The following letter was written in response to an Op/Ed in the Long Beach Press Telegram…
By Diana Lejins | Advocate for Disability Rights
In response to Holli Applegate’s Aug 1 letter in the Press Telegram about medical marijuana, this issue has become very unsettling for the naïve and willfully ignorant.
In the early days of our nation, the hemp plant (a.k.a. cannabis) proved a valuable resource for hundreds of years, instrumental in the making of fabric, paper and other necessities.
It is important for citizens to understand that prior to the early 1930’s many of the medicines available to the public were sensibly based on cannabis.
It was only after William Randolph Hearst demonized marijuana (because the growing of hemp was cutting into his paper-production profits), that “reefer madness” became the nouveau hysteria.
To be clear, society was deprived of this relatively harmless medicinal herb to satisfy the greed of an extremely wealthy and influential newspaper magnate.
Ms. Applegate goes on to infer that the majority of its users are abusers. Can she describe what a cancer patient or one with AIDS looks like?
What about someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis, chronic pain or migraines? Has she taken up practicing medicine without a license?
The reality is that we don’t know what condition people are using medicinal cannabis for any more than we can identify why they might be filling a prescription for Prozac, Vicodin or Morphine (highly addictive drugs) at the local drug store. And, it is not up to us to decide upon medical treatment for another person—that must remain between a doctor and their patient.
Are there abuses? In fact, prescription pain killers, sleep aids and psychotropic drugs top the list of drug abuse in this nation.
Over 100,000 people die from side effects of “legitimate” prescription drugs every year in the U.S. Yet, do we ban or severely restrict pharmacies?
Abuses happen in all facets of society, but to deprive people of needed a medication because of those who may misuse it is cruel and inhumane.
When Proposition 215 was passed by the compassionate voters of California in 1996, they asked the state and federal governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.
The government has been sorely negligent in this endeavor. The dispensaries and growers have filled in that gap.
So, Ms. Applegate if you are angry, call and write to your government officials demanding that they fill this critical need and end the quagmire that they have cultivated.
The one thing that is dreadfully certain in this whole scenario is that each and every one of the readers of our letters will die someday. How they die and how much they or their loved ones will suffer may depend on their access to medical marijuana. Be very careful about what you condemn today, especially that which you may be crying for tomorrow.
Advocate for Disability Rights
LB , CA 90853
Tele (562) 438-4033
To read the original Op/Ed Letter to the Editor, please click here