Pubdate: Thu, 20 Sep 2007
Source: Colorado Springs Independent (CO)
Copyright: 2007 Colorado Springs Independent
Author: Allan Erickson


J. Adrian Stanley and the Independent deserve major kudos for an 
outstanding article on Matthew Schnur and his campaign on behalf of 
medical cannabis and those patients deriving benefit from its use. 
Well-written (among the best nationally I've read this year) with 
accurate inclusion of information and a humane view of Schnur as a 
patient advocate.

I have one little bone to pick. Schnur says, "I just think because of 
the recreational use, people have such a distortion about the use of 
this as medicine." Actually, it's the seven decades of demonization 
by the anti-drug fanatics in the U.S. who are responsible for that 
distortion. But Harry Anslinger, xenophobe and lifelong career 
bureaucrat, by presenting perjured testimony before Congress, 
initiated a campaign of lies and cultural bigotry that continues to this day.

Before Anslinger's "reefer madness" campaign, no one really knew what 
"marijuana" was. Rather than paint "recreational use" as the cause of 
pot's stereotypical "stoner" image, it is really the purposeful 
maintenance of negative government propaganda responsible for that 
bias. And the government has gone beyond just negative campaigning.

Studies have been buried (Medical College of Virginia, 1974, proving 
cannabis effective in slowing growth of three kinds of cancer in 
mice) and ignored. The DEA's own administrative law judge, Francis 
Young, declared in 1988 after a lengthy investigation that cannabis 
is "one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man."

Hiding a possible cure or highly effective treatment in the battle 
against cancer is truly criminal, and hopefully one day the war on 
pot and all its users will end.

- -- Allan Erickson

Drug Policy Forum of Oregon

Eugene, Ore.
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