Pubdate: Tue, 30 Aug 2005
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company
Author: Ian Alterman
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


To the Editor:

Glaucoma and the side effects of AIDS treatments (and chemotherapy)
are not the only conditions for which marijuana use can be a critical
palliative ("Marijuana Pipe Dreams," by John Tierney, column, Aug.
27). Because THC can lower blood pressure, it may also be useful for a
variety of heart conditions.

Indeed, after my father had his first heart attack in 1976, his
cardiologist suggested that he use marijuana along with his prescribed
heart medication to help keep his blood pressure down. And although my
father was too tame to do so, his cardiologist indicated that some of
his other patients had benefited from it.

Thus, almost 30 years ago, cardiologists and other heart doctors
already understood the benefits of marijuana vis-a-vis blood pressure
and related conditions. Given that heart disease is the No. 1 killer
in the United States, it is sad - no, tragic - that our government is
too myopic and paranoid to consider how many lives might be saved.

Ian Alterman

New York
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek