Saturday, October 16, 2004

Short takes

I'm off for a short walk and some errands but I found this little oddity from Alaska just now that I couldn't resist passing on. This op-ed by the director of the Alaska Drug Forum sounds more like just an introduction. It takes so long to list his 40 years of credentials in the field of family medicine and addiction that he doesn't get to say much more than this, but it's still strong I think.

In the early 1980s, at the request of the Legislature, with a committee of the Alaska State Medical Association, I reviewed the effects of marijuana. The committee concluded that marijuana, an hallucinogen, affected control and coordination as much as did alcohol, but had no short or long-term ill effects and was not addicting. In general, it was found to be less dangerous than alcohol and it was felt that it should be legally available.

Unfortunately, because of fear created and perpetuated by uneducated politicians, this relatively harmless drug has been made illegal.

I have a lot of hope for this initiative. If this doesn't pass it won't be because the reformers didn't work hard enough.


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