I’m glad Dr. Nieder is not going to be prescribing cannabis as I would never see a doctor that displays such scientific ignorance. Dr. Nieder claims smoking cannabis has only been an issue for 50 years in America. In fact in 1937 the most ridiculous legislation was passed by Congress. It was called the Marijuana Tax Act which was created to do one thing only: eliminate cannabis as hemp from the economy entirely so that it could be replaced by wood fiber for paper, cotton and petroleum products like nylon. It was Nixon who illegally placed cannabis in schedule one in the Controlled Substances Act against the recommendations of Congress and of Nixon’s own Presidential Commission on Cannabis which discovered cannabis had no toxicological content even when smoked, so there could not be a possibility of addiction. In the 1990s the FDA also could not find any toxicological content even when smoked and therefore could not show any possibility for addiction.

“Paradoxically medical marijuana may put patients at increased risk of dependence, because it is being prescribed for a symptom or diagnosis that is likely to return when the effect of the marijuana wears off.”

The statement by Dr. Nieder is a complete fabrication with no scientific basis in fact, and is more likely due to his own experience prescribing truly dangerous drugs such as Oxycontin that has bred an entire generation of oxy junkies who now break into pharmacies to get the drug.

As for emotional dependency, there is no such thing. Several years ago, because Canada established a nationwide medical cannabis program, universities began studying the effects of cannabis. One study conducted at the University of Saskatchewan found that students who smoked cannabis while studying scored 30 per cent better on their tests than students who didn’t. Another study conducted at the same university found that cannabis promoted the increased growth of brain cells. Dr. Nieder puts across the idea that we really don’t know anything about how to use cannabis as a medicine. I am married into a Asian family that practices traditional Asian medicine. I have in my possession of a copy of the Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica. This book is a complete compilation of thousands of years of study in China of the efficacy of plant-based medicine and its applications, and cannabis is listed. The idea that we don’t know how to use cannabis as a medicine is a typical aspect of western arrogance and racism and the fact that the U.S. government has banned medical research in the field of medical cannabis. In Dr. Nieder’s first paragraph he pretends that Massachusetts voters were somehow duped into voting for medical cannabis but in reality everyone that voted for medical cannabis knows full well that the drug war caused more damage to an entire generation of children and young adults with its zero tolerance rules and mandatory sentencing ruining millions of people’s lives and radically increasing the prison population in America. These voters also know that with proper regulation, cannabis can become a useful addition to any doctor’s war chest to treat a wide variety of ailments. When I was 12, a friend of my older brother made me some cannabis tea to treat my asthma which I was convinced I was going to die from. My cousin Jason died from his asthma a couple of years earlier, so needless to say I was sure I was next. Well, to my absolute surprise, within a brief few moments after consuming the cannabis tea my asthma attack completely vanished and my asthma has never returned to this day. As far as I am concerned that’s medical efficacy.

Lastly, Dr. Nieder proposes that we here in Dukes County should be the last county to open a dispensary and we should limit it to just one outlet. Well, here is a real number well documented in this county: 75 per cent. Seventy five per cent of Dukes County voters voted in the affirmative for medical cannabis.

Lloyd Hart lives in Oak Bluffs.