Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jun 2001
Source: Wichita Eagle (KS)
Copyright: 2001 The Wichita Eagle
Author: Phil Wassermann


I have heard all the arguments regarding marijuana for medicinal purposes; 
the recent Supreme Court decision makes it clear the law must be changed 
("High court says no to medical marijuana," May 15 Eagle).

Compare marijuana and lithium, which has been legal for use in treating 
bipolar disorder (formerly manic-depression) for years. The envelope 
between a therapeutic and a toxic dose of lithium is very small. An 
overdose of lithium, which is not a drug but a mineral salt, can cause 
severe liver and kidney damage and even death.

For a number of years, lithium was banned because it was once used as a 
salt substitute, resulting in a number of deaths.

I have never heard of a death from an overdose of marijuana. Granted, 
marijuana is an intoxicant, but it has been shown to be of value as a 
medication for cancer and glaucoma patients.

On a philosophical level, the government is extremely arrogant to outlaw 
possession of a plant that God created.

On a pragmatic level, the human cost of the draconian penalties for 
possession of pot and the negative impact on our economy of prohibition are 

I do not smoke marijuana. On the other hand, if you are against pot even as 
medicine, you don't have to use it.

Phil Wassermann

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