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Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. introduced legislation to protect doctors from federal prosecution if they recommend or prescribe marijuana. Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council's senior director of policy studies, noted that marijuana, even for medical purposes, creates health problems.
"Smoking marijuana has all of the same negative health effects," he said, "as smoking tobacco and then some."
Dr. David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Association, said marijuana should go through the same safety approvals as any other drug.
"The best public policy," he explained, "is to get the active ingredient out, have a good delivery method, and provide it as we do any other drug, with standardization and good quality control."
National drug policy expert Bob Maginnis called the marijuana legislation a "cloud of smoke" to cover up what Frank and others are really after: "Throwing the books out regarding illicit drugs and allowing anyone to do anything they want."
Similar legislation has been introduced before - and failed. This time around it has more than 40 sponsors, but will likely be voted down again.