Dear Dr. Nichols,
While I truly appreciate the pangs of conscience you suffer, surely you must acknowledge individual responsibility as a primary factor in the life choices people make, particular concerning which substances they use.
You have chosen to study chemical drugs, for quite noble reasons, in spite of the possible dangers they pose to people who choose to ingest them (predictable). You must be aware that pharmaceutical drugs are implicated in the deaths of more than one hundred twenty thousand people per year in the U.S., not to mention countless episodes of non-lethal overdose, causing adverse reactions, pharmaceutical addiction, etc. These are numbers that indicate a fundamental danger in the choice to use chemical drugs for any reason at all.
May I recommend your consideration of herbal therapeutics as a much safer, perhaps more promising area of investigation for achieving your worthy goals. The most obvious plant candidate for study in the treatment of Parkinson's is Cannabis, one of the "safest therapeutically active substances known to man." (DEA Judge, Francis Young, 1982) I offer for your consideration
Cannabis Use, Effect And Potential Therapy For Alzheimer's, MS and Parkinson's
Even more fundamental than the use of 'marijuana' are the nutriceutical properties of hemp seed, in prevention and treatment of many imbalances, is a largely over-looked, primary avenue of science that could benefit tremendously from your skills and experience. No one has ever died from ingesting Cannabis in any form.
I wish you the very best of luck in resolving your conflict over people's misuse of your work. I trust you will consider the work I do for the inertial interest and curiosity it is meant to generate in scientists who are looking for the best answers to the imbalances we face. There is perhaps no greater threat to science than the confusion and suppression being imposed on objective scientific inquiry, tarnished by the atmosphere of politically corrupted bias against the therapeutic potential in "every herb bearing seed."
Paul J. von Hartmann