Pubdate: Wed, 04 May 2011
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2011 Chicago Tribune Company
Author: Alexander E. Sharp


Yes, it is true that we would learn a lot about the potential for
medical marijuana from the kinds of clinical trials required by the
Food and Drug Administration, as pointed out in your article of April
28. But it would have been helpful if you had pointed out why these
studies haven't been carried out. The federal government, specifically
the Drug Enforcement Administration, won't request them.

They either are opposed to the idea or are afraid of the political
consequences, which is silly since over 70 percent of the American
public supports cannabis as medicine.

It is wrong to classify marijuana as Schedule 1, the category for the
most dangerous of all possible drugs. It is shameful for those who
oppose medical cannabis to reduce intractable pain to use lack of
evidence as a failure to act when they are responsible for this lack
of evidence in the first place. This is especially the case since DEA
Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ruled in 1988 that cannabis was
"one of the safest therapeutically active substances known," far safer
than the prescription drugs OxyCotin and Vicodin, which have both
since been approved by the FDA.

In the future, please don't let those who oppose legalizing medical
marijuana get away with this galling Catch-22.

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, Chicago 
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