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Medicinal Marijuana Has Long History


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As the son of a pharmacist from Rice Lake, a 1963 graduate of the University of Wisconsin who started his medical career in the Medical School in Madison, and someone with almost 40 years' experience in the field of drug abuse treatment and prevention and the last five years evaluating patients for medicinal cannabis, I want to compliment Rep. Gregg Underheim and the Wisconsin Assembly Health Committee for their recognition of the contemporary medicinal value of cannabis.

The committee is approaching this seriously and getting valuable input. It recognizes the 5,000 years of experience of medicinal use of cannabis. It is aware that just over the border in Canada, tincture of cannabis (Sativex) is being marketed by Bayer AG and in England the Home Office has given physicians the OK to prescribe tincture of cannabis.

I have taught courses on drugs at California universities and am very familiar with the history of medicinal cannabis use in the United States from 1839 to the present, and aware of the American Medical Association's testimony at the 1937 marijuana tax hearings that "the AMA knows of no danger in the use of cannabis and takes histories from countless patients with severe medical illness who benefited from their medicinal use of cannabis."

Consequently, I am baffled by the opposition of the Wisconsin Medical Society. This does not represent the compassion shown by the doctors in Rice Lake and Rochester who provided my father's care, nor does it reflect the quality of basic science I was taught by the UW School of Medicine in Madison.

I have seen patients who come in in wheelchairs, with canes, stooped in pain, who tell of the relief they receive from cannabis. These are people from all walks of life rich and poor, mostly over 40. Several have broken down in tears after receiving their approval making it legal to grow and possess cannabis. They say they are not lawbreakers or criminals and now can use this to medicate without fear of breaking the law.

We have far too many problems in the country to waste government resources arresting the ill and dying for using a medicine that provides relief and is legal in Canada, less than 100 miles from the Wisconsin border.

Dr. David Bearman
Goleta, Calif.

Complete Title: Medicinal Marijuana Has Long History and Much Value

Source: Capital Times, The (WI)
Author: Dr. David Bearman
Published: January 9, 2006
Copyright: 2006 The Capital Times
Contact: tctvoice@madison.com
Website: http://www.madison.com/tct/
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