Published Apr 19, 2002
From News Services
Gov. Jesse Ventura today championed the cause of medical marijuana use, soon after he sent a video address to the conference of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
"I'm sending you this greeting to show my support for the good work you're doing, especially in the field of medical marijuana," he said in the video message to NORML delegates in San Francisco, according to a transcript of the video.
Adds Ventura: "What are we waiting for? How much should people suffer because others won't use common sense?"
Ventura has long been an advocate of legalizing marijuana for medical use, and two state departments sponsored a forum on the topic a year ago.
Today, Ventura addressed the issue on his weekly radio show: "Marijuana should be allowed to be prescribed by a doctor for medical purposes. (Doctors) can prescribe you morphine derivatives. ... I don't understand why a doctor shouldn't prescribe you cannabis ... if you're like a cancer patient ... getting chemotherapy (to comfort the patient)."
The governor also bristled at government's role in the issue, saying, "I'll be damned if I'm lying with a fatal disese if I'm going to let the government tell me what I can or can't use."
The NORML conference declares on its Web site: "There is nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and it should be of no interest or concern to the government.
"Said another way, the responsible use of marijuana is NORML. That premise underlies the 2002 NORML Conference."
Ventura also told the delegates that he had eaten up an entire order of hemp-fed beef sent to him by actor and marijuana advocate Woody Harrelson, another speaker at the convention.
"Tell Woody I could use another order," Ventura said.
© Copyright 2002 Star Tribune