Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Pubdate: Wed, 7 Oct 1998


Remarks by Rick Perry, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, to an
anti-drug group included a statement that doesn't make much sense to me
("Perry gives campaign speech at city anti-drug lunch," Chronicle, Oct. 3).
Perry said that parents should not be put in a position of "having to
explain why grandma, it's okay for her to use marijuana for her glaucoma
but you can't while you're boating out on Lake Texoma."

That is exactly what parents ought to be explaining to their children: that
drugs themselves are not good or bad and that most drugs can be used for
good purposes; some can be abused and abusing drugs is unhealthy.

When drugs are used properly, they can improve the quality of life -- even
save lives.

If a doctor thinks that marijuana might help grandma's glaucoma, why should
we allow politicians to say no?

When a doctor prescribes morphine to ease a patient's pain from terminal
cancer, does that send some kind of "message" that it's okay to use
morphine while boating on Lake Texoma?

And really, who do we want to make those decisions about what medical care
grandma or anyone else requires: politicians or doctors?

Chester Cochran, Houston

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Checked-by: Joel W. Johnson