Pubdate: Fri, 28 Dec 2012
Source: Courier News (Elgin, IL)
Copyright: 2012 Dan Linn
Author: Dan Linn


In response to Judy Kreamer's letter (Dec. 28) about medical
marijuana, it should be understood that many of those admissions to
treatment centers for marijuana are the result of a judge offering
jail time or rehab and are not voluntary admissions by people who feel
they are addicted to marijuana.

Also, her fears about children getting access to this medicine are
unfounded, as there has never been a documented overdose fatality from
marijuana use, for medical purposes or otherwise.

If she is concerned about children getting access to medicine that is
truly dangerous, the pill-mill doctors who recklessly prescribe opioid
based painkillers are where she should focus. Those pills are in many
medicine cabinets across the country and have been the main reason so
many young people are dying from drugs in suburban America.

Illinois lawmakers have been debating medical marijuana for many years
now, and hopefully they can pass a bill that would protect some very
sick people from arrest and give them safe and legal access to this
medicine. The bill currently being debated in Springfield has very
specific conditions that would qualify for a medical cannabis card,
and surely no teenager would be willing to contract HIV in order to
legally get marijuana. Furthermore, parental permission is required
for minors who have a listed condition.

Kreamer's intentions to protect the children are noble, but she
doesn't mention any of the people who are struggling to live and would
be helped if Illinois were to allow doctors to recommend marijuana.
Plus, medical cannabis patients don't want a program that could be
abused, because there is a provision for the law to expire after three
years. That provision and limiting the qualifying conditions are all
things that lawmakers have added to this measure over the years of
debating this issue.

Unfortunately, over those years, many sick people have been denied
legal access to this well-documented medicine, too. It is immoral to
continue to incriminate cancer patients who need this medicine to eat
and continue their chemotherapy. It is immoral to force multiple
sclerosis patients to get their medicine from an illegal and
unregulated dealer. It is immoral to deny medicine to those who need
it because of scare tactics aimed at parents.

Dan Linn

Executive director, Illinois chapter of NORML (National Organization 
to Reform Marijuana Laws)

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