Your opposition to medical marijuana (“Reefer madness,” March 7) does not reflect the latest science on the issue. As a doctor of anesthesiology, it is my expert opinion that medical marijuana is not only effective in treating pain for many patients, but also safer than many currently available pharmaceuticals. Proposed legislation includes multiple levels of state regulation to prevent abuse including a limited list of qualifying conditions, state tracking of all patients and their doctors through an ID card system, and state regulation of a limited number of medical treatment centers where patients can access their medicine.

This system works in Rhode Island and it can work here. It’s time to stop playing politics with the lives of chronic pain, cancer and HIV patients and their families.

READ MORE: Pot’s virtues
Boston Herald, Fri 11 March 2011