Pubdate: Thu, 03 Feb 2005
Source: Pantagraph, The  (IL)
Copyright: 2005 The Pantagraph
Author: Matthew Koglin
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Andrea Barthwell)


You'd think that in this day and age we could have a reasonable
discussion about medical marijuana without resorting to the use of
scare tactics and misinformation.

But when Andrea Barthwell, who spoke to Twin City leaders Jan. 25,
called medical marijuana a "Trojan horse designed to lead to the
legalization of a dangerous drug" and described how children are
introduced to drugs sometimes as early as 9 or 10, her fearful
rhetoric has but one purpose: to scare people from the reality that
cannabis has real benefits for the sick and dying.

Barthwell conjured up images of people "gulping" smoke from crude
cigarettes as if smoking was the only way to ingest cannabis. This
couldn't be further from the truth. Many patients find relief by
eating cannabis, and newer methods allow the cannabis to be vaporized
by a machine and then inhaled.

Further, she implied that supporters of medical marijuana believe it
can cure any ailment. "I doubt it was in the scheme that the great
Creator would put one plant on Earth that could cure everything wrong
with you," Barthwell said -- as the audience laughed.

Did the audience laugh because it realized how ridiculous this comment
was? Unfortunately, probably not. None of the people that I know who
support medical marijuana believe that it is a God-given panacea. But
Barthwell insists that this is what medical marijuana supporters believe.

Regardless, who gave Barthwell the power to doubt the scheme of the
great Creator? Far be it from me to decide what God's intent for a
particular plant was, but I bet it wasn't designed with no purpose in

Unfortunately, the message that Barthwell and her colleagues continue
to dole out, "Save our children from the smoke of hell," has neither
contributed to a healthy discourse nor saved our children.

Study after study, patient after patient say that medical marijuana
works. As soon as we can have a reasonable and truthful discussion not
riddled with scare tactics, maybe people will become less afraid of
this incredible God-given plant.

Matthew Koglin

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