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  • Richard Lake 7:23 pm on May 27, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Re: Heroin That Goes Far Beyond Junk, Joe O’Connor, May 13.

    As grieving parents of a son who died at age 19 in 1993 after
    ingesting some street heroin, may we offer our comments? When America
    prohibited alcohol, thousands were poisoned by adulterated market
    booze. When alcohol was legalized again, those incidents were
    drastically reduced.

    Today, our children are dying because of adulterated black market
    drugs. The carnage will end only when we come to our senses and allow
    users once again to purchase clean, cheap, quality-tested drugs at
    the corner store just as tobacco users now do.

    Let’s finish the job we started when we ended alcohol prohibition,
    follow the principles enshrined in the Charter and legalize all drugs.

    Eleanor and Alan Randell, Victoria.

    Pubdate: Tue, 17 May 2011

    Source: National Post (Canada)

    Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n304/a02.html

  • Richard Lake 6:10 am on May 21, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Two days ago, during a political discussion about border problems
    toward the end of a Sierra Club outing to look for Taylor’s
    checkerspot butterflies at the Beazell Memorial Forest in Oregon, I
    mentioned that the Mexican drug cartels have won. There is
    insufficient political and financial will to launch an effective
    fight against those gangs.

    I first heard this opinion from Charles Bowden in his book titled
    “Dreamland: The Way Out of Juarez.” Bowden wrote that the society in
    that city has gone through a metamorphosis and is now governed by drug cartels.

    Today’s Arizona Daily Star online has an article titled: “Mexican
    drug gangs assuming government roles.” If you want to read it, click
    this link:

    The solution: legalize drugs and tax them, just like cigarettes and alcohol.

    When the prohibition of alcohol was repealed, organized crime lost a
    major source of income and the number of violent crimes plummeted. It
    is obvious that present U.S. drug prohibition is not working.
    Continuing ineffective action is costly and does not solve the
    problem. It actually creates problems of overcrowded jails and
    courts. The drug cartels’ domination spills over into the U.S.’s
    southwestern communities and includes law enforcement corruption.

    Living in the Southwest became much more risky during the past
    decade. Oregon is way less dangerous than Arizona, only due to the
    distance from Mexico.

    Ricardo Small, Albany

    Pubdate: Tue, 10 May 2011

    Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)

  • Richard Lake 7:05 am on May 14, 2011 Permalink  

    ALERT: 468 Now There Are 16 States 



    DrugSense FOCUS Alert #468 – Saturday, May 14th, 2011

    Today the front page of The News Journal, Delaware’s major newspaper,
    printed the article below. Will this, the most restrictive law any
    state has, ever actually help patients? Will the federal government
    allow the state to have three not-for-profit dispensaries?

    You may read the law at

    If you have been following the news at http://www.mapinc.org/find?253
    you know that the feds are continuing to attack medicinal marijuana
    providers in various ways. Until Congress passes a law supporting
    medical cannabis that is not likely to change.

    Please consider House vote tallies for the Hinchey/Rohrabacher
    medical marijuana amendment at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll733.xml

    You will notice which party tends to give medical marijuana the most
    support. The vote also shows that much needs to be done before
    federal laws will be changed.

    Please contact your Members of Congress. Please write letters to the
    editor of newspapers. It Is Not What Others Do, It Is What You Do.

    If you need medicinal cannabis facts please visit



    Regulatory, Licensing Process Begins for Three Dispensaries

    Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation Friday legalizing marijuana
    growing, distribution and use in Delaware for limited medical purposes.

    The General Assembly sent Markell the medical-marijuana legislation
    on Wednesday.

    The governor signed the bill Friday morning without the usual
    ceremony in order to initiate a one-year regulatory and licensing
    process for three not-for-profit dispensaries that will be authorized
    to sell marijuana to qualified patients, according to his office.

    Under Senate Bill 17, physicians could recommend marijuana for
    patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis,
    amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease and
    post-traumatic stress disorder.

