Pubdate: Wed, 17 Dec 1997
Source: Daily Gazette, Schenectady (NY)
Author: Walter F. Wouk

The American Medical Association says that doctors should be
allowed to talk with their patients about the potential benefits
of using marijuana for medicinal purposes without the risk of
facing criminal charges.

I hardly support the AMA's position and I wish that our elected
representatives were as willing as the AMA to talk about
marijuana. To date, my numerous attempts to engage in a rational
discussion of the marijuana issue with my congressman and my
assemblyman have been an exercise in futility.

Neither of these men can cite one credible scientific study that
proves marijuana is dangerous, and they can't produce any data to
justify jailing people for marijuana use. So they simply refuse
to discuss the issue. They, like most of their fellow
politicians, face the facts with fear - the fear that the simple
act of talking about legalizing marijuana will end their
political careers.

Our government has created a fascist-like hysteria about
marijuana. According to FBI statistics, an individual is arrested
for possession of marijuana every 49 seconds. It's safer for
politically correct politicians to accept the persecution of pot
smokers than it is to discuss the merits of marijuana
prohibition. What kind of message does this send our children?

Walter F. Wouk
Howes Cave
(The writer is Schoharie chapter president of the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.)