Pubdate: Wed, 07 Mar 2001
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2001 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Contact:  200 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281
Fax: (212) 416-2658
Authors: Stephen Young, Linda Boyette and Patrick L. Lilly
Note: 3 PUB LTEs


No matter how feverishly the pharmaceutical industry works to eradicate the 
intolerable side effect of euphoria from marijuana derivatives, it's 
difficult to get excited ("Researchers Aim to Develop Marijuana Without the 
High," page one, Feb. 28). The cynicism on display by the pharmaceutical 
companies is outrageous, especially considering that many of them 
contribute funds to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which creates 
anti-marijuana ads. Marijuana is bad, I guess, unless its inherent 
unprofitability is removed by way of a patented process.

All drugs have potential side effects. Are we waiting to use chemotherapy 
until the discomfort it can cause is eliminated? Why is vomiting and a 
generally bad feeling acceptable, but a mild high is not? If the 
pharmaceutical companies think there's a market for cannabis without the 
high, then they ought to pursue it. But why are people who can benefit from 
marijuana right now denied?

Stephen Young, Roselle, Ill.


The pharmaceutical companies are going to make those who need help wait. 
How long will all this take? Why not let us have our medicine the way it 
is. It has saved many lives already.

Yes, it gets you high using it the natural way. But if you look at the 
alternative medications used, don't most of them give an altered state of 
mind? At least smoking a joint for pain doesn't knock a person out like 
some of those pain medications do. The side effect or euphoria from 
marijuana derivatives is better than the side effects of what must be taken 

Linda Boyette, Eidson, Tenn.


The most important thing about your article was the very telling idea that 
so many people agree that the "best feature" of synthetically produced 
cannabinoid analogs is that, by intention, there is "no high."

Amid all the hysteria surrounding cannabis and the no-longer-avoidable 
realization that it constitutes effective medication for a variety of human 
ills, this remains the core issue, which has always motivated 
prohibitionists: They object to the fact that some people like to ingest 
various things just for enjoyment.

Only a society suffused with this latter-day Puritan antipathy to other 
people's enjoyment of life would even consider spending millions or 
billions of dollars on research and development to remove the 
pleasure-giving properties of any drug before deigning to let sick and 
dying patients have access to it. I have no good wishes for these 
pharmaceutical companies, and will continue to work for total repeal of 
cannabis prohibition.

Patrick L. Lilly, Colorado Springs, Colo.
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