Pubdate: [Tue, 19 Nov 1996]
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Author: Carl E. Olsen

Thank you for your excellent editorial "Enlightened marijuana votes"
(Nov. 11).  It's about time the government stopped incarcerating people for
trying to relieve their misery.  Thank God for the initiative process in
California and Arizona which allowed the citizens to make this decision.

Perhaps these two historic initiatives will now give our federal
legislars the courage to do what needs to create a method whereby
desperately ill Americans can try marijuana under controlled medical
supervision, when the patient and doctor agree that nothing else works and
it's worth giving it a try.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is in a unique position to lobby for such
changes in his role as ranking Democrat on the Senate subcommittee that
oversees the budget of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, the federal
agency that now supplies a total of only eight Americans with a half pound
of federally grown marijuana monthly.  The program is a disgrace; it
arbitrarily denies the same protection to all others by refusing to accept
any new applicants, regardless of their medical need.

Carl E. Olsen
Iowans for Medical Marijuana