Pubdate: Wed, 26 Mar 2003
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2003 News World Communications, Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


White House drug czar John P. Walters' dishonesty about medical marijuana 
("Drug czar calls Maryland marijuana bill 'immoral,'Y" Metro, yesterday) 
now borders on the pathological.

Mr. Walters, presumably with a straight face, called a bill to reduce o not 
eliminate o criminal penalties for patients who use marijuana to relieve 
pain and nausea caused by cancer, AIDS and other illnesses, "scientifically 
irresponsible and contrary to our high standards for approval of medications."

Surely, Mr. Walters is aware that the New England Journal of Medicine, 
considered the world's most prestigious medical journal, called for lifting 
the ban on medical use of marijuana back in 1997, calling it, "misguided, 
heavy-handed and inhumane." Surely, he remembers that the Institute of 
Medicine, in a 1999 report commissioned by his office, stated, "Nausea, 
appetite loss, pain and anxiety ... all can be mitigated by marijuana."

And, surely, Mr. Walters knows that the movement to protect medical 
marijuana patients from criminal penalties includes the American Academy of 
Family Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the California 
Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association and at least one 
former U.S. surgeon general, among others.

It is Mr. Walters, not these experts, who is "cynical, cruel and immoral."


Director of Communications Marijuana Policy Project

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