Pubdate: Tue, 14 May 2013
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC
Author: Peter Bensinger
Page: 16


Monday's Sun-Times editorial on marijuana has unfortunately presented
mostly fiction and not facts. The bill pending in the Illinois Senate
is not the most restricted medical marijuana legislation; it is the
only law proposed that allows a medical marijuana cardholder to drive
immediately after smoking marijuana while removing the tests that
would be able to detect marijuana use - blood and alcohol tests, which
is current law.

The Illinois Chiefs of Police and Illinois Sheriff 's Association have
been so alarmed by these provisions that they have written the
governor, secretary of state and other public safety officials because
the proposed legislation imposes a standard of impairment test that
may be accurate for alcohol but does not work for marijuana, according
to safety specialists at the National Highway Transportation Safety

In addition, the amount of marijuana allowed per cardholder every two
weeks, 2.5 ounces, provides 183 joints every 14 days - almost 12 tons
will hit the streets in Illinois every two weeks. The Sun-Times
mentions certain conditions for which marijuana would be available -
cancer, Crohn's Disease and MS; however, all three of the national
associations - American Cancer, MS and Crohn's Disease - oppose using
smoked marijuana as medicine. So does the FDA, which has found
marijuana has a high potential for abuse, does not meet standards for
medical treatment and is unsafe even under medical supervision. They
are the experts; we should listen to them, not anecdotal stories from
individuals at the risk of serious damage to public health and public
safety and endangering our children and our highways.

Peter Bensinger, former administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration, former director, Illinois Dept. of Corrections, former
chairman, Illinois Youth Commission
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