Phillip Alden, a writer living in Redwood City, Calif., told me that marijuana was a godsend for him in dealing with the effects of AIDS. He said it eased excruciating pains in his fingertips, controlled nausea and enabled him to avoid the wasting syndrome that afflicts AIDS patients who are unable to eat enough food.Small-government conservatives and libertarians, like myself, are never surprised to learn of yet another thing that the government does inefficiently, ineffectively, or just plain incompetently.
But Mr. Alden said only some kinds of marijuana worked - not the weak variety provided by the federal government, which he smoked during a research study.
"It was awful stuff," he said. "They started out with a very low-grade plant, rolled it up with stems and seeds, and then freeze-dried it so that they probably ruined any of the THC crystals. All it did was give me headaches and bronchitis. The bronchitis got so bad I had to drop out of the study."
The passage above, from John Tierney's recent Op-Ed in the Times, points to a tantalizing clue about why the Federal government continues to claim that marijuana has no medical efficacy:
They're running all of the controlled experiments with Federally-grown, grade-Z headache reefer.
Gosh, it almost seems like they're trying to stack the deck.
As for rolling up the Federally-approved joints with seeds and stems inside, any reasonably worldly college freshman could apparently get a lucrative Beltway Bandit gig as an advisor to the Federal agency responsible for this ludicrous program. Kids, think how good this will look on your resume!
Related: A Whiff of "Reefer Madness" in US Drug Policy (NY Times, August 15, 2005)