HEMP MEDICAL & HEALTH ROOM GUIDE

12.  LETTERS ON MEDICAL & HEALTH.

Due to the importance of medical use and the passage of Prop. 215 in California, and Prop. 200 in Arizona, many letters have medical use as the subject.  Here are some of those letters.  Everyone will have a different take on the issues, so learn to write down your views for your local paper.  In Canada the farmers spoke up about hemp and now they are in their fifth year of planting for industrial use.

1976 NORML AD.  THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION for the REFORM of MARIJUANA LAWS.

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: SEPTEMBER 8, 1999.

RE: Drug Court...Judge Marcus, Opinion, Sept.8, 1999.

By Judge Marcus own admission our present criminal justice policy, at a cost of $320 billion since 1992, of "simply incarcerating drug offenders over and over is largely a failure." Sure drug court, treatment, 12-step programs help salvage some lives, but again we fail to come to grips with the problem, which as I see it is bad lawmaking. All drug laws need to be reassessed in the light of new scientific information about their safety and in view of their social costs. Why are some drugs subject to criminal sanctions and not others? Our worst drug problems are with legal drugs. How can marijuana be classed as a most dangerous drug and alcohol not even be scheduled? How can powdered cocaine be treated so different from rock cocaine? Where is the confidence in government offered by bad and inconsistent legislation, that has taken individual freedom and responsibility and given us a drug war exemption to the bill of rights?

Richard M. Davis, Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: SEPTEMBER 20, 1999.

RE: Don’t Get Carried Away...Commentary, Sept. 19, 1999.

Nadelmann’s assessment that there must be a new approach to drug reform that is not grounded in ignorance or fear, but in common sense, comes up a dollar short. He has forgotten history.

His indictment of prohibition is worth repeating: "...I agree on many points, among them that U.S. drug prohibition, LIKE ALCOHOL PROHIBITION DECADES AGO, generates extraordinary harms. It, not drugs per se, is responsible for creating vast underground markets, criminalizing millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens, corrupting both governments and societies at large, empowering organized criminals, increasing predatory crime, spreading disease, curtailing personal freedom, disparaging science and honest inquiry and legitimizing public policies that are both extraordinary and insidious in their racially disproportionate consequences."

What I object to is policy reformers blind spot to how this country ended alcohol prohibition, and ended much of the extraordinary harms prohibition spawns. ONE DAY, December 5, 1933, alcohol Prohibition ended. It was legalized by law. Change in policy is not enough, the change needs to come in law. Only then can we debate what we need to do to regulate the "free" market, free of drug czars, free of a police state mentality, free of interference by the medical-pharmaceutical complex, free of restrictions to the right to privacy of our own bodies; only then can we put freedom ahead of policy.

Californian’s have strong Constitutional rights to enjoy their life and liberty, property, safety, happiness, and privacy. These are inalienable rights, not transferable to governments and protected by the strictest court interpretation. As with alcohol, other drug prohibitions have no place in a free society.

Richard M. Davis, Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: APRIL 18, 1999.

RE: Brownie Mary Rathbun

Now that marijuana is legal for medical use in California, one of my favorite hero’s in the struggle to accomplish that will always be Brownie Mary Rathbun. As a colleague in the movement, I mourn her passing and celebrate her compassion and courage in the face of incredible odds. What a woman!

Richard M. Davis Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: MARCH 15, 1999.

RE: Reply to Times Editorial: "Be Wary on Marijuana Law," March 14, 1999.

When it comes to medical marijuana the people of California have much more going for them than Proposition 215. The Constitution of the State of California, Article 1, Declaration of Rights, Section 1, states: "All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."

Inalienable rights are the strongest rights; they are personal and fundamental as declared by the Legislature (California Code, Civil Code 1798.1). According to our founding document, the Declaration of Independence they are given to us by the Creator, as was marijuana.

