Pubdate: Thu, 8 Apr 1999
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 1999, New Haven Register
Author: Mike Gogulski
Note: Lead LTE, run under a large cartoon by Jeff Stahler of the Cincinnati
Post.  Doctor is handing jar labeled "POT" to his patient.  Patient: "Any
side effects?" Doctor: "The munchies." Total about 6 1/4 column-inches.
Also: The note below the signature block was printed in the newspaper.


In March, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences' Institute of
Medicine released its long-awaited medicinal marijuana report.

The report directly contradicts the claims of drug car Barry
McCaffrey, who has said that "there is not a shred of scientific
evidence that shows that smoked marijuana is useful or needed."

The report shows there is scientific evidence indicating that
marijuana has medical uses, and that it is safe enough for most
patients who need it. It recommends that people with AIDS, cancer, and
chronic pain who have an urgent need for marijuana be provided legal
protection while further research is done on marijuana's medical uses.

It debunks the "gateway theory," saying that there is no evidence that
using marijuana will lead someone to use cocaine and other drugs. It
also says there is no evidence that allowing sick people to use
medicinal marijuana will cause an increase in recreational marijuana

The report recognizes that even if a pharmaceutical company took an
interest in conducting further studies on marijuana, it would take
many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to get it approved by
the FDA as a prescription medicine.

In the meantime, the report says, seriously ill patients should be
given legal access to marijuana so that they are no longer arrested.

Mike Gogulski

Editor's note: Mike Gogulski is an editor for the Media Awareness
Project of Drug Sense. 

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