Pubdate: Tue, 28 Feb 2006
Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Iowan
Author: Lia Anthony
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


We owe Gloria Walker sincere thanks for her courage in telling the 
truth about marijuana in our culture ("Lay off marijuana," Feb. 27).

Medical studies have documented health benefits derived from the 
cannabinoids found in marijuana, beyond the widely known applications 
of treating glaucoma and providing relief from pain and nausea for 
the dying. MS, asthma, epilepsy, menstrual cramps, migraines, 
alcoholism, and depression, to name a few, are all conditions that 
respond to the beneficial medicinal effects of marijuana. Marijuana 
has been used in gynecological medicine for centuries around the 
world. In the early part of the last century, tincture of cannabis 
were sold in pharmacies in this country.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson cultivated the plant for their 
personal use, and our Declaration of Independence was written on 
Dutch hemp. The first Levi's jeans, most of our early flags, the 
canvas of covered wagons of the early West were made from hemp. (If 
we think ethanol is a good idea, imagine the possibilities for hemp 
cultivation in our state.)

Ending prohibition is crucial if we are to become a reasonable and 
compassionate nation. Currently, the "war on drugs" decimates 
families, vilifies otherwise responsible and law-abiding citizens, 
and denies millions of people access to better health. Fear of even 
being associated with the word has kept us from telling the truth and 
refuting the tragic effects of continuing prohibition.

It's time we do our homework and discover the truth about marijuana 
rather than continuing to believe the drone of propaganda we've 
ingested. We must examine the history of this prohibition and demand 
that the truth be told.

When we consider the obvious harms of alcohol, the celebrated and 
highly profitable substance our community is awash in, can we 
honestly claim that pot is "dangerous"?

Lia Anthony

Iowa City resident 
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