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March 2007
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Marijuana – the wonder drug

It’s always a treat to read Lester Grinspoon, and he’s got an OpEd in the Boston Globe today.

A NEW STUDY in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine.
It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine — and US drug policy — that we still need “proof” of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years. […]
And it is extraordinarily safe — safer than most medicines prescribed every day. If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug.

He concludes by attempting to give Congress an “out.”

Hopefully the UCSF study will add to the pressure on the US government to rethink its irrational ban on the medicinal use of marijuana — and its destructive attacks on patients and caregivers in states that have chosen to allow such use. Rather than admit they have been mistaken all these years, federal officials can cite “important new data” and start revamping outdated and destructive policies.
The new Congress could go far in establishing its bona fides as both reasonable and compassionate by immediately moving on this issue. Such legislation would bring much-needed relief to millions of Americans suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other debilitating illnesses.

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