Pubdate: Tue, 13 Feb 2001
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2001 The Dallas Morning News
Contact:  P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, Texas   75265
Fax: (972) 263-0456
Author: Steve Helms


William Blackstone once said, "It is better that 10 guilty persons escape
than that one innocent suffer." It is a shame that our state and federal
representatives do not feel the same with respect to medical marijuana. For
our representatives, it is better to let 100,000 suffer pain, wasting
diseases and nausea than to let one recreational user accidentally get

Our U.S. senators ignored the fact that 70 percent of Washington, D.C.,
voters wanted to legalize medical marijuana in their city and chose to
override the vote. In Texas, we cannot even put a medical marijuana bill on
the ballot with a voter initiative. Texas HB 513, if passed, would allow for
a medical marijuana defense and is a step in the right direction but
certainly does not help those who are suffering and might benefit from
medical marijuana. For those using medical marijuana, if they get caught, we
will just let them suffer in jail. If they don't get caught, they still have
to turn to the black market for their supply and may be pushed on to hard
addictive drugs by their suppliers.

Are we really so paranoid about medical marijuana that we let hundreds of
thousands suffer who might be helped with a medicine that the Drug Czar's
1999 Institute of Medicine Study said should be immediately made available
to those with certain afflictions? Apparently, our representatives are.

STEVE HELMS, Southlake, Texas
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