Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2001
Source: Morning News of Northwest Arkansas (AR)
Copyright: 2001, Donrey Media Group
Author: Rod Greig


I truly wish the critics applauding the Supreme Court decision on
marijuana, and Dr. Copp's defense of its medical uses (Public
Viewpoint, May 20), could talk to the people I've known whose lives
have been saved by it. One was a woman in New Jersey whose
chemotherapy treatments caused her to seriously contemplate suicide
after the failure of the many drugs several doctors prescribed. A
friend suggested that she try marijuana before giving up, and just one
use a day gave her the relief she needed.

Two of the executives I worked with a few years ago had the deplorable
- -- I thought -- habit of smoking a "joint" in a closed office once or
twice a week. I couldn't stand the smell when they opened the door,
and was never tempted to try the stuff, but it obviously in no way
impeded their effectiveness in business, nor did it interfere in any
way with their family life. I knew both very well, and one was such a
great musician that he gave a sellout solo performance in one of New
York's largest concert halls.

I've known a number of people who have died from misuse of alcohol and
cigarettes, but apparently the only person who died from the drug was
killed by a policeman's bullet.

If any reader doubts the logic in proposals to decriminalize marijuana
use for medical purposes, I suggest they contact the non-profit Drug
Policy Education Group in Fayetteville, or visit their Web site at Among other things, they'll learn that arrests for
marijuana possession in Arkansas accounted for 65 percent of all drug
arrests in the state. We're paying for all those costs, and most of it
is unnecessary, and indeed cruel when it deprives a medically
handicapped person of relief.

Rod Greig

Bella Vista
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