Our opinion:?A crippling fear

Had Gov. Tom Corbett been in office 80 years ago, he might have opposed the use of penicillin in Pennsylvania because any drug derived from a fungus or mold could be bad, since, as we all know, fungi and molds can lead to diarrhea and other awful things.

Thus is his reasoning, based on his own medical assumptions that marijuana derivitives should not be used for medical purposes in Pennsylvania, despite strong medical evidence that compounds found in the “demon weed” can be useful for cancer patients and others in a controlled setting.

While we agree that recreational use of marijuana is a hazard to society, just as recreational use of other drugs that are beneficial in a controlled setting are dangerous, even deadly, what’s being offered up in bill-form by a Democrat and a Republican in concert does not suggest that marijuana be approved for recreational use. It is a bill allowing derivitives of the plant for the easing of disease and medical research only.

Corbett has indicated he is opposed to any use of marijuana, even medical use, because he considers it a gateway drug, that is, a substance that generally leads to the use of more powerful and addictive substances.

The concept that the governor appears to overlook is the controlled setting in which marijuana could be prescribed. Is he aware, for instance, that cannabinoid, a family of drugs derived from the THC properties of marijuana, are already frequently prescribed for enhancing appetite in geriatric and AIDS patients, for treating certain types of seizures in children? Is he worried that we are creating octogenarians possessed of reefer madness?

There is a host of stimulants, depressants, mood enhancing and stabilizing drugs that have been found to be beneficial, even life-saving when used under a physician’s care. In almost every case, these drugs can be abused.

But, should their potential for abuse render them unavailable for proper medical use?

We don’t think so.