Medical marijuana can help patients

To the Editor:

I appreciate the editorial published in Denton Publications urging the public to examine the facts associated with proposals to legalize marijuana.

It was interesting to read that the first efforts to establish laws against growing hemp — which up until 1883 was the largest crop grown worldwide for its various uses in industry — were pushed by the southern U.S. cotton lobby which wanted to curb competition. Who would have thought — cotton.

This editorial exhibited good research and insight as to who was and is behind such prohibition.

Now, let’s talk about legalizing medical uses of marijuana. The next step in the fight against legalization could very well involve the drug manufacturers as you stated in the editorial.

Medical use of marijuana definitely involves people’s health and our compassion as a country.

Marijuana can provide relief from many chronic syndromes, including neurological conditions that have movement-disorder components. Such afflictions include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and seizure disorders, as well as symptoms endured by patients previously suffering strokes. This extensive list possibly could include more syndromes, which we won’t know until bonafide research is allowed.

Ingesting marijuana can also have a positive effect on people afflicted with autism, as well as those undergoing chemotherapy.

So, one would wonder why drug manufacturers would be against it — but the fact is, they can’t patent marijuana, because it’s not a manufactured chemical, it’s a naturally grown plant — so not only can they not profit from manufacturing it, the medical marijuana would compete with drugs they already have on the market for these disorders, but the marijuana wouldn’t have the drugs’ side effects.

Back to those who are suffering with these disorders. I’m sure the last thing they would want to do is use medical marijuana to get “high.” Also, the beneficial elements of the plant are primarily the other natural compounds in the plant, not the psychoactive THC component.

But the basic question remains, who are we to deprive them of relief and a sense of well-being?

Donna Flanagan, DC

Warrensburg, NY

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