Pubdate: Mon, 08 Oct 2007
Source: Star-Banner, The (Ocala, FL)
Copyright: 2007 The Star-Banner
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Robyn Chaky's op-ed "Pot's potential" (Sept. 23), while 
there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink cancerous 
tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug.

If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing 
chemotherapy and it helps them feel better, then it's working. In the 
end, medical marijuana is a quality of life issue best left to 
patients and their doctors.

Federal bureaucrats waging war on noncorporate drugs contend that 
organic marijuana is not an effective health intervention. The 
federal government's prescribed intervention for medical marijuana 
patients is handcuffs, jail cells and criminal records. This 
heavy-handed approach suggests that drug warriors are not well suited 
to dictate health care decisions.

It's long past time that Congress showed some leadership on the issue 
and passed legislation reaffirming the Constitution's Tenth Amendment 
guarantee of states rights. States that prefer to cage sick patients 
for daring to feel better can continue to do so. The more enlightened 
states that have passed compassionate-use legislation should not be 
stymied by the federal government.

Robert Sharpe
Policy Analyst
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman