Pubdate: Tue, 22 May 2001
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2001 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Austin Hough


By rejecting a "medical necessity" defense for marijuana, the Supreme Court 
of the United States sentenced AIDS and cancer victims to certain slow and 
painful deaths.

In an 8-0 ruling, the nation's high court approved a Justice Department 
injunction against a California cannabis cooperative that supplied medical 
marijuana to patients.

The court rejected any medical necessity exemption to federal marijuana 
laws, ruling that "marijuana has no medical benefits worthy of an 
exception." Even if a state has legalized medical marijuana, the court 
ruled the federal government could continue to prosecute people who violate 
federal marijuana laws.

With this ruling, the federal government officially has turned its war on 
drugs into a war on lifesaving medicine. It now should be obvious to 
Americans that the government feels that handcuffs and prison cells are the 
best medication for terminally ill patients.

Medical uses for marijuana have been proven to help ease the pain for those 
suffering from AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Marijuana can even 
reduce feelings of nausea and give back an appetite to ill people who have 
lost theirs.

But the government says it knows better. The government feels it would be 
better for America to let these sick people continue to suffer than to make 
an exception. That is not just cruelty - that is cruelty directed at our 
most vulnerable citizens.

For compassionate Americans who reject the argument that marijuana is more 
dangerous than prison, we need to work harder to guarantee AIDS, cancer and 
multiple sclerosis patients access to lifesaving medicines. And that 
includes electing people to office who will repeal these laws that restrict 
our freedom to choose.

Allowing the federal government to continue to imprison people suffering 
from AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis for the "crime" of trying to save 
their own lives is not just tragic, it is repugnant.

Austin Hough

State Chair

Libertarian Party of Illinois

East Dundee
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