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posted: 1/21/2013 5:00 AM

Do the research on medical cannabis

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Your Jan. 16 editorial ("Towns wise to plan on medical marijuana") was both appreciated and intriguing. I'm glad you're encouraging communities to be proactive in planning for medical cannabis to be relegalized, but the editorial questions the value of medical cannabis. Surely the staff at the Daily Herald are familiar with the existence of studies documenting the medical efficacy of cannabis. And the Daily Herald must know about the federal government supplying medical cannabis to a select few Americans, and that under sections 11 and 15 of the Illinois Cannabis Control Act doctors should already be able to engage in research using medical cannabis with patients. Indeed the language in section 15 states that the Department of Human Services "shall encourage research on cannabis," but none has been done because the State Police have never written rules for that research program.

Perhaps the Daily Herald forgot about a 2011 RAND Corp. study noting lower crime rates in areas where medical cannabis dispensaries exist. It is also easy to forget the additional revenue that is flowing into government coffers from the taxes on medical cannabis, especially in states pressed for money like Michigan. And never mind the fact that there are people struggling to survive and overcome cancer, MS or HIV who could benefit from this medicine. It would behoove the Daily Herald to do some reporting on cannabinoids (the chemical compounds found in cannabis) and the history of cannabis prohibition. Maybe then your editorial board will be willing to join growing number of newspapers and Americans questioning the legitimacy of cannabis prohibition, whether for medical uses or otherwise.

Dan Linn

Executive director

Illinois NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws)

Sycamore

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