Pubdate: Sun, 08 Apr 2001
Source: Deseret News (UT)
Copyright: 2001 Deseret News Publishing Corp.
Author: Philip Rodgers


A recent Deseret News editorial ("Don't promote pot distribution," 
April 1, 2001) stated that there is a lack of credible science in 
support of the use of medicinal marijuana. To quote the editorial, 
"It may be true that marijuana plants contain chemicals with 
medicinal value, but credible science has yet to make that 
determination or to decide on the best method of delivery."

Unfortunately, this contention is incorrect.

Credible science has made the determination that marijuana can 
effectively relieve some of the deleterious side effects of 
chemotherapy and AIDS therapy for some patients. To quote from a 
review of medical literature conducted by the National Academy of 
Sciences, Institute of Medicine, "For patients such as those with 
AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy, and who suffer 
simultaneously from severe pain, nausea and appetite loss, 
cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any 
other single medication." In addition, according to this report, 
science has yet to find a method of delivery that is superior to 

While credible science has made clear the benefits of medicinal 
marijuana, it is also true that there are many who would take 
advantage of the curative effects of marijuana to promote their own 
recreational use. This is unfortunate. Just because some would misuse 
marijuana, however, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be made available 
as a medical option.

The Deseret News also supported former drug czar Barry McCaffrey's 
contention that medical marijuana was "Cheech and Chong medicine." 
For the thousands of Americans who suffer and die from the side 
effects of cancer and AIDS treatments each year, the possible 
benefits of medicinal marijuana is no joke.

Philip Rodgers
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