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"The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain,
nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis,
cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do
so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs
that physicians prescribe every day."

- - - Joycelyn Elders, M.D.
former U.S. Surgeon General, 3/26/04

"The American Medical Association (AMA) calls for further adequate and
well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who
have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence
suggests possible efficacy and the application of such results to the understanding and treatment of disease.

The AMA recommends that marijuana be retained in Schedule I of the Controlled
Substances Act pending the outcome of such studies."

- - - American Medical Association
June 2001

Supporters of medical marijuana said on Monday they were gaining support in Congress but not enough to pass a measure expected in the U.S. House of Representatives this week that would prevent the federal government from prosecuting patients who use the drug.

Medical marijuana popular at polls (AllPolitics, November 4) -- The election brought big victories to a group that had foundered after previous election gains were stalled in courts: supporters of medical marijuana who say smoking pot may help ease pain and nausea for some patients.

Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Washington state approved various ballot measures on the issue, while the results from three other locations were not yet clear:

Alaska's measure will shield users of medical marijuana from most state and local laws that forbid possession, while protecting doctors who recommend its use.

Arizona voters reaffirmed their 1996 approval of a plan that makes legal the prescribing of medical marijuana and some other illegal drugs for seriously ill patients.

Nevada passed a constitutional amendment approving the use of medical marijuana pending a second "yes" vote in 2000.

Washington state's endorsement came a year after voters vetoed a broader plan that some say would have left the door open to legalizing other drugs. "We worked hard to bring back a very tightly worded, specific medical marijuana initiative. It's a model for the rest of the country," said Rob Killian, the Seattle physician who sponsored the Washington state measure.

Early returns in Oregon indicated medical marijuana would pass there, but the results of medical marijuana votes in Colorado and Washington, D.C., were in limbo:

In the District of Columbia, election officials opted to keep results under cover because Congress, which controls the capital's budget, opposes legalization and cut funding for the initiative after it appeared on the ballot.

In Colorado, ballots cast were not counted, pending the outcome of a legal challenge.

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