    People with other chronic disease or debilitating medical conditions
    could qualify if other medicines or surgical procedures have failed
    to relieve their pain or caused seizures, severe or persistent muscle
    spasms and intractable nausea.

    Physicians and patients would have to have a “bona fide
    physician-patient relationship” and other medical treatments would
    have to be exhausted before marijuana is recommended, according to
    the bill and its legislative sponsors.

    Qualified patients who get a doctor’s recommendation and a
    state-issued identification card will be able to purchase up to six
    ounces of marijuana at one of the dispensaries.

    Marijuana growing and purchases will be limited to the dispensaries.
    Patients will not be allowed to grow their own cannabis.

    “We made clear that this would need to be very limited in scope and
    actively targeted to only Delawareans with profound and chronic
    illness like cancer and ALS. It is. This bill needed to be about
    giving targeted help to the most sick in a way that made medical
    sense, and it is,” Markell said in a written statement.


    Prepared by: Richard Lake, Focus Alert Specialist http://www.mapinc.org

    DrugSense provides many services at no charge, but they are not
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  • Richard Lake 3:42 pm on May 13, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Thank you for the editorial, Insite’s proven benefits ignored in
    political fray (SP, April 25). The safe injection site operates in
    Vancouver with the support of local and provincial governments, but is
    under continual assault by the federal Conservatives.

    Insite has kept operating only through repeated victories in the
    courts – victories based on clear evidence that it saves lives and
    reduces drug use.

    While some people foolishly believe that harsh measures are the only
    way to deal with the drugs we have made illegal, that approach has
    been tried in many places and had led only to more drug use, crime,

    Over the decades-long drug war, drug use rates have risen while drug
    costs have fallen and drug purity has risen.

    We are in the midst of an inquisition run by fanatics who believe that
    drugs can be eliminated and drug users saved if only we can make their
    world painful enough. There is simply no evidence to support this
    belief. How many more people must die, spend their lives in prison, or
    be corrupted and destroyed in the drug underworld before we bring this
    insanity to an end?

    Legalization and regulation is the answer.

    Ken Sailor


    Pubdate: Thu, 5 May 2011

    Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)

    Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11.n285.a11.html

  • Richard Lake 6:01 am on May 9, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Writer of the Month – April 


    DrugSense recognizes Robert Sharpe for his 11 letters published
    during April, bringing the total number of published letters archived
    by MAP to 2,475. Robert spends about an hour a day after work
    sending out letters. Where appropriate Robert references specific
    Drug War Facts http://www.drugwarfacts.org . Robert’s tips for letter
    writing success are at http://www.mapinc.org/resource/tips.htm

    You may read Robert’s published letters at:

  • Richard Lake 4:42 pm on May 6, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Marijuana is medicinal, but it’s not for everyone. Pills aren’t for
    everyone either.

    Suffering with chronic pain in my pectoral muscle is not cancer, but
    it’s not enjoyable for me to be hurting, either. If I take too many
    pills to alleviate the pain, there’s a great chance of getting ill
    (or even dying), but if I smoke too much marijuana, I will merely
    relax and get a good night’s sleep.

    Michigan residents who choose to use marijuana (legally for medicine)
    are threats to no one.

    Donna M. Paridee


    Pubdate: Tue, 26 Apr 2011

    Source: Detroit Free Press

    Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n259/a07.html

  • Richard Lake 11:52 am on April 29, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Re: Injection Site Cuts Fatal Overdoses By 35, April 18.

    I am a doctor at Vancouver’s safe injection site, Insite, and I would
    like to address some misinformation about it. No one who works in
    harm reduction thinks that it is a replacement for rehab or other
    medical treatment. Harm reduction and treatment facilities work in
    harmony to increase outreach to this vulnerable population and to
    facilitate care. There is a role for both models of health-care delivery.

    The injection site is a place for people to have a welcoming
    interaction with the health-care system. Nurses patch wounds and give
    vaccinations and the social workers help people find housing. For
    some of our patients, this is their only place to access running
    water, and only time that they are safe from sexual assault.

