Pubdate: Mon, 05 May 2008
Source: Ventura County Star (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Re: Dr. Michael T. Jamison's April 27 commentary, "Medicinal 
marijuana at what cost?":

Dr. Jamison makes an important point: Medical marijuana is a 
medicine, not a toy, and should be treated with appropriate respect. 
No one should drive when reactions or decision-making abilities are 
impaired by anything, be it marijuana, alcohol, drowsiness-inducing 
over-the-counter antihistamines or prescription narcotics.

Doctors who hand out medical marijuana recommendations without 
following appropriate standards of care should be disciplined by the 
state medical board. Indeed, many have been.

But it's important to remember why medical marijuana is not presently 
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration: The federal 
government, obsessed with maintaining its unscientific position that 
marijuana has no medical use, has consistently blocked the types of 
research needed to bring medical marijuana under the FDA system. As a 
result, states seeking a humane way to avoid arresting and jailing 
those truly in need have been forced to improvise.

The day our federal government abandons 1937 and joins the rest of us 
in 2008 is the day the sort of system Dr. Jamison envisions can be implemented.

- -- Bruce Mirken, San Francisco

(The writer is director of communications for the Marijuana Policy 
Project based in Washington, D.C. -- Editor)
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