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Argument: Marijuana is an effective medicine and treatment for many illnesses

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Supporting quotations

Elvy Musikka, a medical marijuana patient in the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Investigational New Drug (IND) Program. Letter to President Bill Clinton. Jan. 13, 1997: "I am patient no. 3 of 8 who today currently receives medical marijuana through the federal government of the United States...By 1991, I am aware of at least 50 patients who through extensive medical records, reputable doctors, and sometimes through courts -- such as in my case -- were able to convince all three drug-related agencies, FDA, DEA, and NIDA, that for us, marijuana isn't just medicine, it is the most efficient, reliable and safest part of our treatment and sometimes it is our only treatment."[1]


Jack Herer, author and pro-marijuana activist, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. 1985: "There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in cannabis that are healing agents in medical and herbal treatments. The primary one is THC, and the effectiveness of therapy is directly proportionate to the herb's potency or concentration of THC."[2]


Judge Francis L. Young, DEA Administrative Law Judge. Administrative ruling on Petition to Reschedule Marijuana. September, 1988: "The evidence in this record [9-6-88 ruling] clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."[3]


Lyn Nofziger, former Press Secretary to Ronald Reagan, wrote the following in the foreword to the 1999 book Marijuana RX: The Patients' Fight for Medicinal Pot, by Robert C. Randall and Alice M. O'Leary: "Marijuana clearly has medicinal value. Thousands of seriously ill Americans have been able to determine that for themselves, albeit illegally. Like my own family, these individuals did not wish to break the law but they had no other choice. The numerous attempts to legitimately resolve the issue-via state legislation and federal administrative hearings-have too often been ignored or thwarted by misguided federal agencies. Several states conducted extensive, and expensive, research programs which demonstrated marijuana's medical utility-particularly in the treatment of chemotherapy side-effects. Francis L. Young, the chief administrative law judge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, ruled marijuana has legitimate medical applications and should be available to doctors."[4]


David Hadorn, MD, PhD, Medical Consultant for GW Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. "Use of Cannabis Medicines in Clinical Practice." July 7th, 2003: "I have seen many patients with chronic pain, muscle spasms, nausea, anorexia, and other unpleasant symptoms obtain significant -- often remarkable -- relief from cannabis medicines, well beyond what had been provided by traditional (usually opiate-based) pain relievers."[5]


Mark A.R. Kleiman, PhD, Professor of Public Policy UCLA School of Public Affairs. Mar. 4, 2004: "Cannabis is almost certainly a useful treatment for at least some patients with several different diagnoses, and ought to be so recognized by the FDA and therefore sold lawfully at pharmacies under physicians' prescription. I keep hoping that the National Institute on Drug Abuse will relax the policy which has effectively prevented researchers from acquiring cannabis to use in clinical research, and that the medical marijuana advocates will devote some tiny fraction of their lititigation-and-petitioning budget to the medical research that could take this issue off the table politically."[6]


Frank Lucido, MD, physician in private medical practice in Berkeley, CA. Email to ProCon.org. Apr. 6, 2006: "Cannabis has a long, impressive history as a safe and effective medicine... I am widely known to be a thorough, caring, and trusted physician, who takes the time and effort to establish that the patient is appropriate in their use of medical cannabis."[7]

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