Pubdate: Mon, 11 Dec 2000
Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Copyright: 2000 Denver Publishing Co.
Contact:  400 W. Colfax, Denver, CO 80204
Author: J. Matthew Dietz


After reading about the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearing regarding the 
medical use of marijuana, as passed by voters in nine states, including 
Colorado, I have these observations and thoughts. The issue at hand is 
whether the "medical necessity" of marijuana supercedes the strict federal 
interpretation of it being an illegal drug.

The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, and 
as such likely has a supply of it for purposes intended for whatever 
Schedule I drugs are used for. It is hard to say whether any medical 
condition necessitates the use of marijuana, but its use could be medically 
reasonable, appropriate and effective for certain conditions that are 
unresponsive to more conventional treatments. Therefore, if a physician in 
Colorado places a patient on the "registry" authorizing its use, based on 
the criteria stated above (and by law), the DEA itself could regulate 
and/or supply the drug so as to eliminate concerns over those who are 
currently attempting to supply it (thus breaking the law).

J. Matthew Dietz, Denver
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