Pubdate: [Wed, 27 Nov 1996]
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Author: Carl E. Olsen

Regarding the statements made by two legislators in Jeff Inman's article
"The forbidden cure" (Nov. 13), I'm disappointed in their heartless
disregard for suffering Iowans.

Rep. Jeff Lamberti says that the medical community is not asking for
prescription marijuana.  Perhaps he is unaware of the millions of dollars
being spent by the pharmaceutical companies to keep marijuana illegal,
because they can't make a profit from it.  Perhaps, too, he is unaware of
their enormous influence.

Pharmaceutical companies, in league with alcohol and tobacco companies,
are the top contributors to political parties, as well as major financial
backers behind the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

Rep. Brunkhorst says better and safer medicines are available.  I'd
like to know  which drugs he would prescribe.  Prescription drugs prescribed
for chronic conditions have extremely dangerous side effects, far more
dangerous that those of marijuana.  The Drug Enforcement Administration's
own law judge ruled that marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically
active substances known to man.  Legalizing marijuana strictly for medical
purposes would not require a doctor to prescribe it, it would simply leave
that decision up to the doctor and patient.

Even if their fearw were true, it would make no sense to send
desperately ill Americans to prison for trying to relieve their misery.
It's not that difficult to understand.  All it takes is a little compassion.

Carl Olsen
Iowans for Medical Marijuana
Des Moines