Pubdate: Fri, 24 May 2002
Source: International Herald-Tribune (France)
Section: Opinion; Pg. 7
Copyright: International Herald Tribune 2002
Author: Bruce Mirken
Note: The writer is communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project.


The recent wave of obituaries for the brilliant scientist and author 
Stephen Jay Gould (IHT, May 22) commonly left out a significant fact: He 
was a user of medical marijuana. Diagnosed with cancer in 1982 and given 
eight months to live, he survived 20 years, enduring chemotherapy thanks to 
medical marijuana.  While other drugs failed to curb the nausea caused by 
his treatment, he wrote, marijuana "worked like a charm." He added, "It is 
beyond my comprehension that any humane person would withhold such a 
beneficial substance from people in such great need." Gould went on to 
testify in a 1998 Canadian court case that eventually resulted in the 
establishment of that nation's medical marijuana program. What a shame that 
U.S. leaders failed to consult this great scientist before declaring war on 
the medical use of marijuana.

Bruce Mirken

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