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Medical marijuana not the real threat to kids

Updated: January 31, 2013 6:42AM



Unfounded fear: The real threat to kids isn’t medical marijuana

In response to Judy Kreamer’s letter (Dec. 28) about medical marijuana, it should be understood that many of those admissions to treatment centers for marijuana are the result of a judge offering jail time or rehab and are not voluntary admissions by people who feel they are addicted to marijuana.

Also, her fears about children getting access to this medicine are unfounded, as there has never been a documented overdose fatality from marijuana use, for medical purposes or otherwise.

If she is concerned about children getting access to medicine that is truly dangerous, the pill-mill doctors who recklessly prescribe opioid based painkillers are where she should focus. Those pills are in many medicine cabinets across the country and have been the main reason so many young people are dying from drugs in suburban America.

Illinois lawmakers have been debating medical marijuana for many years now, and hopefully they can pass a bill that would protect some very sick people from arrest and give them safe and legal access to this medicine. The bill currently being debated in Springfield has very specific conditions that would qualify for a medical cannabis card, and surely no teenager would be willing to contract HIV in order to legally get marijuana. Furthermore, parental permission is required for minors who have a listed condition.

Kreamer’s intentions to protect the children are noble, but she doesn’t mention any of the people who are struggling to live and would be helped if Illinois were to allow doctors to recommend marijuana. Plus, medical cannabis patients don’t want a program that could be abused, because there is a provision for the law to expire after three years. That provision and limiting the qualifying conditions are all things that lawmakers have added to this measure over the years of debating this issue.

Unfortunately, over those years, many sick people have been denied legal access to this well-documented medicine, too. It is immoral to continue to incriminate cancer patients who need this medicine to eat and continue their chemotherapy. It is immoral to force multiple sclerosis patients to get their medicine from an illegal and unregulated dealer. It is immoral to deny medicine to those who need it because of scare tactics aimed at parents.

Dan Linn

Executive director, Illinois chapter of NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws)

Sycamore



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