Pubdate: Mon, 11 Dec 2000
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2000 The Dallas Morning News
Contact:  P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, Texas 75265
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Author: Steve Helms

COMPASSIONATE SOCIETY?

The more I read and study about the potential benefits of medical marijuana 
(including President Clinton's 1999 Institute of Medicine study) as a 
method for relieving pain and wasting diseases the more disgusted I become 
with drug policy in Texas. No Texas legislator is willing to carry the 
torch for medical marijuana in Texas since it is too hot a topic and the 
Texas Legislature has prevented any public initiatives to place a question 
on the ballot on this issue. When people are in pain and/or are terminally 
ill, who are we to prevent them access to something that might at least 
improve the quality of their lives or alleviate to some degree the pain in 
which they are living while waiting to die? Who are we to disregard what is 
going on in other states and countries with respect to the use of medical 
marijuana? Anecdotal evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana goes 
back thousands of years but this is ignored too.

The federal response (at least the Clinton administration's) to medical 
marijuana is clear. No. And if Mr. Clinton and the DEA have anything to say 
on the matter it is no to states' rights and to voters' rights to decide 
what is best for those in every state in the union. Unfortunately, the U.S. 
senators from Texas and my representative from Texas are just as 
unenlightened and as cruel as the Clinton administration when it comes to 
medical marijuana. They all say we will be sending the wrong message to our 
children. I think passing any legislation that helps alleviate pain and 
suffering sends the right message to children  that we have a caring and 
compassionate society.

STEVE HELMS, Southlake, Texas
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