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Letters: Pot as prescription

July 29, 2012
  • Pedestrians walk past a medical marijuana dispensary in Echo Park on Tuesday, when the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban pot shops.
Pedestrians walk past a medical marijuana dispensary in Echo Park on Tuesday,… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

Re "Is marijuana good medicine?," Opinion, July 26

Dr. David Sack says few medical conditions are affected by medical marijuana — such as cancer and HIV (the ability to actually eat while in treatment), migraines, anxiety disorders and the ability to fall asleep, to name some of them.

A few years ago, a woman I loved was diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time. The use of illegal marijuana gave her a decent quality of life until she passed.

I have a solution to the concerns over marijuana dispensaries: Close them down. Then have ill patients buy illegal marijuana in front of the police and insist that they be arrested. The officers can wheel, assist and cajole these suffering people to their cells. When it is your loved one being put in jail, perhaps the hard-hearted will soften.

Put the stuff under Food and Drug Administration control. Tax it like any other cash crop.

Chuck Rinaldi

Huntington Beach

Most people who smoke marijuana do so for euphoria. Marijuana is not medicine; it is a drug.

Drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and marijuana need to be controlled with effective warning labels, high taxes, age restrictions and more. Warning labels should be exhaustive. Alcohol labels leave out pertinent information, including the fact that withdrawal may be life-threatening.

When you tell people important details, they are more likely to make better decisions.

Stephen V. Hymowitz

Los Angeles

Sack makes a number of valid points about the adverse effects of chronic marijuana use, but he fails to point out that the same could be said of alcohol.

And some of his statements belong in the Catch-22 category. He says that increased funding for marijuana research might lead to greater understanding of the effects of cannabis on our bodies, but he overlooks that the government discourages independent research.

He says that independent labs have found mold, synthetic insecticides and other toxins in pot. This isn't surprising, as the government obviously doesn't have any regulations dealing with cannabis purity.

Steven Asimow



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