Appalled by marijuana bias

As soon as I read your “guest column” on Marijuana as Medicine I was appalled. This wasn’t so much an opinion but a politically motivated article intended to be interpreted as hard truth.

My first question, editor, is why your guest columnist, Janet D. Lapey, a former doctor from Massachusetts, who in fact has been executive director of the Concerned Citizens for Drug Prevention and president of Drug Watch International, relates to PSU, and why your staff felt this was an appropriate contribution. She is the type of extreme right-wing advocate who has actually said in the past that pot can cause psychosis.

First off, all her findings were from solely the NIH, who was no doubt looking to bring medi-jauna under ill repute and is a government agency whose shady reports may be influenced by pharmaceutical companies.

In reference to glaucoma, studies dating back to 1971 (Hepler, UCLA) show marijuana significantly reduced IOP in up to 80 percent of participants, in addition to countless personal stories which in other articles Lapey has labeled “unscientific.” Cannabis derivatives have also been treating glaucoma successfully in several countries throughout the world.

In reference to cancer patients, studies beginning from the late ’70s at UNM Cancer Research Center and Harvard Medical School have shown cannabis prevents nausea and vomiting. I’m sure many students here can even recognize it as a hangover cure.

I don’t want to run on forever, but countless studies of neurological disorders and chronic pain have proven marijuana as sage and effective treatment. As well, studies on effects of marijuana on HIV wasting-syndrome have been going on for years. I’m sure most students would agree that pot stimulates appetite. Also, any small effect on the immune system would pale in comparison to that of an unhealthy diet. And you don’t have to go far to discover the countless real side effects of prescription drugs.

In many of the afflictions, the euphoric effects are not only comforting but are a catalyst to giving the patients a heightened awareness and outlook to their problems. Many serious cancer and AIDS patients say that marijuana is the only thing that gives them the inspiration to keep on as well as bear with the rest of their drugs.

Would states pass laws allowing medical marijuana with no evidence? Janet Lapey doesn’t care about the well-being of patients, but instead the protection of her political platform. I thank you for at least the other “opinion” (more like a real cultural response) from an actual Viking and the student interviews, but why this woman’s voice and why the huge graphic of marijuana outweighed by pharmaceuticals. When will God’s creations appear less nefarious than man’s, and who has influenced your staff?

Josh Rivera

junior, art major