Most of these stats are for the U.S. however here's some from Australia
Each year there are over 3,000 deaths in Australia due directly to ALCHOHOL
this represents 60% of all drug deaths(src Quantum, A.B.C (Aust.) 2/7/98
There's another program on tonight dealing with Marijuana
C A N N A B I S:
MEDICAL REALITY VERSUS AUTHORITARIAN BRUTALITY
by Ian Williams Goddard
Of all governmental outrages, perhaps none is as illogical, tyrannical, inhumane and fallacy founded as is the prohibition of the god-given herb cannabis, also know as "marijuana."
With a referendum for medical cannabis access on the
ballot in California,
politicians are back in the news claiming once again that cannabis has NO medical value and thus access to it must be barred by force.
The fol- lowing freely flowing fountain of facts lays this gov- ernment funded pharmacological fraud to rest forever.
CANNABIS: THE MEDICAL REALITY
Classified by the DEA as a "Schedule One" drug, can-
nabis is defined as extremely dangerous possessing
NO MEDICAL VALUE.
This classification stands in sharp contradiction to the medical reality.
A Brief History of Medical Cannabis
For thousands of years prior to its prohibition in
the 20th century, cannabis was used as a medicine
throughout the world 
. During the 19th century, sold by major drug companies such as Eli Lilly, Squibb, Parke-Davis, Smith Brothers, and Tildens,
the potent extract of cannabis was one of the top three most prescribed medical agents in the United States  .
Until the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, cannabis, being a
powerful topical analgesic, muscle relaxant, anti-
inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic agent,
was found in virtually all fistulas, corn and mustard plasters, muscle ointments, and fibrosis poultices .
UNITED STATES PHARMACOPEIA listed cannabis until
1942 , after which it was removed under political
The U.S. PHARMACOPEIA recommended cannabis for the treatment of over 100 illnesses, such as:
fatigue, fits of coughing, rheumatism, asthma, delirium tremens, migraine headaches, and the cramps and depression associated with menstruation .
UNITED STATES DISPENSATORY  also listed cannabis as a useful medicine. The 1851 edition states:
The complaints in which it [cannabis] has
been specially recommended are neuralgia,
gout, rheumatism, tetanus, hyrdophobia,
epidemic cholera, convulsions, chorea,
hysteria, mental depression, delirium
tremens, insanity and uterine hemorrhage.
In 1890, Dr. J. Russell Reynolds, Fellow of the Royal
Society and the Physician in Order to Her Majesty's
stated in the journal LANCET that cannabis is ``one of the most valuable medicines we possess .'' He prescribed cannabis to Queen Victoria for PMS .
In 1898 Sir William Osler, Professor of Medicine at the
University of Oxford, stated that for migraine headaches,
cannabis ``is probably the most satisfactory remedy .''
The 1931 medical text, A MODERN HERBAL , states:
The principal use of Hemp in medicine is for easing pain and inducing sleep,
and for soothing influences in nervous disorders.
It is useful in neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, delirium tremens, insanity, infantile convulsions, insomnia, etc.
The tincture helps parturition, and is used
in senile catarrh, gonorrhea, menorrhagia,
chronic cystitis and painful urinary affections.
An infusion of the seed is useful in after pains and prolapsus uteri.
The resin may be combined with ointments [ to remedy ] inflammatory and neuralgic complaints.
The "no known medical value" claim looks like yet
another govt Big Lie.
However, as the text continues, we can see that cannabis does have an "evil" downside:
It can produce an exhilarating intoxication...
hence its names ... 'increaser of pleasure,' 'cementer of friendship,' etc. [ god forbid ]
Medical Cannabis: the 20th Century
During the 20th century cannabis has been discovered to be an effective treatment for many more ailments.
For example, based on major research, Dr. Van Sim concluded that
``marijuana ... is probably the most potent anti-epileptic known to medicine today .''
More powerful than standard anti-epileptic drugs,
cannabis totally eliminated epileptic seizures in children not responding to legal drug therapies .
But of course, as our benevolent Drug Czars remind us, healing the sick and aiding those who suffer
could "send the wrong message to children."
Let the children suffer and seizure in silence, just don't kill our prison proliferating pot prohibition pogram.
