Pubdate: Thu, 16 Aug 2001
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2001 San Jose Mercury News
Authors: Jean Hanamoto, John J. ``Jack'' Hickey
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


HOW unfortunate that Sandra Bennett (Letters, Aug. 12) hasn't spent 
time with medical marijuana patients. She would benefit from a 
personal look at what's happening in communities like Santa Cruz, and 
the good works of groups such as the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical 

WAMM was started by Valerie and Michael Corral. They both had friends 
with AIDS and cancer that had been helped by using marijuana, and 
they found it to be powerful medicine -- useful in many situations. 
Valerie decided that she would start a small collective to provide 
organic medical marijuana for herself and those of her friends that 
could benefit from it.

Except for voluntary donations, which we encourage mightily, our 
medical marijuana is free to all our members. We now serve 200 
patients in a situation that is far more than ``getting high.''

There's never been a recorded death from smoking marijuana and it's 
been proved in clinical tests to shrink some tumors. It doesn't 
injure kidneys or liver like so many other medicines, and it's easy 
to grow your own medicine in your backyard (but then the 
pharmaceutical companies don't profit, and that makes them very 

We really don't need the prohibition hysteria that's a part of an 
uninformed past. It's WAMM's job to get correct information to sick 
people. There isn't a better medicine for the nausea of chemotherapy 
or for the wasting syndrome associated with AIDS. If it also gives 
people joy, is that so wrong?

Jean Hanamoto
Morgan Hill


SANDRA Bennett's attack on Ellen Goodman fails to deal with the other 
side of the coin in the war on drugs.

Sure, some drugs do harm some people, but what about the human 
carnage which results from prohibition? Our jails are filled with 
individuals whose only crime involved exercising free will -- 
individuals who have harmed no one, except possibly themselves. 
Families are being destroyed by this policy.

Those who would attempt to protect individuals by proscribing their 
use of free will should be held accountable for the collateral damage 
their policy causes. Libertarians are aware that ``substance abuse'' 
does exist, and we support prosecution of individuals who infringe 
upon the rights of others while under the influence.

John J. ``Jack'' Hickey
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County
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