CSI: Miami rocks not only because of David Caruso's magnificently seductive baritone, but also because it's the rare TV show to make the case for medical marijuana. Ace cop Eric Delko's sister, Marisol (Alana De La Garza), the only cancer victim ever to get more beautiful with each round of chemotherapy, has been smoking the herb to control her nausea. In fact, Eric was busted a few months back for buying pot for his sisterleading Horatio Caine (Caruso) to pull some very un-Horatio-like moves to keep his boy Eric on the force.

Why is George Bush's Food and Drug Administration more ignorant about medical marijuana than prime-time programming? Last week, the increasingly politicized FDA issued an "inter-agency memo" affirming that marijuana is medically value-less, a "fact" that doctors and researchers know to be false. Studies have suggested benefits like relief from chemotherapy nausea, increased appetite in cancer and AIDS patients, and reduced muscle spasms for those with multiple sclerosis. True, none of these benefits has been "proven"but none will be, so long as the federal government refuses to fund studies on marijuana's benefits.

We've now expect the politicization of everything from George Bush's White House, of course. Budget analysts have been pressured to cook their numbers; the president won't back the teaching of evolution in schools; and the FDA has prevaricated on over-the-counter emergency contraception. The president has a right, of course, to play politics, but what's despicable is masking politics as disinterested research. If pot should be illegal for other reasons, just say sodon't pretend that medical benefits don't exist.

Conservatives should be upset about Bush's dismissal of science. After all, conservatives say they are against moral relativism and in favor of absolute truths. They're the ones who police school curricula to make sure political correctness hasn't replaced historical truth. But now they have a president for whom everything is about political convenience, not truth. Where's their anger now?

On the matter of medical marijuana, I hope we can expect better from liberals and Democrats. The Green Party's gubernatorial candidate, Cliff Thornton, wants to decriminalize marijuana. Dannel Malloy favors medical marijuana only. John DeStefano we couldn't reach by press time. We'll keep you posted on all of them...