Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 2004
Source: Delta Democrat Times (MS)
Copyright: 2004 Delta Democrat Times
Author: Gary Storck


To the editor:

Jose Melendez hit the nail on the head with his illuminating letter
about the war on drugs of Feb. 3, "Stop trampling on our rights."

Perhaps the most tragic facet of this war on we, the people, is the
federal prohibition of marijuana as medicine.

For millions of Americans suffering from diseases as diverse as
HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, chronic pain
and rare disorders like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, there exists no better
treatment especially when all legal options have been exhausted than

And while, as Melendez notes, it is entirely legal to dose our
children with toxic drugs like Prozac and other antidepressants, with
possible linkage to causing suicides, or stimulants like Ritalin and
Adderall, an amphetamine not that chemically different from the
dreaded "meth" amphetamine that we are told is the biggest scourge on
the planet, patients are denied access to a God-given medicinal herb
that has never killed anyone by overdose.

We constantly hear also that the prescription painkiller oxycontin is
being widely abused, but because it has real medical utility for those
dealing with serious pain, it remains legal.

Then why can't marijuana be made available to patients under a
doctor's care? It has a much lower potential for abuse and does not
come with a laundry list of toxic side effects.

Melendez' conclusion that the war on drugs is a crime is dead on. In
this election year, it is time to honestly debate this issue.

Gary Storck

Madison, Wis.
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