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GROUP PRODS DEA TO OK MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL USE

A group seeking approval of marijuana for the treatment of cancer, glaucoma and other diseases accused the Drug Enforcement Administration of stalling on deciding whether to obey a ruling to make the drug available for medical use.

"The grim fact is that the longer the DEA delays this decision, the longer patients with cancer, glaucoma and other serious diseases will suffer needlessly," Robert Randall, president of the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, said Sunday.ACT is a patient-rights group that was instrumental in challenging DEA's prohibition against marijuana's use in medicine. In September 1988, DEA's chief administrative law judge, Francis Young, rejected federal prohibitions against marijuana's medical use, calling the DEA policy "unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious."

There is a growing body of evidence that marijuana is useful in relieving the side-effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients and in stabilizing or reducing pressures in the eye that cause eventual blindness among glaucoma patients.