Pubdate: Fri,  7 Sep 2001
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Tahoe-Carson Area Newspapers
Author: Don Regis-Bilar
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


To the editor: 

As more states legalize the right for an individual to possess and use
marijuana for purposes authorized by a medical doctor, the issue has grown
large. It has been tried to the United States Supreme Court. It is being
tried in both local media and the El Dorado County Superior Court system
symbolized through a 28-year-old South Shore defendant named Matt Macosko; a
self-described "medicinal marijuana caregiver." 

Lake Tahoe's South Shore is without metaphorical borders so it is relevant
that California and Nevada voters have said yes to those wishing to use
marijuana for medical purposes. The federal government has sent mixed
messages. It is now up to the U.S. Congress to eventually decide the issue:
Federal law vs. states' rights. 

In the meantime, there reportedly exist a significant number of medicinal
marijuana cardholders at the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Macosko, through his
legal travails - (he has been charged with two felonies: Transportation of
marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell) and through the
Tahoe Daily Tribune publishing his post office box number and e-mail address
- - has become the most visible provider of marijuana to individuals who have
a legal right to obtain it. 

It is heartening to know that the City Council of Sparks recently held a
public forum on the issue. Moreover, Nevada's Department of Agriculture has
taken a proactive role in implementing the state's medicinal marijuana law
shortly after it was passed. 

The city of South Lake Tahoe has failed to take a leadership role in
addressing the conundrum facing a large portion of the citizenry: California
says I can, the United States says perhaps I cannot ... what do my local
officials feel? 

In July 1999, I appeared before the South Lake Tahoe City Council to suggest
that the councilmembers find a way to sanction a method that would permit
qualifying citizens to obtain marijuana for medical purposes. 

I like to say the suggestion was met with stony silence. 

Henceforth, on Sunday, Sept. 9, Tahoe-Douglas Chamber executive director,
Kathleen Farrell, Douglas County Librarian Patty Timmens and I will be
hosting the Lake Tahoe Medicinal Marijuana Forum 2001. 

As a trio, Kathy, Patty and I have been involved in the planning and
execution of special events that have addressed issues that are
fundamentally humanitarian. We view the issue at hand, marijuana for
medicinal purposes, as nothing short of compassionate humanity. 

Our mission statement for the event is, "To establish an atmosphere of
support and compassion for those who choose to have the legal right to
obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes at Lake Tahoe." 

We have invited a broad spectrum of local officials (including the City
Council) and regional individuals as panelists and they will be announced in
a forthcoming press release. 

As for Matt Macosko, he has been described on this page as a "hero" by one
letter writer. Whatever one's opinion of Macosko, he did what he did, and
continues to do, with the eyes wide knowledge that he could face a loss of
his personal freedom (he now faces a possible five-year prison sentence).
>From my understanding of democracy, his behavior exemplifies the philosophy
of personal choice. I would not call him a hero straight up, but I would
call him a folk hero; a hero to the folks. 

If you would like more information on the Lake Tahoe Medicinal Marijuana
Forum 2001, please contact us at (530) 544-6959,  There will be no charge for this event. 

Don Regis-Bilar, South Lake Tahoe
- ---
MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk