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Despite opposition from a national drug strategy organization, Joycelyn Elders, M.D. passed through her confirmation hearing without any major problems. She becomes the new surgeon general, replacing Antonia C. Novello M.D., who left office in June.
Confirmation came despite major concerns from the International Drug Strategy Institute, a division of Drug Watch International, which openly criticized the Elders appointment, citing her support for legalizing the medical use of marijuana and her evasion of questions concerning broader legalization issues.
Dr. Eric Voth, M.D., chairman of the Institute stated, "Marijuana, even in its medically available synthetic form, …