Pubdate: Sat, 30 Jul 2005
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2005 The Miami Herald
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," he said.
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