Pubdate: Tue, 10 Jan 2012
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2012 Christopher Snyder
Author: Christopher Snyder


This letter is in response to The Sun's editorial on medical marijuana
("Go slow," Jan. 3). Recently, a medical marijuana panel commissioned
by the Maryland legislature recommended two divergent proposals. One
recommends dispensaries allow doctors to recommend marijuana to
patients, and the other allows research institutions to test the
efficacy of marijuana on human test subjects. The Sun supports the
latter view. I find the support of this viewpoint to be quite frankly

Marijuana has been one of the most researched drugs in the 20th
century. Civilizations have been using the substance for thousands of
years. You say we need more research? The FDA routinely approves
pharmaceutical drugs that they know to be harmful. How many times have
we heard of an FDA approved medication killing its users? Too many
times to count.

Yet The Sun believes we need more research on a drug that has zero
recorded deaths. Maybe more research on ailment specific usage, but
even with FDA approved medications doctors still have to experiment
with the unique variables for their specific patient. Medicine is
still an evolving science; no amount of research will find all the
problems or intricacies of a medication.

Marijuana has proven safe enough to be prescribed by doctors without
the bureaucratic apparatus of research institution led viewpoint
advocated by Health Secretary Dr. Joshua Sharfstein. How long until we
allow patients to use marijuana medicinally without being forced to
procure their medicine on the black market? How long until we allow
patients to bypass the complex and suffocating legal system to get
their medicine? According to Dr. Sharfstein and The Sun, investigating
the "effectiveness, side effects, indications, appropriate dose and so
on" would take years if not decades to satisfy their need for "more

Research institutions are not large enough or equipped enough to deal
with the large amount of patients who require and use medical
marijuana. Not to mention that 72 percent of Marylanders support the
idea of patients having easy, legal access marijuana. Most likely this
would be achieved through dispensaries rather than research
institutions due to the fact that marijuana has already been proven to
effectively help these ailments and patients (something that
inevitably comes down to the doctor/patient relationship regardless of

Therefore, Sen. David Brinkley's proposal of allowing doctors to
prescribe this already well researched medicine to their patients
through dispensaries is vastly superior to the antiquated viewpoint
repeated for decades of "more research" advocated by Dr. Sharfstein
and The Sun.

Christopher Snyder, Abingdon
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D