Thank you for including all viewpoints on cannabis and MMC’s in our city. Letters to the editor are meant to include a variety of ideas. People read and make up their own minds based on reasoning, bias, or firmly held beliefs.
I re-read my own letter and another after reading that the youth counselor had been belittled. The letter writer used the terms despicable and desperate to describe what had been written about him. Wow, I couldn’t find anything disrespectful in my letter or Linda Yellin’s letter who presented ideas about good communication with your children. I didn’t see where Linda’s letter was implying that parents are the problem.
In retrospect, given the issues that the town is facing, maybe my letter advocating legalization and fun was inappropriate at this time. I stand by my words: I don’t believe there is anything wrong or irresponsible in expressing the reality of a drug war and prohibition that has been a dismal failure by any account. I would like to address the medical cannabis issue, given the strong reaction to my previous letter.
In the interest of transparency, I am a caregiver for my partner. She suffers from chronic pain, a head injury, migraines, insomnia, nausea, depression and chronic fatigue, all of these conditions from multiple car accidents. She is the poster child for why the law was passed in the first place. She has used cannabis for nausea, pain, insomnia, and fatigue. It works better for some of these conditions than others. She also takes prescription medications, which have their side effects and very unpleasant physical withdrawal symptoms. Cannabis has mild side effects some of the time, but no withdrawal issues.
Somewhere between 98,000 to 140,000 people a year die from adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals (zero known deaths from Cannabis), yet I don’t hear anyone suggesting that the drug store in Lyons is legitimizing dangerous drugs. A police officer addressed a high school faculty in 2009 in Boulder County. She told the audience about one of the latest trends she was seeing in teen parties. Teens were gathering prescription medicines from the family medicine cabinets and depositing them in a large bowl at the party entrance. Young people would then gather a handful and ingest the dangerous combination. She also explained that students were sharing their own Ritalin prescriptions with others. We have legitimized dangerous prescription drugs in this country. We have prescribed drugs to young people to address school behavioral issues. Alcohol permeates our culture. There are many places to point the finger of blame.
I am not suggesting we outlaw pharmaceuticals. Nonetheless, my partner’s least harmful medicine is food, followed closely by cannabis. Before you decide we need to rid our community of the MMC’s, please consider three things: 1) the patients and their needs, 2) the business owners who have sunk large investments into an industry that is turning less lucrative by the day, and 3) how we have legitimized dangerous prescription drugs by allowing advertising to dominate our airwaves. There is a drug for everything. Perhaps this attitude has contributed more to the issues with our young people.
Finally, we don’t need to degrade those we disagree with around these issues. I have been called far worse than irresponsible in my fifty-eight years. At the same time, if I have offended anyone, I apologize. Keep up the conversations!
Mother and Educator (retired)