Pubdate: [Tue, 01 Apr 1997]
Source: Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
Author: Laura A. Green

Dear Sir:

As the debate rages over whether or not marijuana is medicine, innocent
people continue to get caught in the crossfire.

In Douglas County recently, a medical marijuana patient was charged with
felony cultivation for attempting to cultivate a few marijuana plants in
their backyard last September, to allieviate constant nausea and
vomiting.  When the Drug Unit arrived at their home they found a few
plants, ranging in size from 3 inches to a few feet.  The five drug unit
officers brought with them two Kansas Division of Revenue employees who
took thousands of dollars worth of musical equipment to satisfy the
Kansas drug tax ($1500, payable at the time of arrest).

Over five months later, this person is in court now facing a possible
felony conviction, for something they and their doctor have discussed
openly and frankly.

is supported by prestigious medical journals such as the Journal of
American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, and the
Lancet (British), just to name a few.

In conversations with local Congresspersons, several have made it clear
they  support the right of a doctor to decide what is best for a
patient, and would vote for a medical necessity defense bill to keep
patients out of the courtroom. Unfortunately, none of them have the
courage to introduce such a bill, or to even take a public stand.  The
same can be said for many doctors, nurses, laywers, cops, and educators,
right here in Lawrence.  None will speak out, about what the editor of
the New England Journal of Medicine calls, "the misguided, heavy-handed,
and inhumane," policy that leaves patients vulnerable to arrest,
prosecution, and in some cases jail.

I urge Douglas County District Attorney Chris Tonkavitch, in the name of
compassion and humanity, to stop prosecuting medical marijuana patients.

Laura A. Green
Lawrence, KS