Pubdate: Sun, 23 Feb 2003
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2003 St. Petersburg Times
Author: Stephen Heath


Re: A vindictive drug war, editorial, Feb. 16.

President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft have enlisted the
DEA into waging war against the state of California. The result is
thousands of seriously ill California residents being denied safe
access to their doctor-approved medicine.

"There is no such thing as medical marijuana," contends Asa
Hutchinson, departing director of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The testimonials of more than 30,000 registered patients in California
and more than 1,000 licensed physicians reveal this to be a flat-out
government lie. The suggestion that FDA-approved Marinol can provide
similar results ignores the fact that most chemotherapy and
AIDS-wasting patients are unable to use oral medications. For many,
Marinol is difficult to titrate dosage, and the result is that
patients become too "stoned" to properly function in home and job
duties. Real marijuana, on the other hand, provides virtually instant
relief and is easy to regulate dosage.

Would Bush, Ashcroft and Hutchinson put their own family members in
prison for 10 years to life if these same family members elected to
use marijuana on the advice of their physician? The scary thing right
now is that the answer appears to be a resounding yes. Fortunately,
the states of Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut and New Mexico appear
poised to join Canada, England and the other nine states of the United
States that believe patients should not be restricted to heavy duty,
addictive FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.

Floridians who believe likewise should contact their federal
legislators and express support for Rep. Barney Frank's States' Rights
to Medical Marijuana Act, which would require federal law enforcement
to defer to state laws on marijuana.


Public Relations Director

Drug Policy Forum of
Florida, Clearwater
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MAP posted-by: SHeath(DPFFlorida)