Pubdate: Sat, 08 Sep 2007
Source: New Mexican, The (Santa Fe, NM)
Copyright: 2007 The Santa Fe New Mexican
Author: John Robarge


I am writing in response to Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry
Montoya's stance on the use of medicinal marijuana. I was severely
injured in a car accident in 1995, and again in a job-related accident
in 2005. As a consequence, I feel I was used as a guinea pig by
various doctors and pharmaceutical companies for pain management
primarily involving opiates in one form or another.

Anyone who has gone through a prolonged period involving the use of
opiates for pain relief knows the results: mood swings, anger and
depression, nausea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, addiction,

While living in Oregon, a state that allows the use of medical
marijuana, my doctor recommended that I try pot as a substitute for
the Vicodin, Demerol, Loritab, codeine and other pain killers I'd been
prescribed. It worked, not only as an analgesic for pain relief, but
it helped considerably with the cramping and spasms I was subject to,
without the annoying side effects of the pharmaceutical cures. It
didn't cost me anything, as I was allowed to grow it.

Since the year 2000, there have been an estimated 2,000
alcohol-related deaths and an appalling 15,000 tobacco-related deaths
in New Mexico alone. Both are drugs, both are legal, both are taxed,
hence providing a profit to our government, which pays our politicians
salaries. I could not find one marijuana-related death nationwide.

Please, Commissioner Montoya, let's send the proper message to our
children. Tell the truth! And end the madness. The money spent on
incarcerating people for the use of marijuana, either prescribed or
otherwise, would be much better spent on rehabilitation and education
about the much more dangerous -- and legal -- drugs that are out there.

John Robarge

John Robarge lives in Santa Cruz, where he works as a
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