Pubdate: Mon, 05 Dec 2005
Source: Beloit Daily News, The (WI)
Copyright: 2005 The Greater Beloit Publishing Company
Author: Bruce Mirken


The Beloit Daily News is right to support AB 740, which would allow
seriously ill patients to use marijuana to relieve pain and nausea
without fear of arrest. But it is important to understand that the
evidence demonstrating marijuana's safety and efficacy is not merely

In fact, controlled trials dating back to the 1970s - many sponsored
by state governments - demonstrated that marijuana relieves nausea in
cancer chemotherapy patients. More recent studies have demonstrated
relief of pain in a number of circumstances, including multiple
sclerosis - evidence convincing enough that the journal The Lancet
Neurology wrote two years ago that marijuana could become "the aspirin
of the 21st century."

In HIV/AIDS, a recent study at San Francisco General Hospital
demonstrated relief of peripheral neuropathy - an extremely painful
condition caused both by HIV and some of the drugs used to treat it.
Another study showed that AIDS patients suffering nausea from their
drug cocktails were able to stay on their medications more
consistently when they used marijuana.

No drug is without risks, but today the greatest risk facing medical
marijuana patients in Wisconsin is the threat of arrest and jail. AB
740 will provide such patients with desperately needed protection.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C. 
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