Pubdate: Wed, 4 Nov 1998
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 1998 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Author: Paul M. Bischke


The various state medical-marijuana initiatives are indeed, as USA
TODAY says, "A way to ease suffering."  When Barry McCaffrey and
Donald Vereen say science, not popular votes, should determine
marijuana's medical availability, they ignore two important facts:

- -- Marijuana was listed as a bonafide medicine in the United States
Pharmacopeia until 1940, when it was removed for political rather than
scientific reasons, a scare prompted in part by the movie "Reefer Madness."

- -- For 20 years the feds have willfully blocked scientific research
that could have confirmed marijuana's medical efficacy.

In effect, the people have had to resort to the ballot box to remedy
the government's actions against marijuana -- which are both
unscientific and immoral.

The federal drug warriors have turned "just say no" into "just let `em
suffer," a bad message for adults and children alike.

Paul M. Bischke, co-director Drug Policy Reform Group St. Paul, Minn
- ---
Checked-by: Patrick Henry