Pubdate: Fri, 18 Nov 2005
Source: Jewish News Weekly (CA)
Contact:  2005 San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Bravo to Joe Eskenazi for his thorough Nov. 11 j. examination of the
medical marijuana issue, "Marijuana: Just what the doctor ordered?"

Sadly, the U.S. government continues to ignore the growing mass of
data supporting marijuana's safety and efficacy as a medicine, simply
because that data doesn't fit with the prevailing ideology.

The Institute of Medicine, in a 1999 report commissioned by the White
House, found that "nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all
afflictions of wasting and all can be mitigated by marijuana" - with
side effects within the range that is normally tolerated for other
medicines. Since then, much more data - including landmark studies
involving HIV/AIDS patients conducted at San Francisco General
Hospital - have only bolstered this conclusion.

It's time for medical marijuana policies on the national level that
are based on science, not ideology and superstition. And it's time for
California's congressional delegation to take the lead in calling for
compassion and sanity.

Bruce Mirken

Washington, D.C.

director of communications, Marijuana Policy Project
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