Pubdate: Sun, 02 May 2004
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Copyright: 2004 Lexington Herald-Leader
Note: Herald-Leader Staff Report
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Supporters of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use marched through
downtown Lexington yesterday, chanting "Cures, not wars" at the
federal courthouse after a rally in Phoenix Park.

Sixty to 70 people gathered at the park for speeches about marijuana's
benefits in easing pain and other symptoms for people with cancer,
glaucoma, AIDS and a host of other ailments.

They hope to change the federal designation of marijuana as a class 1
narcotic, meaning it has no medicinal value. Rally organizer Gatewood
Galbraith said cannabis was once common in prescriptions, and it has
been used for thousands of years.

Galbraith contended that legalizing marijuana for medicinal use would
solve Kentucky's budget and health-care crises through savings in
prescription costs and the reduction of adverse reactions to more
addictive -- but legal -- drugs.

Mary Thomas Speers of Mason, Ohio, said she uses marijuana to relieve
the symptoms of emphysema, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder
and a neuromuscular condition called stiff man syndrome. She said she
had served time for her insistence on using the drug.

"You think that's a prison, you don't know nothing until you've
stepped inside this flesh," she told the crowd.

The rally was the second in Lexington, Galbraith said. Similar events
were also planned for yesterday in Louisville, Paducah and more than
300 cities worldwide as part of "The Million Marijuana March."
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake