Letter to the Moscow Times Concerning the Banning of
Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine in Russia



     It sadly appears that just as the American DEA has for decades tried to suppress the truth concerning the true medicinal benefits of the marijuana plant to its citizens, their Russian equivalent the Federal Anti-Drug Service (Moscow Times, Wednesday, March 17, 2004. Page 3, "Publisher Condemns Attempted Drug Book Seizures") is trying likewise using its own treachery and outright lies combined with its own propaganda arm to denounce and suppress Harvard University Professor Emeritus, Lester Grinspoon's most revealing and groundbreaking book (co-written with James Bakalar), Marihuana the Forbidden Medicine.

     To further expose the Russian Federal Anti-Drug Service propaganda effort for what it is, one has only to consider a recent and yet potent article as an example of cannabis's extraordinary healing powers. If your readers read the London Observer's story "Cannabis a medical miracle - it's official" of Sunday, November 4, 2001, (or better still, view the BBC Panorama TV program "Cannabis from the Chemist") they will realise indeed that cannabis is such a wonder drug that the results of the first clinical trials have demonstrated it "capable of radically transforming the lives of very sick people."

     To further highlight this most revealing and impressive fact, though to be sure both the U.S. DEA and its Russian counterpart would dearly love to suppress such information, one can also turn to the British Medical Journal itself and read what Dr William Notcutt of the East Anglian pilot study had to say in his comments published there under the heading "Cannabis the wonder drug?" on November 10, 2001 that, "The results so far have exceeded what I dared hope for . . . we are seeing 80% of our patients getting good quality benefit from the cannabis." Some were getting 'almost total pain relief' he added, "We have seen their pain scores go down to zero."

     So clearly Dr Grinspoon's bold prediction that just as penicillin was hailed as a 'wonder drug' in the 1940s, "cannabis will eventually be seen as the wonder drug of the 21st century."

     And interestingly enough after decades of argument the U.S. Supreme Court itself ruled on Tuesday October 14, 2003 to let stand a ruling "that the government cannot revoke the federal prescription licenses of doctors who recommend medical marijuana to sick patients. ... Without any comment, the justices rejected a Bush administration appeal of the ruling that bars the government from punishing and from even investigating a doctor's conduct because of a recommendation that a patient use marijuana." Thankfully finally progress is being made in the recognition of medical cannabis! Here, here!

     Lastly but certainly not least we can now also be sure that when the DEA's own administrative law judge, Francis L. Young concluded in his findings of fact on September 6, 1986 that, "Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care." he was indeed speaking 100% knowledgably and correctly!

     Dr Grinspoon and James Bakalar's book Marihuana the Forbidden Medicine deserves to immediately be placed back on the shelves of all Russian bookshops for the information of the people!


Melvin Stanley Brubeck,
Sydney, NSW, Australia,