Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 Date: 09/25/1998 Source: The Bulletin (OR) Author: Cliff Schaffer Note: Cliff Schaffer is the creator/maintainer of the DRCNet DrugLibrary Your editorial on medical marijuana misses one major fact and the real point. The fact is that smokable marijuana is a medicine under federal law. The U.S. federal government distributes it to a number of patients, after one of them went to court and proved to a legal certainty that 1) smokable marijuana is a medicine and 2) it is the only medicine suitable for their conditions. To help you understand the point you missed, let's try another analogy. Let's suppose that these people were growing their own tobacco and rolling their own cigars, because they thought they made them feel better. We all know, of course, that tobacco has no significant beneficial medical effects and, in fact is pretty bad for their health. Should we jail them and seize their property to persuade them to stop smoking homegrown cigars? Smoking cigars is certainly harmful, but the effects of jailing sick people and seizing their property is even worse. The real point is this - whatever you believe about the medical properties of marijuana - jailing sick people for using it does more damage than the drug itself. We should not be inflicting greater harm than the problem we are trying to solve. And, I would recomend that you read Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer. You need to catch up with the research on these issues. Cliff Schaffer Canyon Country, Calif.