To the editor:
The Pennsylvania general assembly currently has two bills in commitee for the Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
Neither SB1003 nor HB1653 are scheduled for any kind of hearing or vote. It is high time for our fat-cat representatives to put away their personal feelings and do what is good for the people of this state.
The Israeli government this week formally acknowledged the therapeutic utility of cannabis and announced newly amended guidelines governing the state-sponsored production and distribution of medical cannabis to Israeli patients. Why haven't we heard about this in the mainstream media? Also, when did Israel become more progressive than the U.S.A.?
Currently, 16 states have medical marijuana programs as does Washington D.C. That's right, at the heart of the American Republic, sick people are using cannabis. Do our assemblymen care about we the suffering people, or are they too worried about reelection? How many senators and representatives are doctors? How many have lived with a medical condition that could be helped by this drug? Do any of them have relatives who could benefit? We the people demand that they desist from making decisions concerning disease treatment because they are not qualified to do so. We ask that senators and representatives peel off their cloaks of cowardice and confront this issue now!
The American Medical Association has come out in favor of medical marijuana, so what good reason can the government have to keep this medicine prohibited? To read their conclusions on the efficacy of cannabis go to www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/i09csaph3ft.pdf
As an amputee survivor of cancer and the husband of a woman with multiple sclerosis, this is a pressing issue. Regardless of how you currently feel about medical cannabis, I think we can all agree that when a loved one suffers, you want them to get the best medicine available. I personally don't believe in fertility drugs, but I would never try to stop anyone else from using them. It's time for our government to stop making medical decisions for their constituents, and allow the truly gifted doctors of our great state to use every tool available to treat their patients.
Please take the time to contact your elected officials and ask them to cosponsor these two bills. SB1003 is in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee which is chaired by Patricia Vance (R). Ask her to schedule a hearing on SB1003. Sen. Vance can be reached at (717) 787-8524. HB1653 is in the House Human Services Committee which is chaired by Gene DiGirolamo (R). Rep. DiGirolamo can be reached at (717) 783-7319.