Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jan 1997
Source: Austin-American Statesman (TX)
Author: R. J. Givens

Max Stanley Chartrand (Letters, Jan. 3) claims that there is not a single
known medical necessity for prescribing or using marijuana. THC and other
cannabinoids have been extracted for pharmacological uses and are readily
available by prescription without ever needing to resort directly to
marijuana use''.

Chartrand already contradicts himself by admitting that THC is a valid
medicine after denying that the source --  marijuana  -- is also a
medicine. It's like saying that vitamin C in a pill is good, but vitamin C
in an orange is worthless.

AIDS, cancer and chemotherapy all produce devastating nausea, vomiting
and wasting from slow starvation. When nausea relief is needed most,
Marinol is worthless because it is impossible to swallow the pills
Chartrand promotes so carelessly.  Marijuana  is vastly superior to THC
pills because when you are in the pits of hell heaving your guts out, a
puff or two of good cannabis instantly stops the nausea and vomiting. I
know from first-hand experience.

Marijuana  also stimulates the appetite, enabling AIDS, cancer and
chemo patients to regain the weight they lost to slow starvation.
Oncologists know that  marijuana  works because they see the fatal
weight-loss spiral arrested and reversed by pot-smoking patients. Many
patients regain their normal weight. Enabling these people to eat is
literally a lifesaving necessity.

This most certainly makes marijuana a valuable medicine.

It's time to end the intellectual bankruptcy and moral delinquency
known as drug prohibition.

San Francisco, Calif.
Via e-mail