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Argument: Marijuana is a safer alternative to many medications

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Philip Denney, MD, co-founder of a medical cannabis evaluation practice, stated the following in his Nov. 17, 2005, testimony to the Arkansas legislature in support of House Bill 1303: "An Act to Permit the Medical Use of Marijuana": "I have found in my study of these patients that cannabis is really a safe, effective and non-toxic alternative to many standard medications."[1]


Lester Grinspoon, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Testimony before the Crime Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives. Oct. 1, 1997: "Cannabis is remarkably safe. Although not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available. Despite its use by millions of people over thousands of years, cannabis has never cause an overdose death."[2]


Robert Kampia, Founder and Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project. House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources. Apr. 1, 2004: "The medical benefits of marijuana are widely recognized...there is almost no way that a science-based approach can lead to the conclusion that marijuana--even smoked marijuana--is not medicine. The opposition to medical marijuana isn't based on science, but rather lies and myths that are refutable by indisputable facts... Regarding the claim that marijuana is too dangerous to be a medicine, it is interesting to note that there has never been a death attributed to an overdose of marijuana. Clearly, most prescription drugs are far more dangerous than marijuana."[3]


Montel Williams, television host wrote in his 2004 book Climbing Higher: "How dare someone tell me they can prescribe morphine, vicodin, percocet. Make the drugs most addictive, name the most addictive drug, they can give me and I can be a walking member of the society by taking that garbage, but my doctor, who has prescribed it for me, can’t prescribe medicinal marijuana? Why? Because we have an idea everybody who does it sits around smoking. There are 50 different ways to utilize it. You can eat it; you can process it into a liquid; or you can turn it into a pill form. The willow tree was taken apart about 200 years ago and turned into aspirin. And we all take it."[4]


Tod Mikuriya, MD, psychiatrist and medical coordinator, stated in 2001: "Cannabis is leading the way for a more holistic type of medical care, a general revolt against corporate rationed care and traditional pharmaceutical company approaches to medicine. Patients use marijuana to get off toxic drugs. They find fellowship in compassion clubs. They find empowerment in fighting against prohibition, standing up to police and demagogues. Our opponents can threaten our freedom, but they can't kill our spirit."[5]


Mollie Fry, MD, a physician specializing in medical marijuana, stated on Apr. 7, 2006 in an interview with ProCon.org: "I took an oath to do no harm. If a doctor is willing to give you a prescription for a drug that is addictive or could kill you, then why should you not be able to choose a non-toxic drug like marijuana?"[6]


Mary Lynn Mathre, MSN, RN, Co-founder and President of Patients Out of Time. "A Virginia Nurse Takes on a Tough Issue: Medical Marijuana." The American Nurse. Nov.-Dec. 2000: "There are sick people out there for whom marijuana has made a world of difference. We give meds that can kill people, or ruin their liver. We put in feeding tubes for people who can't eat. We should be advocating for the rights of a patient to use this medication if it's helping."[7]

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