Dr. Robert Hepler, neuro-opthalmologist with the Jules
Stein Eye Institute at UCLA,
published a major study in the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION in 1971 demonstrating that cannabis lowers intraocular pressure in the eyes 
Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, is a condition in which intraocular pressures build up causing optical damage.
Cannabis has been proven to reduce these pressures far better than legal drugs,
allowing glaucoma patients to keep their vision so long as they use cannabis regularly.
Several of the eight patients who legally receive
cannabis from the govt under the compassionate IND
do so for the treatment of glaucoma. Yet, thanks to cannabis prohibition and the fact that no more patients will be allowed into the compassionate IND program,
most glaucoma patients will be forced by law to slowly go blind, all in the name of keeping peaceful and productive people in prison.
Research at the Harvard Medical School published in
the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE 
demonstrated conclusively that cannabis is the most effective anti- emetic, or anti-nausea, agent available.
It has been used in this regard to eliminate the violent nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patents undergoing chemotherapy.
Cancer ward workers have been known to turn a blind-eye on cannabis smoking in the hospital.
Based on extensive anecdotal evidence, cannabis, with
its known appetite-stimulating effects
-- described by users as "getting the munchies"
-- is known to counter the "wasting syndrome" of full-blown AIDS. During this syndrome an AIDS patient,
loosing all appetite, quickly loses weight in a free-fall to death.
In case after case, AIDS patients have totally reversed their weight loss with the use of cannabis,
snatching them from the quickly closing jaws of death, giving them a powerful fighting edge over this devastating disease.
Yet the Department of Health and Human Services, which
oversees the compassionate IND program,
chose to slam the door on hope by ending this program after receiving a flood of cannabis-access requests from AIDS patients.
The DEA and other agencies funded studies at the
Medical College of Virginia looking for evidence that
cannabis causes health problems.
Instead of finding problems, the researchers made a breakthrough when they discovered in 1975 that cannabis showed powerful anti-tumor activity
against both benign and malignant tumors. The DEA and NIH quickly defunded the studies and prohibited any future cannabis/tumor research .
In 1988 the DEA's own conservative judge, Francis
Young, after hearing medical testimony for 15 days
and reviewing hundreds of DEA and NIDA documents that argued against medical cannabis, concluded that :
``Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances know to man.''
Nevertheless, even in light of the overwhelming body
of evidence proving beyond doubt that cannabis is
medically safe and effective,
DEA Director John Lawn ignored Judge Young's advice and decreed that cannabis remain classified as a Schedule One drug -- extremely harmful and useless.
This official classification is a pharmacological fraud fodded off by govt force.
The medical wisdom of the ages and hope for the future
crushed under the brute-force of tyrannical govt power.
That is the face of tyranny.
Let the sick and blind suffer and slowly die that the police state,
its bloated bureaucrats and people-pulverizing prisons might prosper and proliferate like a plague.
Such is the victory of evil over good.
IAN GODDARD (firstname.lastname@example.org) Q U E S T I O N A U T H O R I T Y ------------------------------------------------------------------------ VISIT Ian Goddard's Universe -----> http://www.erols.com/igoddard
 Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years, Plenum Press, 1980.
 Marijuana: Medical Papers, Medi-Comp Press, 1973.
 The Emperor Wears No Cloths, Queen of Clubs Pub, 1991.
 The Consumers Union Report: Licit & Illicit Drugs,
p. 405. Consumers Union, Mt Vernon, New York, 1971.
 United States Depensitory. 9th ed., 1851, p. 310-311.
 Principles and Practice of Medicine, D. Appleton, 1916.
 A Modern Herbal, Dover Publications, 1931, reprinted 1971.
 The Great Drug War, Macmillan Publishing, 1987.
 FEDERATION PROCEEDINGS, "Antiepileptic Action
of Marijuana-Active Substances," 1949, 8: 284-5.
 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, "Marijuana
Smoking and Intraocular Pressure," 1971 Sep 6;217(10):1392.
 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, "Antiemetic Effects
of Delta-9-Tetrohydrocannabinol in Patients Receiving
Cancer Chemotherapy," 1975, 293:795-7.
For more info on medical uses of cannabis visit:
(c) 1996 Ian Williams Goddard - (*) free to copy nonprofit w/ attribute.