Pubdate: Wed, 14 Feb 2001
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas
Contact:  400 W. Seventh Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102
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 marijuana.

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 
it certainly does not help those who are suffering and might benefit 
from medical marijuana.

If those using medical marijuana 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
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