Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jun 2008
Source: Daily Star, The (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Star
Author: Jeannine Zagiel


Having just returned from Albany where I joined  seriously ill 
patients from across the state to urge  our Senate to pass a 
compassionate medical marijuana  law, I'd like to correct a common 
misconception that  was repeated in the June 3 story, "Patients to 
push for  medical marijuana law."

It's true, as Sen. James Seward said in the article,  that the U.S. 
Supreme Court has ruled that federal law  enforcement agencies may 
enforce their misguided laws  regarding medical marijuana even in 
states that protect  patients who use the drug with their doctor's 

But that does not mean states are helpless to protect  their 
vulnerable citizens.

The bill before the Senate is perhaps the most tightly  worded, 
strictly regulated in the country. It builds  off the experiences of 
the 12 existing medical  marijuana states to ensure that qualified 
patients and  their doctors may avoid conflicts with federal law and 
have safe, legal access to their medicine.

I have been disabled since a back injury in 2001. I  live in constant 
pain, and an allergy to narcotics  limits my legal pain relief 
options to over-the-counter  Tylenol.

The Senate has the power to give me at least some of my  old life 
back if it will just pass this sensible,  compassionate bill before 
the legislative session ends  June 23.

Jeannine Zagiel

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