Letters to the Editor

Denying relief to ill is callous

In "More reasons pot isn't real medicine" (Nov. 8, Letters), the writer lists reasons it is a "lie": It is harmful to body tissues, especially the brain, organs and reproductive systems. And that it is addictive. It may be these things and more, but should a terminal cancer patient, who may not be alive in six months, consider these reasons if she feels the drug provides relief? (And no one ever claims marijuana heals, as the letter implies.)

Medical marijuana users claim it helps alleviate the pain of cancer and chemotherapy when other drugs fail. In this regard, it is nothing more than a powerful, smoky and smelly aspirin. And it helps stimulate appetite to stave off weight loss. It may just be the placebo effect, who knows? But if a terminally ill AIDS or cancer patient in agony says it helps, then darn it, it helps! Surely its psychological effects play a role, but is this a reason to ban it?

All drugs can be abused, of course, and legalizing the medical use of marijuana would not change this, unfortunately. However, a patient requesting marijuana breaks laws when acquiring it and feeds money to criminals. Regulation would end this. Denying a dying patient in agony pain relief in any form is the ultimate insult from the coldhearted and the stupid.

GEORGE A. TE VELDE

Modesto

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