Pubdate: Tue, 23 Dec 2008
Source: Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME)
Copyright: 2008 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc
Author: Allan Erickson


Congratulations are in order for Donald Christen receiving a vote for
acquittal from the jury in his trial (Marijuana Verdict May Set
Precedent, Fri. Dec. 19). The newspaper article by Doug Harlow is
certainly a sight for sore eyes.

Unfortunately, District Attorney Evert Fowle lays down the usual
anti-pot screed in his remarks. He says we "need to first have a
discussion as to whether there is any medical viability of marijuana."

C'mon Fowle. Thousands of years of established medical efficacy isn't
enough? The continued work that is showing that marijuana is a very
effective cancer fighter -- first discovered in Virginia in the 1970s
and recently reinforced by Dr. Guzman in Spain and Dr. Mechoulam in
Israel -- is not enough "viability" for you?

D.A. Fowle also says that "most medical professionals say there is
very little medical viability for marijuana compared to other
available treatments."

Really? Why is it then that the American College of Physicians, the
country's second largest organization of doctors, recently endorsed
acceptance of marijuana as medicine but also called for more research?

Certainly the statement from the DEA's own administrative law judge,
Francis Young (in 1988 after a lengthy and thorough investigation)
that marijuana is "one of the safest therapeutic substances known to
man" bears some weight in the discussion?

I suspect that Fowle is guilty of displaying gross prejudice in his
conclusions. Opinion is not fact. If fact is ever allowed into the
national consciousness, marijuana's prohibition will end

Allan Erickson

Eugene, Ore.
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