancer Society 
and American Medical Association support medical marijuana research.

The American public also supports medical marijuana. In a Time Magazine/CNN 
Poll in October 2002, 80 percent of respondents supported allowing adults 
to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. This past election, five 
Massachusetts initiatives instructed the state representative from the 
district to vote for medical marijuana legislation. All five won with the 
lowest margin of victory 69 percent to 31 percent.

Fortunately, most Americans see the issue of effective medical marijuana as 

Francis A. Zeccon,  Jr.
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