Pubdate: Tue, 22 Feb 2011
Source: Garden Island (Lihue, HI)
Copyright: 2011 The Garden Island
Author: Lonnie Sykos


I resent the state acting like a mafia drug lord trying to make money
off sick people through the new concept of generating taxes on medical
drugs, services, and treatment regimes.

Where are the hypocrite Republicans with their "reduce government
size, reach, and intrusion mantras" and their personal freedom agenda?
Our Founding Fathers were not afraid of marijuana, they used its value
for banking and commercial credit. They made cotton, whiskey, and
marijuana legal tender -- money -- when our country was founded.

Our shameless politicians want their cut of the illegal drug trade by
pricing prescription drugs at their street value. Most truly ill
people are not generating full income, and have extra expenses. The
two marijuana issues -- medical and recreational -- should remain separate.

Medical marijuana stores should be not-for-profit co-ops with direct
NED oversight. Medical marijuana is only "compassionate" if it is
inexpensive. Corporate profits and taxes are never

Now is the time to control attempts to create a corporate and
greed-for-tax-revenue quasi-legal cash cow industry, based on making
as much profit as possible off AIDS, cancer, MS, and chronically
debilitated patients. NED should remain in control of medical
marijuana patient permits. If the wrong people are getting permits,
that requires clarity of policy by amending our current laws to reduce
issuing wrongful permits.

Medical marijuana should be non-profit and provided through coops
monitored by NED, by the most cost-effective method possible for
patients who cannot, or chose not to, grow their own. Commercial
growers require growth of their "compassionate" profits for a
successful business model. Why do we want to create a commercial
business industry for marijuana?

It is immoral to call it medicine, and then use it to extract high
taxes and profits from patients already ill and disadvantaged. It is
also immoral to price it as a subterfuge, to create taxes from
essentially recreational permitted sales based on street prices.

Marijuana is a difficult public conversation. Much like religion, the
many different views have a lot invested in fixed policy positions,
dogma, and the funding of the status quo.

For example, enforcement tells us synthetic THC or Marinol is available, but
they don't disclose that it is extremely expensive and not covered by most
insurances. Monthly costs run in excess of $1,000 for one daily minimal
strength dose. High dosage costs even more per pill, while the patient
receives less than half the beneficial chemistries in natural THC. A month's
supply of 120 narcotic vicodin pills cost $28 at Costco. Next: Will the
state produce opium poppies and charge mafia street prices for prescription

Regarding increased youth usage, clinical studies show that stress
(abuse) at home and school is the number one predicator of juvenile
self-medicating drug use. Perhaps our shrinking county resources would
be better spent on our own youth, rather than a tax payer funded
vacation and county dollars for foreign aid donations by His Honor and
the County Council to their local political cronies home town
Philippines families.

Our mayor and some police officers use the same arguments and language
regarding the difficulty in locating a garbage dump as in locating an
adolescent treatment center. The number one "gateway drug" is abuse --
mental, verbal, physical, and sexual.

Shame on you who imply our recovering-from-social-failure-diseases
youth, under professional supervision in a licensed treatment
facility, will be a threat to our community. They are not, and are
instead a shining beacon for peace, honesty, humility, and finding a
higher-than-drugs purpose for their lives.

De-glamorizing violence and drugs while better-funding schools, youth
programs, employment, treatment and recovery, are a lot cheaper and
likely more effective actions than ineffectual prohibition, which
glorifies crime, usage, and the 40-year-old endless
enforcement/military-industrial complex "drug war."

Lonnie Sykos, Kapa'a 
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