The Des Moines Register
Post Office Box 957, Des Moines, Iowa 50304
Phone: 515-284-8000 / Fax: 515-286-2504

Page 12A, The Des Moines Register, Thursday, October 24, 1996

The Register's Readers Say

Marijuana is hardly a cure

        Regarding the rally on the state Capitol steps to legalize marijuana for "medicinal" purposes ("He Still Yearns To Reform Laws on Marijuana," Oct. 6):
        Those pushing for drug legalization will try anything to get their nose under the tent. But for one of our state senators -- Elaine Szymoniak -- to legitimize such an obvious attempt to legalize drugs is simply outrageous.
        In the Register article, Szymoniak is quoted as saying marijuana "does help some people."   She added that the only reason she is not introducing a bill to legalize dope for medical use is that there is virtually no support among her colleagues for such legislation.
        No wonder.   The American Medical Association, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies and the American Cancer Society have all rejected marijuana for medical use.  Other, safer painkilling medicines exist that do not contain a dependence-causing euphoria.
        Symoniak apparently doesn't believe such testimony is convincing.

-- Curt Smith
4131 College Ave., Des Moines