Pubdate: Fri, 23 Jul 1999
Date: 07/23/1999
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Author: Tom O'Connell, M.D.

The editorial "Fixing compassion" is woefully uninformed. It
unwittingly excuses the ongoing two-year police rampage against
"medical marijuana" in California. Your characterization of even some
of those running the original buyers' clubs as "unscrupulous
entrepreneurs and promoters of legalized marijuana (who) used the law
for their own purposes" buys into the dishonesty that justified their
wholesale prosecution.

The thriving criminal marijuana market in California never needed
medical buyers' clubs to reach its customers.

Two Orange County medical distributors were railroaded into state
prison and are now serving terms that can only be described as savage.
Open judicial and prosecutorial contempt for the concept of medical
marijuana was reported at both trials.

Until now your reporting on this issue has been fair. Don't be misled
into supporting the notion that most police opposition to medical
marijuana around the state is motivated by anything but a desire to
retain the power to arrest.

Tom O'Connell, M.D.
San Mateo