Pubdate: Wed, 16 Apr 2003
Source: Bay Weekly (MD)
Copyright: 2003 Bay Weekly
Author: Erin Hildebrandt


Dear Bay Weekly:

Drug Czar John Walters ("Maryland Grapples with a Weedy Issue": Dock of the 
Bay, Vol. XI, No. 14, April 3) seems to feel that the truth is 
"irresponsible" and "immoral".

The Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act, which I testified in support of, 
will still allow the state of Maryland to send armed men into the homes of 
sick and dying patients, terrorize good, tax-paying citizens and even rob 
them of their medicine and assess fines on these suffering citizens. Mr. 
Walters will still be able to send his own armed forces to do the same, as 
well as send these patients to federal prison for a very long time, just as 
he continues to do in California and elsewhere.

The only real change in business as usual in Maryland will be that, for the 
first time, people who are put through the living hell of having their 
family turned upside down -- for the crime of taking their medicine -- will 
be allowed to tell the whole truth once they find themselves in court. For 
the first time, a judge will be able to use God-given good sense and decide 
merely to further punish these "criminals" by fining them $100, instead of 
being forced to assess more obscene penalties and jail time.

It is John Walters who is both immoral and irresponsible for demanding 
Maryland act with complete disregard for its most fragile and vulnerable 
citizens. We can do much better! I implore our governor to sign this bill 
into law. We must prioritize compassion over politics, or Maryland is less 
than the best it can be!

Erin Hildebrandt, Smithsburg
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