LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reconsider medical marijuana ban | TahoeDailyTribune.com

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reconsider medical marijuana ban

I am writing to encourage our city council to reconsider its decision to pursue a ban on local medical marijuana dispensaries. Some of the objections to the dispensaries, as quoted in the Tribune’s July 28 article, indicate the city council might benefit from some additional education on the issue of medical marijuana before taking such a drastic step. Jerry Birdwell and Bruce Grego are both quoted as suggesting that the people who patronize these dispensaries, “do not appear sick.” Many of the users of medical marijuana might not appear sick, but are in need of treatment just the same. Some examples are patients with chronic pain, anxiety, MS, HIV, and nausea from chemotherapy to name just a few. This type of statement is offensive and is akin to complaints that people using disabled parking spaces, “don’t look disabled.” Bruce Grego’s statement that he thinks, “the collectives are poisoning the youth of our society” seems a bit ironic in that South Lake Tahoe freely supports (and is financially supported by) alcohol use and gambling. It seems hypocritical to me to target medical marijuana as somehow evil and then actively support our local casino industry. Mr. Grego further indicates that, “anyone with $50 can get a medical marijuana card.” If this is the case, then clearly the doctors providing these cards need some monitoring. It seems cruel to me to punish those patients with legitimate, chronic health needs who benefit from medical marijuana use for the abuse of the system by some doctors. Proposition 19, if passed in November, would enable our local community to financially benefit from the regulation and taxing of medical marijuana. Isn’t this better than keeping the profits in the hands of the drug dealers who these patients will have to turn to if the dispensaries are closed?

Janice Eastburn

South Lake Tahoe