The Pilot Editorial
Dose of compassion

This has been going on for too many years now. Local MS sufferer Barbara Douglass is again going to a rally at the capitol to plead for the legalized use of medicinal marijuana.

Despite all of the study, all of the talk and all of the need, lawmakers are still dragging their feet on this issue. It seems both cruel and ridiculous.

Doctors have prescribed marijuana for relief of the pain that accompanies several chronic conditions, including AIDS. Barbara Douglass can tell you what it has meant to her condition.

Donít get us wrong. Marijuana is a drug. We are not calling for it to be legalized for recreational use, or treated as anything less than a potent drug.

It should be controlled by doctors who can fully inform users of its benefits and limitations -- most definitely operation of a motor vehicle. It should be controlled by prescriptions, as are so many important drugs with much stronger effects on the body. And like other prescription drugs, the laws should stomp hard on those who obtain or use it illegally.

We must get to that point where we can separate marijuana as a prescription medicine from the war on drugs, which we continue to support with all of our hearts. We can accept the former without giving an inch on the latter.

Once again, they will rally this August on the steps of the capitol, while the people who work in there ignore the plea.

How in the world can the federal government and state board of pharmacy examiners expressly approve of the use of medicinal marijuana for relief of Barbara Douglassí condition, then deny it to others with the same condition or those similar in terms of chronic pain and debilitation?

Maybe it is the politicians blocking this use who need a medicinal dose...

Of compassion.

The Pilot Editorial, Pilot Tribune (Storm Lake, Iowa), July 11, 1995.