Pubdate: Thu, 24 Dec 2009
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Copyright: 2009 The Des Moines Register.
Author: Mike Meno


Lynn Erickson is horribly misinformed about medical

Erickson claims the medical marijuana debate is a ruse  to end the
prohibition on marijuana. It is not.  Marijuana has a 5,000-year
recorded history as an  effective medicine. Research has shown that
marijuana  can relieve such debilitating symptoms as nausea,  appetite
loss, muscle spasms and certain types of pain.

This evidence has been acknowledged by the American  College of
Physicians, American Nurses Association and  many other health
organizations. Even the American  Medical Association recently urged
the federal  government to reconsider the classification that
currently bars medical use.

It is untrue that "the active ingredient in marijuana  is already
available in pill form." The THC pill  Marinol contains just one of
the roughly 80 active  components in marijuana.

Research clearly has shown the other components play a  vital role in
marijuana's therapeutic benefits.  Numerous studies and patient
testimonies have shown the  pill works too slowly and unevenly for
many patients.

Why should patients suffering from diseases like cancer  and AIDS be
forced to risk arrest and jail to use the  medicine that works best
for them?

- - Mike Meno,  assistant director, communications,  Marijuana Policy
Project, Washington, D.C. 
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