Pubdate: Sun, 01 Apr 2007
Source: Republican, The (Springfield, MA)
Copyright: 2007 The Republican
Author: Allan Erickson


Many thanks to The Republican for your excellent editorial, "Marijuana
as medicine a decision for doctors" (March 22).

In the editorial you pose the question: "Is her doctor undermining
this nation's war on drugs by prescribing marijuana to her?"" I submit
that the question should be: "Is this nation's war on drugs
undermining her doctor by denying marijuana to her?"

By denying the efficacy of cannabis as medicine our federal government
perpetrates a fraud. Cannabis is one of humanity's oldest - and
undeniably safest - medicines, appearing in the Chinese pharmacopeia
5,000 years ago.

Once sold openly as an extract on the pharmacists shelves without a
prescription cannabis has been the target of over 70 years of literal
"Reefer Madness."

In 1974 in Virginia a study was conducted under the National Institute
of Health that found THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) slowed
the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice lung and breast cancer,
and a virus-induced leukemia. Related findings came in 2000 from Dr.
Manuel Guzman of Complutense University in Madrid, Spain when
researchers there announced they had destroyed incurable brain tumors
in rats by injecting them with THC.

I further submit that cannabis should be absolutely legal for
industrial, medical, nutritional and yes, recreational, use without
restriction. With regulation and taxation of commercial cannabis
enterprises the criminal part of the current drug policy catastrophe
would be virtually eliminated. Compassion and science both lie on the
side of legalization. Who among us has the right to deny a neighbor
his/her medicine? Certainly not the government.

Allan Erickson

Drug Policy Forum of Oregon