Reading today's Pioneer Press and Star-Tribune editorials urging legalization of so-called medical marijuana, you might think they were motivated by compassion for the suffering. That's what they want you to think. That's why the editorials focus on the relief some people with nauseau or chronic pain obtain from smoking marijuana, and condescendingly dismiss legitimate law enforcement and drug policy concerns.
It's also why they don't mention the most basic reason why legalizing smoked marijuana for medical purposes is dumb and unnecessary: true "medical" marijuana is already legal. It's called Marinol, the prescription form of the active compound in marijuana.
Smoking is not a legitimate delivery system for any medication. Smoking anything for medical purposes is not safe, it's not reliable, dosage of medication is uncontrollable, purity is not consistent. By contrast, Marinol, as a prescription medication, is a safe, reliable, controllable - and legal - way to obtain the medical benefits of marijuana.
Don't take our word for it - read for yourself: "Medical" Marijuana - The Facts (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/ongoing/marinol.html)
Why didn't either the Strib or the Pioneer Press mention Marinol? It's simple - the push for legalizing so-called medical marijuana isn't about compassion. If it were really about compassion, they would be vigorously promoting the use of Marinol for people who might benefit from it instead of trying to legalize the smoking of marijuana.
No doubt, compassion is the motivation for some of the legislation's sponsors. But they - and the suffering people who try to find relief from marijuana - are being used by the behind-the-scenes backers of the legislation, whose real goal is legalization of marijuana across the board, not just for "medical" purposes. If you doubt that, ask the lobbyists for the legislation who pays them and where they worked before coming here to push medical marijuana.