Monday, March 31, 2008

Medical Marijuana LTE

Letters, faxes, and e-mail
Monday, March 31, 2008
Birmingham News

While there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink cancerous tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug. If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and it helps them feel better, then it's working. In the end, medical marijuana is a quality-of-life issue best left to patients and their doctors.

Federal bureaucrats waging war on noncorporate drugs contend organic marijuana is not an effective health intervention. The federal government's prescribed intervention for medical marijuana patients is handcuffs, jail cells and criminal records. This heavy-handed approach suggests drug warriors are not well-suited to dictate health care decisions.

It's long past time Congress showed some leadership on the issue and passed legislation reaffirming the Constitution's 10th Amendment guarantee of states' rights. States that prefer to cage sick patients for daring to feel better can continue to do so. The more enlightened states that have passed compassionate-use legislation should not be stymied by a federal government that really should have better things to do.

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.

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