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My Open Letter To Our Legislature


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Our Governor and Attorney General. It is my hope and prayer that you will read this with an open and informed mind. To start I must say I understand the tough choices that must be made regarding a controversial topic. My belief ladies and gentlemen is that the patients voices be heard in this discussion, after all it is the patient that can give you direct testimony as too the medical benefits of cannabis. I myself suffer from nerve damage in my left arm, herniated disk in my neck and post traumatic stress syndrome. I honorably served my nation in the Army 1999-2004. I never cared for Marijuana, in fact I was a staunch supporter of its prohibition, believing like most the propaganda we have been fed our entire lives.

 

In November 2008, I voted yes on proposal 1. After doing a ton of my own research on Cannabis its effects and possible medical uses. The proposal was clear with its intent, allow people with various illnesses too use cannabis as an alternative treatment. The "grey" areas we keep hearing about, in reality are not all that grey. These areas I believe were left blank and open to allow the state government to decide what type of transactions will and will not be allowed. Dispensaries were not addressed, Why? I believe it was too allow the state to make that choice. After 3 years of pain pill after pain pill and anti- depressant after another I broke down. Of all my afflictions the PTSD has too be the worst. I had read of Israel, our closest ally in the middle east, expanding their federal medical cannabis program, their 2 year research on PTSD treatment using cannabis was amazing. Israel's research showed that inhaled, yes inhaled cannabis and repeated use showed the ability to prevent symptoms and triggers of PTSD from reoccurring.

 

 

June 2011, I met with a physician face to face with medical records in hand too see if I qualified. The doctor sat with me reviewed my records in depth, after a few minutes too make sure he had been thorough he recommended me for this program. Excited? Not really. Hopeful? Yes! Hopeful that now maybe I wouldn't need the addictive and dangerous opiate pain killers that did nothing for me, hopeful that as a side effect maybe my PTSD would be treated as well. Prior too my enrollment ladies and gentlemen I was consuming 16 to 17 mixed drinks a week. Alcohol abuse amongst veterans with PTSD is very common, its abuse leads too suicide, physical and mental abuse, erratic behavior and over dose. The prescription pills VA handed out to me that were suppose too help me attain some normalcy were doing a thing. The depression, anxiety, insomnia and everything else that comes along with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome were not being touched by the "We have a pill for that" pharmaceuticals.

 

 

What I did notice after 2 months of using medical cannabis was that if I used prior too going anywhere alcohol consumed or served, my alcohol intake would be reduced too maybe 2 mixed drinks. The medical cannabis had done what no other "prescribed" drug could do. In a matter of minutes, my anxiety, depression, constant on guard, suicidal thoughts/feelings were gone. Now I can function, I can feel normal. Do I still get that "euphoric high?" No, that goes away and some strains of medical cannabis produce no "high." I can function again, I can be sociable, my paranoia and anxiety diminished when I use medical cannabis. In closing I make my plea as well as the plea of over 200,000 patients.

 

 

I as well as anyone else either associated with this program or not all agree Cannabis is a drug, but its a drug that is all natural and contains many therapeutic benefits. I believe 99% of us are legitimate and follow the letter of the law too the T. I support the prosecution of those who abuse the act, I support ridding Michigan of "card mills." Why? These "card mills" do nothing but seek a profit and are not putting patients best interest first. What I do not support? How it seems that in all these talks of amending the law, very few if any of our states lawmakers have said "Ya know what? We need to hear from patients and doctors before proceeding any further." We protest and write letters so our voices are heard, we initiate recalls when politicians again refute the public voice and carry on with their own agenda or beliefs. There should not be a representative in the entire state whom supports eroding or dismantling this law. Why? This law passed in every one of Michigan's districts. Too represent your district means too represent the will and voice of the people from that district.

