So the Supreme Court is considering whether "medical necessity" is an
acceptable defense for the use of marijuana to alleviate unpleasant
symptoms and medicinal side effects in serious illnesses (3/29, A-6).

This strikes me as the inverse of a TV vignette of some years ago wherein a
condemned man, facing a firing squad, refuses a last cigarette because it
would be bad for his health.

Criminalization of the use of marijuana has become ludicrous. It absorbs
vast resources for enforcement, which is ineffective. It restricts growing
of fiber-made hemp because it may be used to disguise "smoking" grade
marijuana -- an inestimable loss to agriculture.

Want to increase the effectiveness of our police? Decriminalize and monitor
the growing and consumption of marijuana, in the way we now control brewing
beer and wine. Our statutes allow the brewing of reasonable quantities of
beer and wine for private consumption. There should be an equivalent
statute for marijuana.

Certainly police and probably the Supreme Court have better things to do
than make criminals out of terminally ill people who seem to get relief
from inhaling the smoke of an herb.

Harvey A. Jetmore Jr., Roeland Park

Newshawk: Phin MacDonald
Pubdate: Mon, 02 Apr 2001
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Copyright: 2001 The Kansas City Star
Author: Harvey A. Jetmore Jr