    I work on the second floor, which is an in-patient medical detox.
    Patients who use the site and are interested in recovery are admitted
    for a 10-to 14 day stay in our unit under supervision of doctors and
    nurses. After they finish their detox, patients can live in our
    transition housing while they wait to move to a treatment centre.

    I work in this field because I believe that addiction is an illness
    that is both treatable and curable. If rehab is the cure for
    addiction, why not ensure that people don’t die while they are
    waiting for a treatment bed? If the federal government closes our
    clinic, that will support the spread of HIV, increase hospital
    admissions for endocarditis and condemn people to death.

    Dr. Christy Sutherland, Vancouver

    Pubdate: Thu, 21 Apr 2011

    Source: National Post (Canada)

    Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n000/a015.html

  • Richard Lake 7:56 am on April 22, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Today is a very sad day. As a medical marijuana caregiver, it is
    always sad to read in the obituaries that one of your patients has
    died from the debilitating effects of cancer.

    I watched her struggle with her disease for the better part of a
    year. She never complained or showed any sign of ill will toward
    anyone. She never complained even when she was so weak that she
    could barely walk into our store to purchase the cannabis that
    allowed her to combat the constant nausea that she suffered
    throughout her illness. She never complained when she read almost
    daily in The Billings Gazette that she was being demonized and
    accused of criminal behavior. She never spoke an ill word against
    those who call themselves “Christians” and systematically try to
    repeal the law that allowed her to medicate with cannabis. She
    gracefully endured the insulting accusations by the group “Safe
    Community, Safe Kids,” who constantly insinuated that her medical
    cannabis was somehow harming schoolchildren. This gentle spirit has
    gone to a place where she will be judged for her valor and her inner beauty.

    It is ironic that in the very same Gazette in which her obituary
    appeared, a member of Safe Community, Safe Kids has printed an appeal
    to call the governor and urge him to sign the medical marijuana
    repeal bill. I am guessing there is a special set of rules for
    judging people who are so intolerant, judgmental, uncompassionate and
    quick to condemn other members of our community. I hope to witness
    the event when those rules are applied.

    William Reid


    Pubdate: Sat, 16 Apr 2011

    Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT)

    Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11.n241.a03.html

  • Richard Lake 7:45 am on April 15, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Of The Week 


    Did you know the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved pill form
    of marijuana (Marinol) only contains one of the compounds or
    cannabinoids that are found in the marijuana plant? That compound is
    tetrahyrdocannabinol or THC.

    Recent research in marijuana has shown it has many therapeutic
    compounds or cannabinoids in it, such as CBD, a nonpsychoactive
    cannabinoid that has been clinically demonstrated to have analgesic,
    anti-spasmodic, anxiolytic, anti-psychotic, anti-nausea and
    anti-rheumatoid arthritic properties. Along with CBD, there are
    other naturally occurring terpenoids (oils) and flavonoids (phenols)
    that also have been clinically demonstrated to possess therapeutic utility.

    If you are wondering why this information has not been in the
    mainstream, you need look no further than Sunday’s Birmingham News
    (“Doctors rethink ties to drug industry”). The drug industry is rich
    and powerful. It pays doctors to promote its products and to not
    promote products. The drug industry doesn’t want you to be able to
    grow your own medicine. Where’s the profit in that?

    Obviously, there is merit to marijuana helping to relieve symptoms
    for various illnesses or 15 states would not have legalized it for
    medicinal purposes, nor would the Veterans Administration have
    relaxed its policies concerning marijuana.

    This legislative session, Alabamians could have the chance to try
    this medicine with a recommendation from their doctor. Let your
    legislators know to vote yes for House Bill 386, the Michael Phillips
    Compassionate Care Act.

    Dawn Palmer


  • Richard Lake 3:11 pm on April 8, 2011 Permalink  

    Letter Writer of the Month – March – Stan White 

    DrugSense recognizes Stan White of Dillon, Colorado for his eight
    letters published during March, bringing his career total that we
    know of to 856.

    You may read Stan’s published letters by clicking this link:

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