Pubdate: Tue, 21 Sep 2010
Source: Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD)
Copyright: 2010 Argus Leader
Author: Mike Meno, MPP director of communications


In his letter in the Sept. 12 Argus Leader, Dr. Mick Vanden Bosch 
erroneously claims that marijuana is a "more dangerous drug" than 
cigarettes. Such a wildly inaccurate statement calls into question 
the merits of his opposition to the medical marijuana measure South 
Dakotans will be voting on this November.

Almost 440,000 Americans die every year as a direct result of tobacco 
use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
More than 20,000 die from prescription drug overdose.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is responsible for zero deaths. 
Furthermore, marijuana has been endorsed as a safe and effective 
medicine by scores of leading health organizations - including the 
American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association 
and the American College of Physicians - in large part because of its 
ability to provide relief when other medications do not.

Bosch himself conceded that available "pain and nausea medications 
aren't 100 percent." Recently, a study from McGill University in 
Canada confirmed again that marijuana "reduces pain, improves mood 
and helps sleep" in patients who suffered from intractable pain but 
didn't find relief from existing pain medications.

By voting yes on Measure 13, South Dakotans will be on the side of 
science and compassion - not the absurd accusations made by Bosch.

Morgan Fox, Communications Manager Marijuana Policy Project Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom