Pubdate: [Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Author: Thomas J. O'Connell M.D.

As a physician who has been a member of the California Medical Association
for over 25 years, I am frankly disgusted by the pusillanimous attitude of
current leadership toward medical marijuana. Their latest idea that a
physician be allowed to "discuss" use of medical marijuana  with a patient
in his office but not, heaven forbid, recommend it or do anything to
further the patient's acquisition, is ludicrous. The idea that such an
inane position could be endorsed by anyone as "progress" is nothing short
of nonsense.

The obsequious plea of AMA and CMA to the parties in the lawsuit to accept
these "guidelines" as a basis for settlement is disgraceful. All the
government has conceded thus far is that we still have a First Amendment.
It has refused to back down from threats to prosecute physicians.

No settlement short of rescheduling marijuana to Schedule 2 or an iron-clad
guarantee of immunity for physicians who recommend its use in appropriate
cases should suffice. One of the fears expressed by the drug prohibition
lobby in opposition to Proposition 215 was that it would further the cause
of "legalization" of marijuana and other drugs. It has worked that way, but
hardly in the manner predicted. Instead, 215 has been a giant can-opener
exposing the worms hidden within our national policy of drug prohibition.
It is a policy completely lacking moral, logical or scientific support.

Thomas J. O'Connell
San Mateo