Pubdate: Thu, 28 Oct 2004
Source: Montana Standard (MT)
Copyright: 2004 Montana Standard
Author: Dawn M. Hall
Cited: Initiative 148 ( )
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Medical marijuana is a popular issue. Medical marijuana ballot
initiatives have passed in every state that has voted on them. Polls
have consistently shown high levels of public support -- 80 percent in
a national Time magazine poll published on Nov. 4, 2002.

With the federal government deep in debt and currently engaged in
deficit spending, tax money should be used to pursue violent criminals
and terrorists, not medical marijuana patients.

Many otherwise illegal substances, like morphine and cocaine, can be
prescribed legally by doctors. The same should be true for marijuana.

Many of the legal pharmaceutical alternatives proposed by opponents of
medical marijuana are too expensive, too addictive, and have too many
side effects to be good medicine for all patients.

A chemotherapy patient who is too nauseated to swallow a pill or eat
may be able to smoke marijuana for relief.

Ultimately, the decision of which medicine is best for an illness
should be left up to a patient and his or her doctor, not to the government.

When they have their doctors' approval, patients should be able to use
medical marijuana without fear of arrest and imprisonment. They should
also be able to rely on a safe supply of marijuana, without having to
resort to the dangerous illegal market.

Dawn M. Hall

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