#301 Educate Illinois Media About Medical Marijuana

Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005
Subject: #301 Educate Illinois Media About Medical Marijuana


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #301 – Sunday, 20 Feb 2005

In a whirlwind series of events, including two excellent OPEDs in
major Chicago newspapers, the state of Illinois finds itself immersed
in a public discussion about legalizing marijuana for qualified
medical use.

In the Illinois state legislature, Rep. Larry McKeon introduced a bill
which would legalize use for a short list of medical conditions.

Though both were too cowardly to debate the topic in a public forum
with supporters of the bill, Dr. Andrea Barthwell, a now retired ONDCP
Deputy Chief, and her former boss Drug Czar John Walters each did
their part. They worked to insure medical patients who elect to use
cannabis with a doctor’s guidance will continue to be arrested and
criminally prosecuted. Barthwell toured the state speaking to
audiences reported to average about a dozen per showing, while Walters
enjoyed a more visible platform when testifying Thursday at the
committee hearings in Springfield.

Following testimonies from both supporters and detractors of the bill,
including Czar Walters, the 11-person committee voted 4-7 in favor of
the bill. Two Democrats who had been expected to vote for the bill –
Michelle Chavez of Cicero and – Naomi Jakobsson of Champaign – were
influenced by the scurrilous testimony of Czar Walters.

It appears that many newspapers in Illinois understand the truth of
what has played out in their state over the past two weeks. The
Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Tribune had earlier endorsed such
legislation and they were joined with OPEDs by Rep. McKeon and Montel

Please consider writing a short, succinct Letter to the Editor to the
newspapers linked below. Let them know your feelings about the need
to end the criminal prohibition laws against responsible medical
marijuana use.

These links will show you the articles and opinion items we are aware



http://www.mapinc.org/states/il/ (Illinois)

Additional articles or opinion items on this issue may show up at the
links in over the next few days.

Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do


Additional suggestions for writing letters to the editor are

Writer’s Resources http://www.mapinc.org/resource/



Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list (sentlte@mapinc.org) will help you to
review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see



Prepared by: Stephen Heath http://www.mapinc.org/resource/maf_bio.htm