16th December 05:43
med mari. news (morphine)
Congress needs to change the law.
Posted on Sat, Jun. 25, 2005
Should medical marijuana be legalized?
Doctors should be free to prescribe pain medication that works
Conservatives' defense of states' rights over the Goliath of federal
government intervention verges on the pathological. So it seems a ****y
bit hypocritical for Republicans in Congress to suddenly support the
recent Supreme Court ruling that federally outlaws medical marijuana in
the 10 states that had legalized it for medicinal purposes.
But perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. Enlightened conservative discourse
on the topic of marijuana harkens back at least to 1937, when Harry
Anslinger, U.S. commissioner of narcotics, testified: "marijuana causes
white women to seek ***ual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any
Now, I'm not arguing that conservatives today would still champion
Anslinger's view, but our perceptions of marijuana remain laden with
prejudice that should not be allowed to hinder medical progress. There's
a dark side to every medical issue.
But conservatives are so overly concerned with the "slippery slope" that
they assume complex issues are unmanageable and that evil will
undoubtedly triumph. That may be true in the pages of the Old Testament,
but much of medical history is based on risk and experimentation. If it
weren't, we wouldn't have vaccinations, heart transplants or any number
of routine medical procedures we benefit from today.
Administered under a doctor's care, marijuana alleviates pain and the
nausea experienced by cancer and AIDS patients, according to Institute
of Medicine research. Admittedly, research on the the****utic benefits
of marijuana is still thin. Richard Cohen, director of the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says that marijuana
research is "blocked at every turn" and adds that renowned AIDS doctor
Donald Abrams couldn't obtain approval for research on marijuana as an
appetite stimulant in AIDS patients for five years.
While some argue that medical marijuana can be addictive, few would
contend it has the same dependency risk as the medications hospitals
routinely administer for debilitating pain. Conservatives aren't
clamoring for hospitals to turn off the morphine drip for dying cancer
patients because there's a heroin problem in the world. But they want to
draw a line in the sand over medical marijuana? Please. Show me the
Diane Glass and Shanti Feldhan are columnists for Universal Press
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