Readers Write: (Jan. 19): Marijuana laws, whales in captivity, college sports

  • Updated: January 17, 2014 - 7:15 PM

Medical use? Or more? Readers react to last Sunday’s columns.


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I doubted medical use until I saw it

Lori Sturdevant’s Jan. 12 column (“Marijuana is on the move: What, then, for Minnesota?”) raised interesting questions about our current marijuana laws, but didn’t fully address why Minnesota needs a medical marijuana law. It’s unconscionable that this state refuses to allow its sick and suffering to use marijuana if their physicians recommend it.

At 26, my daughter Stephanie passed away from melanoma. The treatment caused her to waste away before my eyes. Medical professionals and family members urged me to let her use marijuana; I staunchly refused, because I was taught to respect the law. Thankfully, my other children took matters into their own hands, giving her marijuana without my knowledge.

The results were amazing. After a small amount of marijuana, Stephanie started eating again, regained some energy and looked better than she had in months. She lived three more months, and I attribute them to her use of marijuana. Because of this, I support laws allowing marijuana to be used for medical purposes.

I was prepared to go to jail for purchasing marijuana for my daughter, but that shouldn’t be a decision families already dealing with tragedy have to make. It’s time for Minnesota to pass a medical marijuana law.


• • •

Two great articles last Sunday: Sturdevant’s Opinion Exchange column suggesting that full legalization of marijuana may be the logical strategy rather than the limited issue of medical usage, and Jon Tevlin’s metro section column reporting that businessman Randy Quast’s arrest after using marijuana for medical usage has inspired him to take up the cause to end prohibition.

Another aspect of this issue is that the drug war has caused more harm than has the use of marijuana. People of color are 10 times more likely to be arrested for using it. This country has the largest prison population in the world, beyond 2 million. It’s time for Minnesota to follow the lead of Colorado and the state of Washington to legalize marijuana and end the senseless drug war.


• • •

While the broader conversation happens nationally, it is imperative that here in Minnesota we focus our attention on the medical marijuana bill introduced by state Rep. Carly Melin and state Sen. Scott Dibble. The legislation has bipartisan support and has as many co-sponsors as Minnesota allows. In addition, two-thirds of the population of our state thinks that the sick and suffering should be allowed to use and access marijuana if their practitioners recommend it.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C., now have compassionate medical marijuana laws. Minnesota can and should join that list this year. While I may not be inclined to support broader marijuana policy reform, I believe that we should take the sick and dying off the battlefield in the war on marijuana users. If polls are to be believed, I know my fellow Minnesotans agree.




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