Alternative medicine for Kill’s epilepsy

An important aspect of the story about Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill’s predicament has gone unreported. If Kill were coaching at Michigan or Oregon or back in his previous job in Illinois, his doctors could take advantage of laws in those states to see if marijuana could successfully control his seizures.

Marijuana is a natural herb, and in my view far less toxic than commonly prescribed anti-seizure pharmaceutical medications. For many patients it can be more effective. Wise physicians listen to what patients have learned. Scientists have shown the anti-convulsive properties of marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has long disputed the medicinal uses of marijuana. Despite its view, the American Medical Association testified in favor of marijuana when Congress passed the original Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. In the late 1980s, the DEA’s own administrative judge held it was “unreasoning, arbitrary and capricious” for the DEA to continue to deny suffering patients access to
marijuana.

Since 1996, 20 other states have approved medicinal marijuana use.   But Minnesota politicians slavishly cling to the DEA’s legal fictions about medicinal marijuana.

Under the state’s new castle law, a Minnesotan can legally kill someone to defend their life, but a Minnesotan cannot medicate with marijuana. And as long as our lawmakers are afraid of the political risk of medical marijuana, patients with serious illnesses will continue to unnecessarily suffer.