Pubdate: Tue, 09 May 2006
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2006 Asbury Park Press
Author: Gerald Kamber
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I do not use, or traffic in, any illegal drug, nor do I recommend 
drug use to anyone. I am not a member of the Coalition for Medical 
Marijuana-New Jersey. But the May 2 op-ed piece "Studies belie claims 
of medical marijuana as safe option to pain" cries out for a rebuttal.

No one gives a hoot whether scientific evidence shows that medical 
marijuana is not efficacious, or that it is potentially harmful. 
People in the last stages of their life regard the harmful effects as 
a calculated risk. What they hope for is that if they smoke it, it 
might make them feel better. They don't need another reason than that.

In spite of the billions of dollars spent for drug prevention, 
marijuana is only one of a score of drugs easily available to and 
widely used by our young people. This accounts for the fact that 
drugs deliver the largest profits of any industry in the United 
States - more than automobiles, computers, TV and film. Where is it 
coming from? And where is it going? And who's making all that money from it?

Marijuana, while it is everything the writer says it is, is not more 
harmful than cigarettes or alcohol, and they're legal. The only 
reasonable solution is to legalize all drugs like they did in the 
Netherlands, thereby removing the profits from their production and 
distribution away from the criminals involved. We should educate our 
young people to the dangers of all drugs, including cigarettes and 
alcohol, and while it has only worked moderately well thus far, it's 
the best we can do.

We should not make criminals out of the victimless crime of smoking 
marijuana, nor should we refuse to provide medical marijuana to any 
chemotherapy patient who after being made aware of the risks involved 
still wishes to smoke it in order to improve the quality of his or her life.

Gerald Kamber

Loch Arbour
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