Pubdate: Wed, 04 Apr 2001
Source: South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 2001 Sun-Sentinel Co & South Florida Interactive, Inc
Author: Tom Barrus


Re the March 28 editorial, "Medicinal marijuana a minefield":

The editors claimed, "While various studies of pot's medical benefits are 
under way, the drive to legalize marijuana is based almost entirely on 
anecdotal testimony of sick people." This is a false statement. As a 
pharmacist, I know that cannabis is the most heavily studied of any drug. 
Numerous scientific studies attest to its efficacy in acting to stimulate 
appetite, treat nausea and vomiting, lower blood pressure (while increasing 
heart rate), treat glaucoma, treat muscle spasms accompanying multiple 
sclerosis, ease intractable chronic pain, and other medical benefits.

The editors said, "The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is already 
available by prescription in pill form." There are many active ingredients 
in cannabis besides THC. CBD is one of the more studied components, showing 
anticonvulsant activity. CBD is not available in pill form.

The editors said, "Studies have documented the similarity in marijuana 
addiction, and difficulty of withdrawal, to that of heroin or cocaine. Drug 
experts consider marijuana a 'gateway' drug that opens the door to 
experimentation with more harmful illegal drugs." Cannabis is not 
physically addicting, nor is it a gateway drug. The real addictive gateway 
drugs are cigarettes and beer.

The editors should seek instruction from competent doctors and pharmacists 
to help them overcome their bigotry and prejudice toward cannabis and their 
blind denial of the fact that the most deadly and dangerous drugs are 
tobacco and alcohol.

Tom Barrus
Golden, CO
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth