Pubdate: Mon, 05 Jan 2004
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2004 News World Communications, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Regarding "Bush says help to Iran is no thaw" (Page 1, Friday): President
Bush said easing restrictions to help Iranians in the wake of the recent
earthquake there showed that the American people have "great compassion for
human suffering."

But if easing restrictions to help Iranians demonstrates compassion, where
is the Bush administration's compassion for sick and dying Americans who
have exhausted all legal treatments and have turned to marijuana, still
illegal under federal law even for medical use, to ease their suffering?

Compassion should begin at home, and while some polls have found that more
than 80 percent of the American public supports legalizing medical
marijuana, federal officials have continued to target patients and
providers. The Bush administration recently was handed an opportunity to
display compassion: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal laws
prohibiting marijuana possession and cultivation are unconstitutional in
cases where patients are using marijuana with a doctor's note and when the
marijuana is not sold and does not cross state lines. Rather than appeal the
ruling, as the administration is expected to do, allowing it to stand would
be a good way to show that Mr. Bush has compassion for suffering Americans
as well.


Madison, Wis.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh