Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jan 1997
Source: Daily Courier Grants Pass (OR)
Author: Leo Goodman

Dear Editor,

In response to the December 30th article concerning the Clinton
administration hard line opposition to the voter approved medical marijuana
measures. I would like to share these thoughts.

Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey uses typical scare tactics by calling marijuana a
dangerous drug. I wonder if he knows that there has never been a case where
marijuana toxicity has been the cause of death. Compare this with the
number of deaths each year from over dosing on such common legal drugs as
aspirin, sleeping pills, alcohol and tobacco to name a few.

The medical use of marijuana, is not something new , as a matter of fact it
has been part of the pharmacopoeia of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for 5,000
years. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese have all included
preparations of marijuana in their medical pharmacopoeia. Marijuana was
widely used as medicine in this country, up until the enactment of H.R.
6906 in 1937. This bill which  is commonly known as the marijuana tax act,
was actually opposed by the American Medical Association. There is no doubt
the medical community has used preparations of marijuana for thousands of
years. In the book Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine (Yale University
Press, 1993). Dr. Lester Grinspoon cites marijuana's utility in treating
the following diseases: Cancer, Glaucoma, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis,
Aids, Chronic pain, Migraine, PMS Menstrual cramps and Labor Pain.

The legislatures in 36 states have passed bills recognizing the medical
uses of marijuana, the time has come for the federal government to
recognize the will of the people and to let their doctors decide if
marijuana may be a useful
part of their medical therapy.

Leo Goodman