Pubdate: Mon, 23 Feb 2009
Source: Daily Free Press (Boston U, MA Edu)
Copyright: 2009 Back Bay Publishing, Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


What was left unclear in the article on medical marijuana ("Medical 
marijuana future is up in the air," Feb. 17) is how broad and deep 
the scientific consensus that marijuana can be medically useful now 
is. Among others, the American College of Physicians, the American 
Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association have 
all called on the federal government to rethink its ban on the 
medical use of marijuana.

Hapless opponents like Steve Steiner are left with lame arguments 
like, "It's the law." So was slavery.  Sometimes bad laws need to be changed.

Grasping at straws, Steiner mentions a supposed link to testicular 
cancer, failing to mention that the researchers themselves said the 
study was far from conclusive and that a mass of data shows that 
marijuana's active components, called cannabinoids, are rather potent 
anti-cancer drugs.

Recent studies published in the peer-reviewed medical literature have 
shown marijuana to be a safe, effective treatment for conditions such 
as neuropathic pain, for which standard medicines often fail to 
provide relief.  That's why Israel, Germany, Canada and the 
Netherlands all have government-sanctioned medical marijuana 
programs. It's time for U.S. policy to catch up with science and join 
the 21st century.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project
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