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


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

I don't care how many letters Jamison has following his name, he is 
flat wrong in his commentary about medical marijuana. He speaks with 
the authority of a doctor on a subject that he obviously knows nothing about.

As Jamison is a doctor, I would expect he would know that marijuana 
is not a narcotic, yet he still uses that terminology.

A Star article from April 11 offered this quote:

"The youth told authorities the group of friends had been drinking. 
Police found an empty liquor bottle, a marijuana pipe and an empty 
canister from a medical marijuana dispensary in the car.

"The influence of alcohol in the crash was "apparent" to the deputies 
and coroner at the scene."

There was alcohol all over the car and a victim said they had been 
drinking, yet Jamison barely mentions the destructive effects of 
alcohol, instead choosing to write a misinformed commentary blaming 
the evils of marijuana for the accident.

He says a medical marijuana card is a "get out of jail free" card, 
seemingly not understanding that possession of small amounts of 
marijuana was decriminalized in 1975.

He dodges years of clinical studies demonstrating that marijuana is 
not addictive by saying they "want it really, really bad," a 
statement that is inaccurate at best.

I'm not suggesting that people should drive under the influence of 
anything at all, but I am suggesting that a medical doctor with an 
alphabet soup following his name should know better than to try to 
authoritatively disseminate the kinds of scare tactics that were part 
of "Reefer Madness," the 1930s propaganda film.

He's certainly entitled to his opinion, but when he weighs in with 
all his credentials, it gives his opinion a weight that the facts 
clearly demonstrate it does not deserve.

- -- Bruce C. Marshall, Santa Paula
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