Pubdate: Sat, 23 Aug 2003
Source: Marshfield News-Herald, The (WI)
Copyright: 2003 Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
Author: Gary Storck


Jim Maas hit the nail on the head with his letter on medical marijuana,
"Patients don't need government intervention with medicine" (Aug 22).

Marijuana is a very safe substance that in many thousands of years of human use
has never caused a death by overdose. Contrast that to just about any
FDA-approved drug, or even aspirin, which has never undergone rigorous FDA
testing and normally kills a few thousand people each year.

Research has not found many cases where a doctor was sued for prescribing
relatively harmless drugs. Typical malpractice cases involve surgical injuries
causing permanent disability, etc. This is not going to happen from using
medical marijuana.

Not only are FDA-approved drugs demonstrably more toxic than marijuana, but are
also increasingly being counterfeited, according to news reports. Patients and
caregivers in states that have legalized medical marijuana are allowed to grow
their own medicine. What could be safer than that, rather than taking drugs
with a laundry list of side effects that may not even be authentic?

Our state legislature will be taking up the issue this fall. Don't fall for the
fear mongering. The real issue is, does Wisconsin want to be a place that puts
medical patients in a cage for trying to ease their suffering and regain a
little dignity and quality of life?

Gary Storck

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