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Letter: Marijuana dispensaries will imperil community

Marijuana dispensaries will imperil community

How do you feel being the one community in Western New York to be experimented on? Starting January 2016, Amherst has been selected to host the only two marijuana dispensaries in the region to test “whether pot can be effectively used as a medicine without being abused.” Good scientific studies have been done showing marijuana helps alleviate symptoms in humans for cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis, but not for the other illnesses designated by the state for marijuana treatment. For these latter illnesses, it will be experimentation on the ill, including children.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo bypassed the Legislature, using a 1980 public health law provision allowing for the use of controlled substances for certain diseases. Is marijuana a “controlled substance” or an illegal one? By federal law, it is illegal for a doctor to write a prescription for it.

Money becomes the incentive to push marijuana, not health. Unfortunately, pharmacies won’t be the ones selling it as one of many products; rather, businesses dedicated to marijuana use will set up the dispensaries. Meanwhile, a 7 percent excise tax will incentivize New York State to promote the sale of the drug.

Test marijuana in FDA clinical trials for efficacy, safety, dose and delivery method, and for those diseases for which it is found effective, dispense it from a pharmacy as a restricted, doctor-prescribed, controlled substance. Let’s return to reason in deciding potential marijuana use, instead of jeopardizing our community.

Noreen Johnson