Pubdate: Sun, 18 Nov 2001
Source: Daily Camera (CO)
Copyright: 2001 The Daily Camera.
Author: Cord Macguire


AG Takes Aim At Humane Medicine

While local editorialists have generally noted with concern the recent 
assault on Oregon's benevolent assisted-suicide policy by our ever- earnest 
Attorney General John Ashcroft, I have heard little comment on his 
even-more-sweeping efforts to roll back California's citizen- initiated 
medical marijuana program.

For five years now, Californians suffering from a variety of medical 
conditions have been entitled to legally prescribed cannabis, a beneficent 
herb used as medicine for thousands of years without adverse side effects.

Attorney General Ashcroft is evidently quite upset by this state of affairs 
and has lately sent in armed drug agents to shut down the state's 
authorized cannabis centers, seizing nearly 1,000 confidential medical 
records in draconian raids. Doctors and sick patients have been terrorized 
by Ashcroft's threat to arrest and imprison them under widely discredited 
federal Prohibition laws, initially passed in 1937 over the vocal 
objections of the American Medical Association.

It is an outrage that Congress refuses to revise federal law to prevent 
this abuse of prosecutorial power. Colorado voters, patients and caregivers 
must wonder just who will protect their medical rights should Ashcroft turn 
his guns on our own state's recently enacted medical cannabis program. Our 
elected officials' scandalous silence on this question leaves little hope 
for humane reforms.


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