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Argument: State should not override physician judgement on marijuana

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Supporting quotations

Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH) and 2008 Democratic Candidate for US President, stated the following in an Aug. 9, 2007 Democratic presidential forum aired on Viacom's Logo cable network: "It's a matter between doctors and patients, and if doctors want to prescribe medical marijuana to relieve pain, compassion requires that the government support that."[1]

Ralph Nader, LLB, attorney, author, and consumer advocate, stated the following in an Oct. 8, 2004 interview with the Drug War Chronicle: "The Drug Enforcement Administration should not be practicing medicine."[2]

Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, former Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana." New England Journal of Medicine. Jan. 30, 1997: "I believe that a federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane... Federal authorities should rescind their prohibition of the medicinal use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to treat. The government should change marijuana's status from that of a Schedule 1 drug (considered to be potentially addictive and with no current medical use) to that of a Schedule 2 drug (potentially addictive but with some accepted medical use) and regulate it accordingly."[3]

Bill O'Reilly, MA, Host of The O'Reilly Factor. July 7, 2004: "I believe Montel Williams when he says, 'Look, medical marijuana helps me, helps me cope with this disease, cope with my suffering. There's no reason why I should be denied it.' And I agree with Montel Williams that if this is the case, if a doctor -- a doctor -- says that he needs it for his MS, he should have it... Montel Williams believes, because he actively smokes marijuana, that it helps his MS. See, and I'm saying to myself, if we're going to err here -- and he believes it and it helps him -- let him have it. It's not hurting society."[4]

Karen O'Keefe, JD, attorney and Legislative Analyst for Marijuana Policy Project. Pro Sep. 21, 2005: "It is fundamentally wrong to make preserving one's health -- or life -- a crime. Yet the federal law on marijuana and many state laws do just that. There is overwhelming evidence that marijuana is one of the safest available treatment options, when used at the direction of a physician. Even the DEA's Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, came to that conclusion. Research has shown that marijuana alleviates pain, nausea, AIDS and cancer wasting, and glaucoma. In trials where patients have been allowed to present evidence of their medical need for marijuana, courts have frequently found that marijuana it is medically necessary to their health. With roughly 20% of all cancer deaths caused by wasting, it is cruel and senseless to criminalize the doctor-advised use of a safe, effective, and widely available treatment." ♦

Christopher Largen. "Prescription Pot: A Leading Advocate's Heroic Battle to Legalize Medical Marijuana." US Federal Drug Administration's Investigational New Drug (IND) Program. 2003: "Ultimately, the issue is not about laws, science or politics, but sick patients. Making no distinction between individuals circumstances of use, the war on drugs has also become a war on suffering people. Legislators are not health care professionals and patients are not criminals, yet health and law become entwined in a needlessly cruel and sometimes deadly dance... I sincerely hope our work will illuminate the irrational injustice of medical marijuana prohibition...."[5]

The Episcopal Church stated the following in the 1982 67th Convention of the Episcopal Church: "The Episcopal Church urges the adoption by Congress and all states of statutes providing that the use of marijuana be permitted when deemed medically appropriate by duly liscensed medical practitioners."[6]

Andrew Weil, MD, Director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. "Stop the Federal War on Medical Marijuana." San Francisco Chronicle. June 6, 2002: "As a physician, I am frustrated that I cannot prescribe marijuana for patients who might benefit from it. At the very least I would like to be able to refer them to a safe, reliable, quality-controlled source."[7]

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