Pubdate: Mon, 04 Oct 1999 Date: 10/04/1999 Source: Prince George's Journal (MD) Author: Larry A. Stevens Note: It is always nice to see MAP news readers and LTE writers succeed so well at what we do. The related article is at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99.n1060.a02.html As a sufferer of epilepsy who has used cannabis to prevent seizures for almost 20 years, I want to thank The Prince George's Journal for printing Vaishali Honawar's fine article, ``Some doctors and patients swear by marijuana." Most epilepsy patients that I encounter have no idea that a safe, effective alternative exists to the dangerous and debilitating medications they have been prescribed by their doctors. Because seizures are so terrible, so dangerous and unpredictable, doctors have taken drastic measures to abate them. Patients are typically prescribed Phenobarbital or Dilantin, dangerous narcotics that over the years will rob many users of their livers and other vital organs. This pushes hard on the physicians' Hippocratic oath of ``First, do no harm." Cannabis, on the other hand, is comprised of antioxidants, ``more powerful than vitamin C or vitamin E," according to the National Academy of Sciences. That would explain why no deaths or disease have ever been blamed on smoking or ingesting cannabis. Antioxidants are the key to preventing free radical cell damage, which is blamed for all sorts of disease and mortality. Just as cannabis heals our bodies, ending prohibition will heal our society. LARRY A. STEVENS Springfield, Ill.