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December 2004
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Souder’s letter gets challenged

Kudos to Representative Sam Farr. He had the same reaction to Mark Souder’s proposed “Safe and Effective Drug Act” as I did.
According to today’s Drug War Chronicle:

Skepticism about Souder’s motives has extended to Capitol Hill, where Rep. Sam Farr Tuesday circulated his own “dear colleague” letter. “I would urge all Members to cosponsor this legislation, IF it were truly designed to produce an honest evaluation of the scientific data,” wrote Farr, who earlier this year cosponsored the Patients’ and Providers’ Truth in Trials Act, which would allow a medical necessity defense in federal medical marijuana busts. “I am, however, skeptical that this will be the case, given that the bill only refers to ‘smoked’ marijuana and is proposing that the examination be carried out by NIDA, an agency which is actively blocking medical marijuana research while consistently highlighting and exaggerating the drug’s negative consequences.”

Yep, the two things that just jump right out of Souder’s letter, exposing it as a sham.

Farr also mentioned [a] vaporizer study blocked by NIDA. The blocked study is worth mention, Farr argued, because in his “dear colleague” letter, Souder specified a study of smoked marijuana. “Why should we think that NIDA, under the Souder bill, will study what it has already been able to study for the last year and a half, but wouldn’t?” Farr asked.

An honest evaluation of marijuana, wrote Farr, would reach the same conclusion as DEA chief administrative law judge Francis Young, who, after a two-year study, found in 1988 that “marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known… It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance.”

Farr accused the federal government of “obstructionism” in blocking medical marijuana research, but said it couldn’t stop the truth. “Despite this obstructionism, there is still ample evidence to show that marijuana is a safe and effective medicine. I applaud Rep. Souder for seeking the truth — but the truth must come from objective sources, not an agency already proven disposed to blocking the truth about marijuana.”

Nice to see that someone’s not letting Souder get away with this blatant manipulation.

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