Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Bulletin, The (OR)
Section: My Nickles Worth
Page: A-6
Contact:  1526 NW Hill St, Bend, OR 97701


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 You
need to catch up with the research on these issues.

Cliff Schaffer. Canyon Country, Calif.

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