Pubdate: Fri, 29 Jul 2005
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2005 The Washington Post Company
Author: Audrey McAvoy
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


HONOLULU -- The White House drug czar said Friday that medical
marijuana is "dying out" after the Supreme Court ruled earlier this
year that federal authorities may prosecute sick people whose doctors
prescribe pot to ease pain.

John Walters, the national drug policy director, said state
legislative efforts to expand medical marijuana programs have stalled
in the two months since the high court's ruling overrode laws in
Hawaii and nine other states.

"I think it's dying out," Walters told reporters after a meeting with
Hawaii drug treatment counselors and law enforcement officials. "The
real issue here is, is it the safe and best way for medical treatment?
We don't think the best thing for people who are really sick is to
make them high and send them away."

Walters said the federal government was funding research into whether
cannabis could be used as a source of "medically sound" drugs, but he
said "smoked marijuana hasn't met that science."

Steve Kubby, national director of the American Medical Marijuana
Association, objected to Walters' remark, saying there are "hundreds"
of peer-reviewed scientific studies showing clear medical benefits
from cannabis.

"The drug czar has blood on his hands for blocking the humane and
medical use of cannabis for sick, disabled and dying people," Kubby

Kubby, a force behind the passage of a California proposition that
legalized pot clubs, said marijuana can help treat nausea, pain,
arthritis and cancer.
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