Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 2009
Source: Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC)
Copyright: 2009 Daily Reflector
Author: R. L. McGee


National mellowing on medical marijuana is a welcome sea change in
attitude. On Oct. 19, the Justice Department issued a new medical
marijuana policy, which states that patients who comply with state law
should not face federal prosecution.

Finally, an enlightened decision that respects suffering individuals
as well as states' rights. These patients are not criminals and the
Obama administration has made it clear that they shouldn't be treated
as such. (Congressman Sam Farr's Truth in Trials Act would bring
federal law in line with this understanding).

The claim that marijuana has no accepted medical use is contradicted
by the science. The National Academy of Science's Institute of
Medicine published a report in 1999 affirming marijuana's efficacy and
recommending that it be made available on a patient-by-patient basis.
Since then numerous studies have added to our knowledge of how
marijuana helps those suffering from pain, wasting syndrome and
life-threatening illness. The Journal of Opioid Management recently
endorsed its use as well.

Currently 13 states have legal pot and there are eight more with
pending legislation, including our own blue state of North Carolina.
United States support for legalizing marijuana is 44 percent,
according to a national Gallup poll "" up 10 points since 2000.
This is an encouraging sign for everyone who supports marijuana policy
reform. A welcome sea change.

R. L. McGee

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