Pubdate: Sun, 2 Mar 2008
Source: News Tribune, The (Tacoma, WA)
Copyright: 2008 Tacoma News Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: "Smoking is healthy?" (editorial, 2-23).

Smoking may not be healthy. Then again, neither are criminal records.
While studies have shown 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 that person 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 non-corporate 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

It's long past time that Congress showed some leadership on the issue
and passed legislation re- affirming the Constitution's 10th 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 a federal government that really
should have better things to do.

ROBERT SHARPE; Arlington, Va.

(Sharpe is a policy analyst with Common Sense for Drug Policy, an
organization dedicated to reforming drug policy based in Washington,
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake