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Last week, we covered the new inter-agency letter from the Feds which stated (without the complication of actually providing evidence) that marijuana has no medicinal value. A lot of people immediately expressed strong opinions about that letter. The commentary continues, the best (IMO) coming from John Tierney. Here’s a snippet:
Washingtons latest prescription for patients in pain is the statement issued last week by the Food and Drug Administration on the supposed evils of medical marijuana. The F.D.A. is being lambasted, rightly, by scientists for ignoring some evidence that marijuana can help severely ill patients. But its the kind of statement given by a hostage trying to please his captors, who in this case are a coalition of Republican narcs on Capitol Hill, in the White House and at the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Action is being suggested, too. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher bills) has demanded that the FDA actually support their claims. Here’s a clip from to FDA Acting Commissioner von Eschenbach:
In light of our concerns over this release, please inform us if there is new scientific information that disputes the IOM study, including the results of the evaluation, any scientific paperwork generated in the study, the length of time the evaluation occurred, and whether the DEA or any other federal agencies aside from the ones mentioned in the letter had a role in the evaluation. If, as the press release leads us to believe, there is in fact no evaluation, please let us know what motivated the FDA to write a release that lacks scientific review. It disheartens us to see the FDA veer off course in this area of public health especially at the expense of many terminally ill Americans. We understand that FDA’s mission is to protect public health, which is why we respectfully request that you respond to these questions on this very important issue.
Here’s the list of the good guys (on this issue, at least) who cosigned the letter:
Ron Paul, Barney Frank, Sam Farr, Tammy Baldwin, Rafael Grijalva, Robert Wexler, Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Dana Rohrabacher, Jim McDermott, Tom Lantos, Jerrold Nadler, John Olver, Lois Capps, Julia Carson, Peter Stark, Jan Schakowsky, George Miller, Zoe Lofgren, Tom Allen, Barbara Lee and Gary Ackerman.
There are bad guys who want action, too. In this case, a newspaper reporter from Georgia wants to:
If I were dictator of this country, I would not only outlaw drug users and addicts, but I would execute them as well, so they dont needlessly overcrowd jails. In the case of juveniles and marginal offenders that dont necessarily deserve death, I would banish them to an island. Like on the television show “Lost,” they would live there under the loose supervision of some shadow administration. But they would basically be on their own to survive.
Now that’s what I call a healthy dose of compassionate conservatism.