Pubdate: Sun, 16 Jul 2006
Source: Kalamazoo Gazette (MI)
Copyright: 2006 Kalamazoo Gazette
Author: Greg Francisco


Viewpoint author Martin Chilcutt gets it exactly right. Today's
absolute prohibition on marijuana, even for serious medical conditions
for which marijuana is known to provide relief superior to available
pharmaceuticals, makes no logical sense.

When marijuana was prohibited in 1937, the American Medical
Association went on record before the United States Congress as
opposed to the ban. Today, literally tens of thousands of patients,
many in the Kalamazoo area, continue to use marijuana to ease the side
effects of cancer treatment regimes, AIDS wasting syndrome and muscle
spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. There is not a single case of
anyone ever suffering an overdose or allergic reaction. Not one. Even
common aspirin kills 1,000 annually.

The continued prohibition of the medical use of marijuana means
patients, already coping with debilitating infirmities, must add the
constant specter of arrest and jail to their worries for choosing a
common, God-created herb rather than an expensive and often
ineffective pharmaceutical.

Whose interests are best served under that system -- patients or Big
Pharma and their hordes of lobbyists? That marijuana has medicinal
properties is simply beyond dispute.

Thanks again to Chilcutt for having the bravery to say out loud what
polls show 80 percent of Americans believe: Marijuana should be
available to seriously ill people who can derive some small measure of
relief from the symptoms of their illness by its responsible use.
Let's hope the politicians start listening.

Greg Francisco

Paw Paw