This way out

I passed out three different times from temporary heart stoppages before I got my pacemaker, and I remember dreaming twice. Since I am not religious, my dreams weren’t similar to reported “near-death experiences,” (“Near death events take arresting turn,” SN: 8/16/03, p. 109: Near-death events take arresting turn) but it doesn’t surprise me that a religious person who thought she were dying would dream of going to heaven.

Donald Dozer
Chardon, Ohio

Pained expressions

“Switching Off Pain: Modeling relief on the action of marijuana” (SN: 8/16/03, p. 99: Switching Off Pain: Modeling relief on the action of marijuana) notes tetrahydrocannabinol’s (THC’s) side effects of “sedation, giddiness, and paranoia” and then states that a new drug, AM1241, alleviates pain “without the side effects” of the marijuana ingredient. Yet the article also says there are concerns about AM1241 “undermining the immune system.” Marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, and its side effects pale in comparison to those of many other leading drugs.

Doug Greene
Cazadero, Calif.

We have a puritanical approach to pain control. A readily available natural substance is deemed unacceptable because it induces euphoria. On the other hand, running 5 or 10 miles to achieve the same state of mind is lauded. Giddiness is acceptable only if you work hard for it. Here we stand, afraid to deploy a pain reliever for fear it might drive people to listen to Pink Floyd.

Al Pergande
Orlando, Fla.

“Switching Off Pain” states that one of the side effects of THC is paranoia. It seems much more likely that the paranoia is a side effect of legislation that makes possession or usage of marijuana illegal.

Brian Ziegler
Elgin, Ill.


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