Marijuana Not a Narcotic

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 15, 2003

In the Oct. 10 editorial "Weed Watch: What Is the DEA Smoking?," the only thing I would correct is the term "narcotic" as applied to cannabis. Marijuana is not a narcotic: It is totally pharmacologically different from true narcotics like heroin, opium, morphine, or any other natural or synthetic substance meant to relieve major pain. "Narco" in Latin means "sleep" and refers to poppy-based preparations so commonly abused, whether by prescription or not. The government uses this to confuse the innocuous cannabis plant with truly dangerous substances to promote their political and moral agendas against the will of the American people, who in repeated polls show that they overwhelmingly support the decriminalization of cannabis for adult use and medical necessity. There is no shred of scientific evidence that would relate the substances in any way. For jackbooted, masked, cursing, machine gun-toting DEA agents to arrest quadriplegics in their wheelchairs for growing a few "too many" plants despite having legal permission from their state is more insanity in the failed "War on Drugs." Logic, reason, common sense, and compassion for the seriously ill is what Americans want in relation to cannabis. The prison/drug-testing/alcohol/petrochemical/tobacco/police cabals object to citizens having access to an easily grown plant – it is hard to tax and represents a threat to the business they have built on lies, campaign contributions, and other political influence for generations. They aren't compassionate conservatives when they condemn to prison the innocent and peaceful cannabists for the use of a natural substance that has proved to be so efficacious in so many diseases and ailments. The government is on an immoral and unconstitutional basis in thwarting the states' desires to regulate this important and beneficial herb. The Bush/Ashcroft/Walters triumvirate disregards states' rights by not permitting the states to enact and enforce their own regulations. Evidently they believe that the people of the various states are not intelligent enough or informed enough to make these kinds of decisions.
Richard Moore
Franklin, N.C.
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