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Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 11:11 pm

Letters to the Editor 12/17/2009

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SMOKE FOR HEALTH
Please contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, Senate Bill 1381 and House Bill 2514. The recent calling for a review of cannabis as a “schedule one drug” by the American Medical Association is one more reason why lawmakers need to protect Illinois cannabis patients. The scheduling of cannabis as a schedule one drug is ridiculous because there has not been one documented overdose fatality.

The medical cannabis legislation in Springfield has been revised and redrafted over the years to ensure a safe, regulated and controlled medical cannabis program, not anything like the one in California. The sponsors have taken what is working from the 13 states with medical cannabis programs and avoided what is not working in some of those states when writing these bills. Plus, there are increased penalties for those who break the law by abusing the program.

A 2008 Mason-Dixon poll found that 68 percent of registered voters in Illinois support allowing a doctor to recommend marijuana for those who are seriously or terminally ill. We need to protect sick people. They are not criminals for seeking relief from their debilitating condition.

Dan Linn
Illinois Cannabis Patients Association Chicago



TAKING MY LUMP
While I agree early detection is good [see “How to prevent breast cancer” Nov. 25], let us complete the system by educating the medical field and staff on handling the small cases.

I had a biopsy last year on a small area that was detected during my mammogram and it was the worst experience of my life, to the point where I am very hesitant to go again. The nurse and techs made it very clear to me that, due to the lump being so small, they had a difficult time finding the area where they would do the biopsy. I apologized a couple of times and asked them if I should leave and come back when it is bigger. During this whole process, I was humiliated and a bit embarrassed that my “small” lump was an inconvenience to the medical staff. When asked if I wanted to schedule another exam, I refused and explained my reason, adding that until I felt a lump, I was certainly not going through that humiliation again.

Denese Schaljo
Springfield



SHERMAN THANKS
We recently experienced a terrifying event at our home at 3 a.m. on Nov. 19. Our one-year-old grandson, Logan Mercer, was having a seizure and within minutes of dialing 911, Officer Schneider of Sherman was the first on the scene. His calm and in-control demeanor really helped all of us get through those scary minutes waiting for the paramedics to arrive. The most amazing thing that Officer Schneider did was to stop by our home the evening of Nov. 22 to check on Logan’s status “just to make sure he was okay.” I just wanted the village president and Chief Eric Smith to know how much we appreciated his ability to deal with a frightening experience and his concern for the well-being of our grandson.

Sandy and Ron Dunkel
Sherman



SLIPPERY SLOPE
Forced DUI blood draws have been happening around the country. The issue has now made it to Springfield. Strong opinions exist on both sides of the issue. Please consider these questions as you think about the type of country we should have.

Should we force blood draws on all people for the war on drugs? It could save lives. Should we force open all homes for mandatory searches for the war on drugs, terror or any other criminal activity? It could save lives. Should we mandate doctors to search all people medically for crime? Let’s deputize the medical industry. Prescription drug abuse, unapproved medicine, risky behavior, all could be criminal.

We are concerned about a slippery slope. The presumption of innocence may be morphing into a more foreign standard where everyone is suspect and everyone is guilty until proven innocent. 

The Sangamon County Libertarians have grave concerns about the recent forced blood draws. We understand the problems of balancing freedom and safety. We hope to work with community leaders in addressing some concerns. We will seek to have a positive working relationship with the local political parties. Our goal is to promote freedom, prosperity and understanding.

Tom Ansell
Sangamon County Libertarians


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