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News (Media Awareness Project) - US NY: LTE: Invitation to a Dialogue: Medical Marijuana
Title:US NY: LTE: Invitation to a Dialogue: Medical Marijuana
Published On:2011-12-14
Source:New York Times (NY)
Fetched On:2011-12-15 06:00:43
INVITATION TO A DIALOGUE: MEDICAL MARIJUANA

To the Editor:

The Obama administration's recent crackdown on growers and sellers of
medical marijuana is totally justified. The federal government is
trying to protect vulnerable people from the use of marijuana as
medicine, since the drug is not proved safe or effective.

All medications, particularly those containing controlled substances,
should be required to meet the rigorous criteria of the Food and Drug
Administration approval process. That process has been carefully
constructed over the last century to protect patient health and safety.

There are compelling reasons to hold "medical" marijuana to the same
standard. The 16 states that passed laws approving marijuana as a
medicine did so through a political process, not a scientific one.
This alone sets a dangerous precedent.

Marijuana is an addictive, physically toxic drug. It is currently the
No. 2 cause of admission to treatment programs, after alcohol. The
legalization of medical marijuana would bring a number of unintended
consequences, including additional drugged drivers on our roadways,
industrial accidents and higher rates of addiction.

Advocates of medical marijuana promote its use as a treatment for the
nausea associated with chemotherapy and for glaucoma, multiple
sclerosis, AIDS and other ailments. But numerous safe and effective
F.D.A.-approved medications are available for these conditions.

A century ago, we decided to have a national approval process for
medicines. If this is left up to the states, there will be chaos,
with each state having a different standard.

Let's rely on science and not political agendas to decide what is
good medicine.

DAVID EVANS

Executive Director

Drug Free Schools Coalition

Belvidere, N.J., Dec. 13, 2011
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