Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: Medical marijuana is useful

What was left unclear in the article on medical marijuana (‘Medical marijuana future is up in the air,’ Feb. 17) is how broad and deep the scientific consensus that marijuana can be medically useful now is. Among others, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association have all called on the federal government to rethink its ban on the medical use of marijuana.

Hapless opponents like Steve Steiner are left with lame arguments like, ‘It’s the law.” So was slavery. Sometimes bad laws need to be changed.

Grasping at straws, Steiner mentions a supposed link to testicular cancer, failing to mention that the researchers themselves said the study was far from conclusive and that a mass of data shows that marijuana’s active components, called cannabinoids, are rather potent anti-cancer drugs.

Recent studies published in the peer-reviewed medical literature have shown marijuana to be a safe, effective treatment for conditions such as neuropathic pain, for which standard medicines often fail to provide relief. That’s why Israel, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands all have government-sanctioned medical marijuana programs. It’s time for U.S. policy to catch up with science and join the 21st century.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

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