Pubdate: Fri, 10 Oct 2003
Source: Tuscaloosa News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2003 The Tuscaloosa News
Author: Jim Smelley Jr.


Dear Editor: I feel obligated to correct a couple of comments made by DEA 
representative Mr. Robert Stutman to the 700-plus University of Alabama 
students attending a recent debate about marijuana.

Several medical groups endorse marijuana under physicians' guidance; the 
American Nurses Association, the Association of Family Physicians, the New 
England Journal of Medicine, and several others.

These groups voiced their support of an amendment (H.R. 2799) that would 
have curtailed funding DEA persecution of state-sanctioned medical 
marijuana patients, but their medically and scientifically grounded 
opinions received little attention.

Marinol is the only FDA-approved cannabis-/sderived drug. There are, 
however, more than 10 other compounds that have been isolated from cannabis 
that can treat diseases or conditions, and the associated pain and other 

The only way to get these other cannabis compounds for treatment of these 
conditions or diseases is to eat, vaporize or smoke marijuana. Marinol 
doesn't help all these conditions. Any man who calls a physician a fool for 
mentioning marijuana as a treatment for these other diseases and 
conditions, as Mr. Stutman did, is ignorant or biased. We spend 50-plus 
billion taxpayer dollars for jobs and equipment annually just to fight 
marijuana, there's one reason for bias.

I don't condone the use of any drug, but we should concentrate on keeping 
drugs away from our children and treating those who've become addicted 
rather than arresting them like criminals who've directly harmed others.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens