The Medicinal Value of Marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, May 13, 2002.

  1. By Rob Kampia, Executive Director, MPP
    Source: Washington Post

    As the proposer of a law that would remove criminal penalties for seriously ill patients in the District who use and grow marijuana with the approval of their physicians, I object to John Walters's characterization of the issue [op-ed, May 1].
    The administration's spokesman alleged that such an initiative is a "cynical" ploy that will somehow lead to "drug legalization." But the contradictions between rhetoric and reality on medical marijuana are piling up:

    • In 1997, drug czar Barry McCaffrey claimed that science, not politics, should determine whether marijuana has medical value, and he had the National Academy of Sciences review the scientific literature. The academy concluded that marijuana should be made available on a case-by-case basis for patients suffering from AIDS, cancer and chronic pain. Mr. McCaffrey dismissed the report and took no action on the recommendations.

    • Since 1978 the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have been providing government-grown marijuana cigarettes to a small group of patients each month. A study found that medical marijuana provided "effective symptomatic relief of pain, muscle spasms and intraocular pressure elevations." Despite Mr. Walters's vague claims of brain damage, researchers found no sign of neurological harm in patients using large quantities of marijuana for as long as 20 years.

    • Federal drug warriors say it is impossible to make marijuana available medically but have it remain illegal for recreational purposes, but if doctors can prescribe morphine and cocaine, surely they could prescribe marijuana, too.

    We will continue to fight to remove criminal penalties against the medical use of marijuana in the District and in the states until the federal government changes the law to make marijuana medically available nationwide.

    Executive Director
    Marijuana Policy Project
    Washington --

    Source: Washington Post (DC)
    Author: Rob Kampia, Executive Director - MPP
    Published: Monday, May 13, 2002; Page A14
    Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company

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