Pubdate: Mon, 16 Jun 2008
Source: Daily Star, The (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Star
Author: Paul Armentano


Kudos for your editorial support in favor of legally protecting 
patients who use cannabis therapy under the guidance of their 
physician ("Medical marijuana makes sense," June 7).

While authoring the recent publication, "Emerging Clinical 
Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the 
Scientific Literature" (NORML Foundation 2008), I reviewed more than 
150 clinical and preclinical studies assessing the therapeutic value 
of cannabis and its active compounds to treat symptoms - and in some 
cases moderate disease progression - in a variety of illness, 
including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, diabetes and 
Lou Gehrig's disease. Nearly all of the studies cited in my work were 
published within the past eight years.

Unlike many politicians and law enforcement officials, I frequently 
interact with medical marijuana patients.  Many of them write to me 
daily, as do their physicians.  Often they tell me stories like this: 
"I was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor inside the 
left temporal lobe of my brain. I had surgery, and I've just started 
chemotherapy and radiation. The surgeon actually apologized for the 
fact that he could not write me a prescription for marijuana, but he 
told me it was safe to smoke. ... Marijuana is saving my life right 
now; it has helped to kill my seizures, nausea, dizziness, and calm 
my headaches. If marijuana can help me with all my other problems in 
addition to possibly reducing the size of my tumor and extending my 
life, then why on earth would our government not allow me to have it?"

Why indeed?

Paul Armentano

Washington, D.C.

Armentano is deputy director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. 
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