Pubdate: Wed, 09 Dec 2009
Source: Centre Daily Times (PA)
Copyright: 2009 Nittany Printing and Publishing Co., Inc.
Author: Mike Meno


While testifying Dec. 3 in Harrisburg against a medical marijuana bill
that would protect sick and in some cases dying patients from arrest
and possibly jail, Sharon Smith, of Moms- Tell, said, "Let the medical
experts make this decision, not the legislators." Exactly.

That's why Pennsylvania needs a medical marijuana law (like 13 other
states already have and a dozen more, including New Jersey, are
considering): So decisions about effective treatment and proper
medication can be made by patients and their doctors -- not by
politicians and law enforcement officers.

Numerous esteemed public health organizations -- including the American
Public Health Association, American Nurses Association and American
Academy of HIV Medicine -- support the right for patients to have legal
access to marijuana with their doctors' recommendation.

Last year, the American College of Physicians -- 124,000 doctors of
internal medicine -- stated, "Evidence not only supports the use of
medical marijuana in certain conditions but also suggests numerous
indications for cannabinoids," marijuana's unique, active components.

Pennsylvania's lawmakers should do the right thing by passing a law
allowing seriously ill patients to use this potentially life-saving
medication without fear of arrest or imprisonment.

Mike Meno Washington, D.C.

The writer is assistant director of communications for the Marijuana
Policy Project.
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