Legal Marijuana Smokers Testify at Institute of Medicine's Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana 1/23/98

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


(Press release from the Marijuana Policy Project,

January 22, 1998

NEW ORLEANS -- Two of the eight patients in the entire nation who have legal permission to use medicinal marijuana testified at the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) public hearing on Thursday, January 22, in New Orleans at the Marriott Hotel.

IOM is conducting an 18-month "comprehensive review" of "the health effects and potential health risks of marijuana use." This research and subsequent report was commissioned for $1 million by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in January 1997.

IOM's first hearing was held in California in December, and another is scheduled for February 23-24 in Washington, D.C. The topic of the New Orleans hearing was "Acute and Chronic Effects of Marijuana," which focused mainly on the potential health risks of marijuana use.

IOM is not allowed to address policy and legal issues. Instead, the study is limited to scientific and clinical issues. Nevertheless, Marijuana Policy Project Director of Communications Chuck Thomas says, "It is important to make the study investigators aware that thousands of marijuana- using patients are living in fear of arrest and prison -- and IOM's recommendations should reflect this emergency."

Barbara Douglass and Irvin Rosenfeld receive legal marijuana from the federal government to treat multiple sclerosis and pain caused by bone tumors, respectively. This program, which now serves eight (8) patients nationwide, has been closed to all new applicants since 1992. Douglass and Rosenfeld testified that their marijuana use has not caused any negative health effects, despite their use of several joints a day for decades.

Greg Scott, an illegal user of medicinal marijuana, explained how marijuana helped treat his AIDS conditions and contrasted the effects of marijuana with the debilitating effects of the many prescription drugs he has taken, including morphine. Scott said, "Every day, I risk arrest, property forfeiture, fines and imprisonment."

Jim Montgomery, who was imprisoned for using medicinal marijuana, will explain how the horrendous health conditions in prison caused him to have his leg amputated -- which is unquestionably more damaging than his medical use of marijuana.

The MPP's Chuck Thomas said, "Patients face one year in prison for a joint, five years for a plant. Marijuana works as a medicine for some people. Research should not detract from the number one goal of getting smokable marijuana approved as a legal medicine."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #26, 1/23/98 New York City Mayor Giuliani is Caught Suppressing Report Of His Own Aids Commission On Needle Exchange | ...But Gets $120 Million from Clinton For More Cops For His New Zero Tolerance Drug War | Justice Department Report: 100,000 More Americans Behind Bars | Two Southern California Medical Marijuana Clubs Targeted by Law Enforcement | 17 Year-Old First Time Offender Faces 10 Years for Role in $20 Marijuana Sale: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | HHS to Conduct Binding Review of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | Legal Marijuana Smokers Testify at Institute of Medicine's Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana | Forums: Boston 1/29, Minneapolis 2/5, San Francisco 5-Feb | New Hampshire Man Kept Behind Bars for Refusing to Acknowledge God in his Recovery | Penn State Professor Protests Pot Laws with One-Man Smoke-in | Miami School Drug Test Plan Altered | Editorial: From Dr. King's Dream to Drug War Nightmare

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]