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A Healthy Dose of Medical Marijuana

July 25, 2002

Thanks for "Court Accepts Medical Pot Use" (July 19), your article on the California Supreme Court's decision to help protect users of medical marijuana from prosecution. Few of us may realize that marijuana has been illegal for only about 60 years; its medical use goes back to 2737 BC.

The court's decision could have a dramatic impact. Thousands here in California could turn to medical marijuana for relief from illnesses. Other states could develop comparable policies, thanks to California's lead. Researchers might become more willing to confirm that the drug reduces pain, headache, muscle tremors and nausea while improving appetite. Braver souls might investigate the drug's potential to treat arthritis, seizures, insomnia and anxiety.

In an age of rising costs for health care, this decision could help support inexpensive treatment for many ailments. We could all save vast sums in the long run.

Mitch Earleywine

Los Angeles

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