Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jul 2013
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers


Jon Manchester it is obvious that his editorial was written without 
actual fact checking, using only Ostatus quo' information and his own 
beliefs (Okanagan Saturday, July 27).

You've Obeen told' it's simple to get a doctor's prescription for 
medical marijuana? You are obviously unaware that marijuana has a 
wide range of uses and effects. While pain relief and anxiety 
reduction are two of the better known benefits, the plant is 
available in over 100 varieties of subtle effects and a knowledgeable 
user researches those varieties for their own particular relief.

My own reason for use is to relieve a debilitating mental illness 
that can leave me 'frozen' and fearful for weeks, or manic and 
emotionally unstable, unable to interact with the world. I grow three 
marijuana plants a year of a selected variety and their properties 
allow me to function and flourish.

My alternative was lithium, a drug with dangerous physical and mental 
side effects that early on I made an informed decision to avoid. 
After 30 years with this illness I feel my good health and (now) 
mental stability is due to wise choices, family support and marijuana 
use. My life is not wasted in a 'purple haze'.

We Ochronic stoners' often turn to marijuana when the medical 
industry fails us. And it has failed many of us. Often. 
Self-medication with marijuana is sometimes the only alternative.

I wonder, do you smoke cigarettes? Do you have a glass of wine or a 
cocktail after a long day? What is the difference in using the 
relaxation effects of marijuana?

Overuse of any substances is a form of self-medication. And are you 
aware of the cost to our society from health issues caused by the 
chronic use of alcohol and tobacco?

Actual statistics - $165 per year per user is the cost to the 
Canadian medical system due to alcohol-related illness. Cost to the 
medical system due to marijuana related illness - $20 per year per user.

The cost of policing marijuana offenses in B.C. alone - $10.5-million

But the benefits of taxation and removal of the criminal element from 
the process? Priceless.

Your arguments seem to be based upon a preconceived idea about the 
reason for marijuana use and an unreasonable prejudice against those 
who choose it. Such uninformed, fearful beliefs are the reason we 
must speak up and support the legalization of marijuana.

Your editorial was the type of empty, misinformed journalism that is 
often mistaken for the truth.

Name withheld upon request Summerland
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom