Pubdate: Mon, 21 May 2001
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2001 The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck
Bookmark: (Oakland Cannabis Court Case)
Bookmark: (Medical Marijuana)


The Supreme Court has ruled the manufacture and distribution of 
medical marijuana is illegal under federal law, based on the 
Controlled Substances Act, not scientific and medical evidence. It is 
clearly time for Congress to change this law, which was never 
intended to be the final word on medical marijuana when it was 
adopted in 1970.

The ruling ignores 30-plus years of patient reports and scientific 
evidence, along with the 1999 federally-commissioned Institute of 
Medicine report, which leave no doubt of marijuana's extensive 
therapeutic properties.

It is now up to our elected representatives, both federal and state, 
to act with compassion to protect people who can benefit from the 
medical use of marijuana. Polls consistently show that around 75% of 
Americans support legal access. Few issues command such widespread 

Lack of action by our elected representatives brought this situation 
to the breaking point. Punishing the sick and dying for using a 
God-given herb to ease their suffering is immoral. This is a public 
health issue, not a criminal matter.

Two actions could quickly end this cruel dilemma. Congress could pass 
HR 1344, Barney Frank's states rights medical marijuana bill, 
co-sponsored by Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, which would reschedule 
marijuana so physicians can prescribe it.

Even better, HHS Secy. Tommy Thompson could bypass the necessity for 
congressional action and acknowledge the science by immediately 
ordering marijuana rescheduled. No matter how it's accomplished, it's 
time to get Big Brother to stop playing games with people's lives.

Gary Storck
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MAP posted-by: Josh Sutcliffe