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Governor O'Malley should sign medical marijuana legislation

Gov. Martin O'Malleyneeds to do the right thing and sign medical marijuana legislation if it makes it to his desk ("Patients urge OK of medical marijuana," March 10).

While there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink cancerous tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug. If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy and it helps the patient feel better, then it's working. In the end, medical marijuana is a quality of life decision best left to patients and their doctors.

Drug warriors waging war on non-corporate drugs contend that organic marijuana is not an effective health intervention. Their prescribed intervention for medical marijuana patients is handcuffs, jail cells and criminal records.

This heavy-handed approach suggests that drug warriors should not be dictating health care decisions. It's long past time to let doctors decide what is right for their patients; sick patients should not be jailed for daring to seek relief from marijuana.

Robert Sharpe, Lancaster, Pa.

The writer is a policy analyst for the advocacy group Common Sense for Drug Policy.

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