Pubdate: Sun, 15 Apr 2001
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2001 St. Lawrence County Newspapers Corp
Contact: Accepts LTEs by mail only!
Author:  Larry Seguin
Note: Accepts LTEs by mail only! Must be signed w/phone#


To The Editor;

Thousands of patients across New York are already using medical marijuana 
to treat a serious, debilitating medical condition.

Of course, they do this in secret, fearful that if caught they can be 
punished by the state. Unfortunately, current law treats patients who use 
marijuana for a legitimate medical need no differently than it treats all 
other drug users. What a shameful consequence of the war on drugs. Patients 
should not be penalized simply for trying to cope with their illness.

Patients should be treated differently. They should be exempt from criminal 
penalties for medical marijuana.

I am glad to report, however, that New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried 
has introduced a bill that will protect medical marijuana patients.

Bill A. 5878 is also sponsored by Assemblymembers Clark, Colman, Dinowitz, 
Sullivan E, Brennan, Cook, Davis, Glick, Grannis, Gunther, Hikind, Luster, 
Mayersohn, McEneny, Pheffer, and Weisenberg .

I urge all New York residents to contact their state legislators and demand 
that this bill be placed prominently on the legislature's agenda. It is 
time to protect patients who have a legitimate medical need to use marijuana.

In March 1999, the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine ( 
IOM ) released its landmark report on medical marijuana, which found that 
marijuana is beneficial in treating a number of serious medical conditions, 
including cancer, AIDS, and chronic pain.

Call Senator James Wright,  Watertown 315.785.2430 or Albany 518.455.2346. 
Call Assembly Member  Dierdre Scozzafava, Gouverneur 315.287.2384 or Albany 
518.455.5797.Ask them to let you know if they are willing to take action in 
accordance with IOM's recommendations and support A. 5878.

17 states introduced medical marijuana laws during 1999-2000 legislation 

Larry Seguin

Lisbon, New York
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