Letters to the Editor 12/6/12
Harold Gregor and medical marijuana
IN PLAIN SIGHT
James Krohe’s article, “Flatland into flatscapes,” (Nov. 29) is a fine testimonial to Harold Gregor, his inventiveness and his influence on several generations of Illinois artists. The article might have been more illuminating had Mr. Krohe traced the major influences in Mr. Gregor’s artistic development. The article’s tacit dismissal of other landscape artists is somewhat concerning, though. James Winn and George Atkinson, not to mention Richard Boschulte, James Butler, Michael Dubina, Herbert Fink, Michael Johnson, Fred Jones and many others continue to capture the beauty and grit of our flatlands, fields, skies, prairies (and rolling hills). Rather than dismiss them, let’s thank them for not moving to the Southwest or either coast to paint, photograph and draw. There is beauty here – it took very talented artists with different eyes to help me see it.
HB 30, the medical marijuana bill, is starting to look like it will pass. Now, when passage is looking good, we suddenly get an onslaught of high-priced lobbyists touting this new system of growing marijuana so that it is easily traceable by any police officer. The idea is that it would allow the officer who finds someone in possession to know if it is “medicine” or just some contraband. These boys aren’t just pushing their ID system, worthless though it is; they are shooting for a far higher target. They want nothing less than a total monopoly on all medical marijuana sold in Illinois. Put aside for a moment the vast amounts of money these two fellows would reap from a monopoly like this and consider a couple of other problems with their idea.
First off, if an officer stops someone with marijuana, the person just needs to show the officer their medical card. It is the patient the state is licensing, not the marijuana. Secondly, cannabis is an amazingly complex plant. If you follow the research, the type and amount of the many cannibinols and other substances present in marijuana vary a great deal between the different species and varieties. and often it takes a patient working with a grower to come up with the variety or varieties that contains the best combination for them. This is not something a large monopoly is going to do. Coca-Cola doesn’t take special orders and neither will these guys.
Every time someone has tried to start up a large grow operation, the feds have shut it down, even in states where it is legal. It would be worse than foolish to put all of Illinois’ grow operation where one padlock is all the feds would need to shut down the entire state. Although I certainly hope that our president will at long last keep his original election promise to let science determine the role of marijuana in our society, I don’t have a lot of faith in his sense of justice or love of the truth. While he is in office there is no sense in making it easy for him to shut down our program.
Dennis M. Garland
Medical marijuana needs to be legalized in our state. We need to keep our sick out of jail and prison. People need to stop ignoring the facts. Medical marijuana is beneficial in so many ways. We have urged our friends and family to stand together on this issue. Most remain silent because of fear of going public. We have contacted Raymond Poe via email and telephone. I was surprised with the lack of courtesy in responding. His receptionist said, “You know he doesn’t support this bill don’t you?” We responded “Yes. I just wanted to ask him why he didn’t support something that could help so many patients in Illinois.”
I doubt that we will hear back. Over the past several years we have been reading studies and articles that highlight all of the uses associated with this miraculous plant. Our ancestors used it thousands of years ago. In a study at UCLA they found surprising results. They followed 65,000 HMO patients for 10 years. Those who used tobacco had the typical outcome, 11 times greater risk of lung cancer compared to a nonsmoker. Marijuana smokers who didn’t use tobacco had less risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers. The public and some members of Congress need to be reeducated on the issue.
We are Illinois patients for medical marijuana. We can use all the support we can get.