Pubdate: Sat, 01 May 1999
Source: Daily Gazette (NY)
Copyright: 1999 - The Gazette Newspapers
Author: Walter F. Wouk


The opinion expressed by the editors of the Exponent-Telegram (April
24 "As others say it,") must be based on hearsay, because they
certainly didn't read the Institute of Medicine report on medical
marijuana (available online at:

They claim that the report confirms that marijuana is a dangerous
drug. Nowhere in the IOM report is marijuana described as "dangerous."
The report does state that marijuana smoke contains harmful
substances, similar to those found in tobacco smoke.

The most serious health risk of heavy marijuana smoking is probably
bronchitis. Lung cancer is a possibility - but the IOM report noted
that there is no evidence to confirm that theory.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has always
advocated the wholesale legalization of marijuana. NORML doesn't have
to hide behind the medical marijuana issue, because we have the facts.
The truth is there is no credible evidence that the moderate use of
marijuana, by adults, poses a serious threat to the individual or
society. The only "clear and present danger" attributed to marijuana
are the laws against its use.

The writer is president of NORML in the Capital Region
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