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Don't forget illegal drug that can heal

MALCOLM BROWN'S opinion piece, ''Time and again, drug money corrupts even our finest'' in Thursday's Herald, is further proof of the disaster that the so-called war on drugs has been since it was declared by US President Richard Nixon in 1971.

MALCOLM BROWN'S opinion piece, ''Time and again, drug money corrupts even our finest'' in Thursday's Herald, is further proof of the disaster that the so-called war on drugs has been since it was declared by US President Richard Nixon in 1971.

MALCOLM BROWN'S opinion piece, ''Time and again, drug money corrupts even our finest'' in Thursday's Herald, is further proof of the disaster that the so-called war on drugs has been since it was declared by US President Richard Nixon in 1971.

I remember attending a Marijuana Party rally in Hyde Park with hundreds of other people in 1976 during the election campaign leading up to Neville Wran's Labor Party taking office in 1976. Word had gone around that Labor was sympathetic to the decriminalisation of cannabis, and it wouldn't be long before the young people's drug of choice would be able to be used without the threat of penalties. Those young people are now approaching retirement and nothing has changed.

On Tuesday, August 23, there was a medical marijuana rally outside state Parliament House. The police and media were in attendance as Tony Bower of Mullaway's Medical Cannabis, with just a few supporters, attempted to urge the NSW government to approve his application to manufacture and distribute the medicine he has developed. Tony is currently giving away his liquid cannabis tincture to about 300 people around Australia, a couple of whom were in attendance.

One was a young man, Matt, who flew up from Melbourne and has suffered with Crohn's disease for 10 years. The doctors threw everything at him (including chemotherapy) and nothing worked. They told him there was nothing more they could do and when he suggested medical marijuana their response was ''next question please''.

Matt contacted Tony Bower, who has been supplying him with the tincture since June. He has gone from 20 bowel movements a day to about four and the constant pain in the guts, which he said felt like someone stabbing him constantly with a knife, has gone, as has the constant anxiety and insomnia.

Tony Bower's medicine is oil and alcohol-based, extracted from the cannabis plant with all of the drug's illegal properties removed. The benefits claimed for his medical cannabis are extensive.

Meanwhile, a plant that has a record of medicinal uses for thousands of years remains illegal and anyone who dares to use it is threatened with the full force of the law and the people responsible for that law continue to be corrupted by it.

Charles Dickens was correct when he said ''the law is an ass'', particularly while this medicine is unavailable to the multitude of people it could help.

Phil Garratt


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