The L.A. Times Editorial Staff and the people have got to get over their fear of their most cherished rights. It is our individual right to be left alone to both grow, smoke, or eat marijuana on our property, for medicine, recreation or any other reason. This is the right of half a million adult Americans in the State of Alaska with what I would say is weaker constitutional protection since 1975(Ravin v. Alaska, 537 P.2d 494, Alas.1975). We go to jail, and they light up. That contradiction is a sickness for which marijuana could provide some relief.

The Times argues against use, "... for ‘any...illness for which marijuana provides relief.’ That’s a huge loophole inviting illegal use of marijuana. Even in a medical context, it’s reckless." I say to the Times that my inalienable right " to enjoying and defending life and to pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy," take precedent over marijuana prohibition and your desire to practice medicine. Marijuana needs no "strict state oversight" as you suggest, save that for our inalienable rights. Giving patients the right to grow marijuana and not the rest of us is, as I see it, a violation of equal protection under the law.

Richard M. Davis Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: APRIL 22, 1998.

RE: The DEA & Down Scheduling Marijuana.

As reported in High Times, May 1998, p.21., the Drug Enforcement Administration has conceded that Marijuana has been for nearly 30 years improperly classified in law as a powerfully addictive drug devoid of any accepted medical uses.

In what could have far reaching effects on federal involvement in the California medical marijuana use initiative, the DEA confirmed current scientific evidence presented to it in 1995, in a 270 page petition filed by John Gettman, a Virginia public policy expert, " ...obliged the Justice Department to request binding guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services in seeking a more appropriate regulatory category for pot on the federal controlled-substances list."

"Tracing the (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) act’s legislative history, Gettman demonstrates that in fact Congress clearly intended marijuana’s Schedule I status to be contingent on such scientific findings, which have never materialized."

Gettman’s petition incorporated 170 journal and government findings that the current scheduling is inappropriate.

This being the case, how can the federal government possibly justify closing Cannabis clubs, and other harassment of medical use such as that of the Todd McCormick case. There is no way to reschedule Cannabis/marijuana but down.

Richard M. Davis, Curator, USA Hemp Museum

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITOR:

RE: U.S. TO CLOSE CALIFORNIA MARIJUANA CLUBS, JAN. 10, 1998.

Proposition 215 did not make Cannabis clubs legal in California. Proposition 215 did "encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana." In the absence of any action by the state or federal governments, these clubs provide a default distribution system in California. Anyone who can do better please step forward or back off. Patients lives and well-being are at stake.

How can a U.S. Attorney like Michael Yamaguchi state: "Under our system of federalism, laws passed by Congress cannot be overridden or supplanted by state law." Has he not heard of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

And our own Attorney General Dan Lungren agrees with Janet Reno and Bill Clinton. We are a sick nation in more ways than we know. And Dan Lungren wants to be governor of California, what a sham. This is not the "Rationality About Pot," called for by the people of California.

Richard M. Davis Curator, USA Hemp Museum

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LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

RE: BILLY’S BILLS; L.A. TIMES, OCT. 2, 1997.

NOTE TO BILLY’S MOM.

Billy has a right to use medical Cannabis in California. I have seen enough cases to know that Billy’s pain, nausea, and headaches will be reduced following chemotherapy and his appetite will be stimulated. Ask your doctor. Learn about Cannabis. You can take away Billy’s pain.

Judge Francis L. Young, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Docket # 86-22, in 1988, ruled that no person has died from Cannabis consumption in 5,000 years of recorded use, and that Cannabis has accepted medical use in the United States for the treatment of the symptoms of cancer. California has listened and made it possible to use Cannabis (CA Health and Safety Code 11362.5) through a people’s initiative.

Cannabis can be vaporized, smoked, baked into cookies, made into tinctures and extracts. Someone you know can get Cannabis for you, until you can legally grow a supply for Billy.

Good luck and God bless you both.

Richard M. Davis, Curator, U.S.A. Hemp Museum

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HEMP MEDICAL & HEALTH ROOM GUIDE