Pubdate: Tue, 17 May 2011
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2011 Star Advertiser
Author: Pamela G. Lichty


David Shapiro's column on tightening up medical marijuana rules was
mean-spirited and ill-informed ("Green on right track to make
medicinal pot rules more rigid," Volcanic Ash, Star-Advertiser, May

Rather than our state law being "loosey goosey," we are the only
place, besides Vermont, where the program is housed in a law
enforcement agency.

And Shapiro's comparison to California is way off base, since our law
is far more tightly written. We should emulate the dispensary systems
in Colorado, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, which are stringent and
well controlled.

Doctors are appropriately the gatekeepers for determining what
conditions warrant use of marijuana. We also deplore the out-of-state
physicians looking to cash in. But they're coming to Hawaii because
most local physicians are intimidated by a program run by the
Narcotics Enforcement Division.

Right now, despite an 11-year-old law, patients must obtain their
marijuana on the black market. This is dangerous, inhumane and
inconsistent with the compassionate intent of the law. Surely this
cannot be what Mr. Shapiro intends?

Pamela G. Lichty

President, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii 
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