Pubdate: Fri, 14 May 1999
Date: 05/14/1999
Source: Isthmus (WI)
Author: Tom Bouri1
Note: subject line by MAP editor

Most people still don't understand why the government is so opposed to
legalizing med-ical marijuana. But the government has a very good
reason to fear medical marijuana.

Only after California and Arizona voted to legalize medical marijuana
in 1996 did the fed-eral government finally commission a scientific
study of medical marijuana. The results of this study, released by the
Institute of Medicine on March 17, shoot down seven of the
government's biggest lies about marijuana:

. Marijuana has numerous medicinal uses. Marijuana is not a gateway
drug. It does not lead to harder drugs. There is no evidence that
legalizing medical marijuana will increase recreational use. Despite
the health concerns of smoking, the IOM reported that there is still
no evi-dence that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer.

. Occasional marijuana use poses minimal risk to the user. There is no
evidence that marijuana harms the immune system

. Marijuana has minimal addictive potential.

If patients allowed to legally use it, hundreds of doctors and
researchers will be able to extensively study the health effects of
marijuana. Once that happens, the government's lies about marijuana
will be destroyed.

Tom Bouri1