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  1. bananaskin
    Gerald Turetsky's recent commentary, "Medical marijuana too dangerous, costly" (June 30), contains substantial misinformation that could lead New Yorkers to make unethical decisions about helping fellow citizens.

    He confuses the impact of marijuana with the impact of marijuana prohibition, and perpetuates myths that have been summarily disproved for decades. Contaminants in the plant arise because cultivation has been forced into an underground market, not because the plant is inherently problematic.
    As data from my own laboratory show, marijuana need not cause lung problems. The plant does not change brain structure in adults, create dependence on hard drugs, or weaken human immune function.

    More than 150 studies confirm the therapeutic value of the plant's active compounds for treating nausea, vomiting, weight loss, multiple sclerosis, pain, and a variety of other ailments.

    Physicians prescribe medicines that are markedly more dangerous than marijuana every single day.

    We cannot turn our backs on sick New Yorkers whose only relief comes from a plant with a 5,000 year record of medical efficacy and safety. New marijuana bills are not about generating revenue. No one wants to balance the budget by squeezing money from our sick.

    The new bills are about doing what is right -- helping to relieve the suffering of those who are ill.

    Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D.
    Professor, Psychology
    University at Albany

    Monday, July 5, 2010
    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=947809&category=OPINION

Comments

  1. dyingtomorrow
    I still don't understand why so many states are starting to allow people to just grow their own marijuana for their pain and a myriad of other issues (some of which are dubious), and yet people aren't allowed to cultivate poppies for medicinal use on their own land. All the same arguments for medical marijuana could be used to support the proposition that people should be able to supplement their pain medication needs by growing poppies for tea or whatnot.

    But what do you expect - our medical/health/legal system is so contradictory, arbitrary and ridiculous that there is no point in trying to make rational sense of it.
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