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Gore Questions Medical Marijuana

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May 10,00
The Associated Press
Source: StarTribune
Al Gore said Thursday that there are better alternatives to the medical use of marijuana because " the science does not show... that it is the proper medication for pain."
The Democratic presidential candidate, on a visit to a high school, was asked by a student for his position on whether doctors should be allowed to prescribe marijuana to treat pain. Gore said that question should be decided " strictly on the science." " Right now, the science does not show me or the experts whose judgment I trust that it is the proper medication for pain and that there
are not better alternatives available in every situation, " he responded.
The vice president said it was his " belief and understanding" that there is " no reliable evidence" that marijuana " is a superior, effective treatment for pain in any situation where there is not a better alternative
available today." " But if the science ever shows that it is, then that should determine the
outcome, " he added. Gore, who mentioned his sister' s death from cancer in 1984, said that it
is very important that people suffering through painful illnesses not be denied pain medication.
Last December, during a forum in New Hampshire, Gore said he was open to the idea of letting doctors prescribe the illegal drug for patients to
manage pain. He said sister' s doctor had prescribed marijuana for her, but that she refused to take it. " If it had worked for her, then I think she should have had the ability to get her pain relieved that way, " Gore said at the time.
He also said he did not favor legalizing marijuana, " but where you have sufficient controls, I think doctors ought to have that option" to prescribe it.
The Clinton-Gore administration has vigorously opposed marijuana initiatives on state ballots, saying they would prejudge clinical research
to determine the safety of marijuana.

Cudahy, Calif. (AP)
Copyright 2000 Associated Press