Pubdate: April  25, 1998
Source: Austin American-Statesman
Author: Harvey J. Ginsburg


The April 15 column "On  drug  legalization" (A.M. Rosenthal) raises a good
question. Who are some of those  drug  legalizers, anyway? Let's round them
up and hang 'em high.

The American Medical Association supports needle exchange programs to reduce
the prevalence of AIDS. The AMA also opposes the zero tolerance policy which
makes it a federal offense for physicians and patients to even discuss the
possible therapeutic benefits of marijuana.

The American Public Health Association, the nation's largest organization of
health professionals, has recommended that marijuana be approved for medical
use in treating certain patients suffering from: glaucoma, AIDS,
neuromuscular disorders, seizure disorders and nausea suffered by some
cancer chemotherapy patients.

Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health also reported favorably
about the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. The National Academy of
Science's Institute of Medicine will issue its own independent scientific
review of findings in December. If their review is also contrary to current
federal zero tolerance policies, shall we hang them, too? It looks like
we're going to need a lot of rope.