 

 

I understand the conflict with federal law, maybe its time we had some lawmakers stand up for us such as the congressmen from Colorado who questioned U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding recent crack downs. Or the Attorney General from the state of Oregon who represented the medical cannabis patients of that state against a sheriff who refused too issue concealed Pistol Licenses too patients. Or perhaps we need a state politician too stand up and question the federal government's stance when every month the fed mails out 300 pre rolled cannabis cigarettes to 4 surviving federal medical cannabis patients. We are not criminals, we are people who have tried and tried everything under the sun too alleviate our conditions with little or no help from pharmaceuticals. Yes some are abusing the act, abuse of any law or act will always be an issue whether it be a federal or state program. Recent research shows teen cannabis use is up while alcohol and tobacco use decline, what this research doesn't also show is that it was conducted in all 50 states, as of now only 17 states have medical cannabis laws. In those states with medical cannabis laws youth use remains unchanged, traffic fatalities decline by 9% and alcohol sales decline by 5%. Yet we see new reports of opiate abuse amongst our youth. According too the CDC prescription pill overdose or abuse accounts for over 35,000 deaths in this country, Alcohol is around that number as well and tobacco accounts for over 400,000 American deaths annually. Cannabis/ Marijuana annual deaths are at 0.

 

 

My hope is that you read this with an open mind and heart, I do not wish too see our youth use drugs of any kind period, I believe though research shows when cannabis is allowed too be used as a medicine in a state and its regulated very well (ie Colorado) youth use does not rise and access is restricted. May I add as well if our states Attorney General would like too see the law amended in such a way that a patient can not operate a vehicle with ANY amount of cannabis in their system then I would suggest Michigan become a zero tolerance state in the sense that 0.0 alcohol be present in a drivers system, after all even after 1 drink you are technically "under the influence of alcohol."

 

 

 

I thank you for your time and pray that when or if the time comes for any discussion too amend this act, you listen to the voices of the patients and doctors as well.

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Everyone may not agree with others finer points but if were all willing to listen to each other progress will move forward . Maybe you can put up another thread to explain this Colorado model and why you believe it is better . I have always thought Michigans supply should come from qualified program participants who are facing discrimination in employment and education . I like the Farmers Market concept but it is obvious there needs to be some regulatory screening . The problem for me as a low income patient is insurance does not cover the cost of this " medicine " , fair tax policy does not exist at the Federal level , many program participants including myself are living under 150% of poverty ( they also often need the most cannabis to ease their symptoms ) so how do you do it without driving prices up further cutting off more access . Thank you for sharing your positive thoughts working towards a solution .

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The Colorado reference I made is due too this, it is my understanding all dispensaries and/or anything medical Marijuana related is licensed and regulated by the state, hence the reason the congressmen from Colorado asked Mr. Holder if Colorado could expect more leniency since their system is regulated, at which time Mr. Holder re iterated the "Ogden memo was still in effect." Again re enforcing that the U.S. Justice Department has no interest in medical marijuana so long as the states laws are being adhered too.

 

We in Michigan do not have a regulated system, I am not saying our system is bad either what I'm stating are just political facts, the government want some type of control of the drug, they are trying to ensure whats being used as medicine isn't also being fed into the black market therefore they are looking for states with these laws to really regulate and manage them to ensure this isn't happening. Currently Michigan does not have such a system therefore in their eyes it poses a greater risk that the medicine will flow unchecked and into the improper hands, their will be resolution but the MI system will change, the care giver will be done away with unless you can afford the fees the state will impose for proper regulation and licensing. Colorado has this system and I haven't yet heard of one of their licensed dispensaries being raided. Bottom line they want regulation and control, is that completely bad? I don't think so, as long as its regulated in a sense that provides affordability and compassion not greed and extortion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone may not agree with others finer points but if were all willing to listen to each other progress will move forward . Maybe you can put up another thread to explain this Colorado model and why you believe it is better . I have always thought Michigans supply should come from qualified program participants who are facing discrimination in employment and education . I like the Farmers Market concept but it is obvious there needs to be some regulatory screening . The problem for me as a low income patient is insurance does not cover the cost of this " medicine " , fair tax policy does not exist at the Federal level , many program participants including myself are living under 150% of poverty ( they also often need the most cannabis to ease their symptoms ) so how do you do it without driving prices up further cutting off more access . Thank you for sharing your positive thoughts working towards a solution .

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