Pubdate: Fri, 05 Oct 2001
Source: South Delta Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 South Delta Leader
Author: Neil  MacNaughton
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Editor, The Leader:

Thank you for publishing Dr. Hepburn's lighthearted look at medical 
marijuana (Leader, Sept. 28). I'm glad he and your readers were enlightened 
as to the professional attitude and essential services offered by marijuana 
compassion clubs. Dr. Hepburn managed to expose common fears and then 
dispel them (i.e. the club is a "clinical" environment, not a pothead haven.)

I appreciate Hepburn's medical opinion regarding marijuana and the 
compassion clubs that supply it. I am less comfortable with the doctor 
using his medical credentials to lend support to a moral stance on a 
societal issue. "Marijuana, like Valium and Demerol and even cigarettes 
should not be used recreationally." The position of the medical community 
on the recreational use of drugs should go no further than stating the 
drugs' effects and possible interactions. It is up to the rest of society - 
or the individual - to use that information in deciding whether or not to 
condone the recreational - often called non-medical - use of drugs. So long 
as a drug is deemed to hold little medical risk, I believe it should be up 
to the individual to decide whether or not to use it for non-medical reasons.

Marijuana allows the user to enter an altered state of consciousness, with 
little risk to body or mind. Many religions call their followers to do the 
same when entering into prayer. Why we, as a culture, are accepting of this 
approach and balk at allowing people to take drugs to achieve the same ends 
is something I have yet to understand.

Neil MacNaughton
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