Pubdate: Mon, 01 Feb 2010
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2010 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Elizabeth Goldstein-Rice


This comment is in regard to the article "Putting Fences Around 
Marijuana Use" (Jan. 31).

As someone who is in frequent contact with people suffering from 
sarcomas (rare, aggressive cancers), I would like to point out that 
most of the quoted physicians' objections to medicinal marijuana use 
center on it's ingestion as a smoked product. Perhaps providers of 
medicinal marijuana should be required to supply edible marijuana 
products that do not incur these risks.

In regards to pharmaceuticals designed to reduce nausea, many of 
those have side effects that cause patients real distress. Changing 
anti-nausea medications in the midst of a nausea-causing event, such 
as chemotherapy, is a difficult process. It puts patients, their 
families and caregivers into crisis mode until, by trial and error, a 
solution is found.

Testing the efficacy of marijuana use is a quick process and if it 
works, it should be allowed to continue for that patient, legally. 
This is humane use. It isn't helpful to nitpick what it can and can't 
be used for at this point, whether for cancer treatment or relief of 
neurological symptoms, the research just isn't there. If regulated 
clinics are allowed to operate, statistics can be generated.

I have no problem with the proposed regulations. Maryland isn't 
California, and I like the fact that the issue is being discussed in 
a thoughtful manner and appropriate controls considered. I am tired 
of seeing people in need being pushed into unsafe situations to 
access a simple product many clinicians don't want to talk about, 
much less prescribe.

Elizabeth Goldstein-Rice, Columbia
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