Pubdate: Tue, 19 Jun 2001
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2001 The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck


If HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson is serious about the federal government's
commitment to fighting AIDS, ("Thompson: U.S. dedicated to fighting AIDS
epidemic", June 6), he would immediately move to reschedule marijuana so it
can be prescribed by physicians.

A study conducted by University of California-San Francisco researcher
Dr. Donald Abrams that was released in July 2000, found that AIDS
patients using medicinal marijuana thrived during a 21-day study,
gaining weight and strength.

The Institute of Medicine report, commissioned by former drug czar
Barry McCaffrey and released in March 1999, declared marijuana is not
only very beneficial in combating AIDS wasting syndrome, but also in
battling the nausea caused by the medications used in treating AIDS.

And AIDS is only one subset of the many medical conditions that
respond favorably to medicinal marijuana. Rescheduling marijuana for
medical use would also benefit those suffering from a wide range of
ailments including, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain,
arthritis, Hepatitis C, cancer and migraines to name a few.

The 1970 Controlled Substances Act that the Supreme Court recently
cited as a justification for prohibiting medical use of marijuana was
enacted long before AIDS was even discovered, and indeed, there has
been great strides in the intervening 31 years in identifying many
medical uses of marijuana. The ruling ignored 31 years of science, and
it is time for the science to be recognized; Secretary Thompson could
do that with the mere stroke of a pen.

Gary Storck
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