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1:24 PM Wed, Nov. 14th

Letter: Cannabis can help, unlike legal drugs

EDITOR:

MATForce, in its impotent criticism of cannabis, repeatedly references addiction as the salient feature in their quixotic struggle to reinforce cultural conditioning and bolster the prohibition regime with all its derivative industries intact. Most ideologies benefit from the imprimatur of consistency, and that espoused by MATForce is no different. Lumping cannabis with the likes of methamphetamine is quite lumpen and not so subtle rhetorical sleight of hand.

There is a great deal of ignorance surrounding the issue of "addiction" and many would prefer to turn off their analytical faculties as soon as the word is read. What is never mentioned is the glaring fact that caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and nicotine share this property without any of the benefits of medical cannabis. In fact, Health and Human Services holds US Patent 6630507 for cannabinoids as neuro-protectants and antioxidants. This is in accordance with the findings of Hampson et al. (2000) which also demonstrates cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of the plant with increased concentration in the Indica species, to have a greater capacity to prevent glutamate toxicity than vitamin C.

The real salient features of our environment are hypoxia and dehydration both largely inescapable at altitude during drought. These factors don't bode well for the retired or those seeking rehabilitation from substance abuse. We need not look further than such unsightly things as the "choking game" and erotic asphyxia to see the disturbing connection between reinforcing behaviors and oxygen deprivation.

Those suffering from idiopathic pain, demyelinating disease, progressive dementia and post-traumatic stress have little to no hope in solutions from the "legitimate" pharmacopoeia.

Benjamin Schild

BA Neuroscience and Philosophy

Oberlin College

Prescott