Pubdate: Tue, 01 Apr 2003
Source: Ocean County Observer (NJ)
Copyright: 2003 Ocean County Observer
Author: Stephen Heath


Letter writer Terrence Farley's recitation of the Office of National Drug 
Control Policy propaganda points about medical marijuana greatly misleads 
your readers.

No credible promoter of marijuana-law reform claims that marijuana 'cures' 
anything. What it clearly does, according to the testimonies of more than 
30,000 registered patients and more than 1,000 physicians in California and 
Oregon, is provide varying levels of relief for symptoms related to a 
number of medical conditions, most notably cancer and AIDS. These patients 
have learned that, for them, marijuana can be more useful than those often 
addictive, heavy-duty FDA-approved narcotics.

Additionally, he wrongly calls Marinol 'synthetic marijuana.' In fact, it 
is only synthetic THC, the primary ingredient of a plant with more than 400 
active components. Chemotherapy and AIDS-wasting patients have great 
difficulty using oral medications and, because of Marinol's concentration, 
many patients tell us that they risk becoming too 'stoned' to successfully 
function in their regular home and work duties. Patients without insurance 
also must be able to afford the cost of Marinol, which can easily top $500 

Most importantly, Farley totally ignores the most relevant question 
relating to medical marijuana. If patients and their doctors review 
Farley's long list of alleged effects relating to marijuana use and elect 
to use it anyway, should they be subject to criminal arrest, prosecution 
and confinement to a prison cage?

Obviously, President Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Farley 
believe the answer is yes. Thankfully, more than 80 percent of Americans 
disagree with such a harsh, Draconian policy.

Readers who think likewise should contact their federal representatives and 
ask for support of a bill sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., that 
will call for the federal government to respect state laws on medical 


Public Relations Director, Drug Policy Forum of Florida
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens