Pubdate: Fri, 16 May 2003
Source: Cumberland Times-News (MD)
Copyright: 2003 Cumberland Times-News
Author: Erin Hildebrandt
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


To the Editor:

As the deadline nears for Gov. Ehrlich to decide whether or not to sign 
Marylandis medical marijuana bill, I am dismayed that he is receiving 
pressure to veto this modest first step toward protecting our weakest 
citizens. This bill will not legalize marijuana for anyone. It will give 
patients who are arrested the right to tell the whole truth in court. 
Further, it will allow judges to exercise common sense when sentencing 
these sick and dying people for their icrime.i Crohnis Disease used to 
leave me bedridden. In spite of prescriptions for dozens of dangerous drugs 
like Demerol, and even surgical treatments, I found little relief without 
devastating side effects. Fortunately, I discovered that marijuana was not 
only safe, but the only effective medicine I had ever tried. Medical 
marijuana gave me back my life. But I was left with an unacceptable dilemma 
o take my medicine and risk arrest, or burden my family by remaining 
disabled. No one should be forced to make such a choice!

As a mother of five, I am concerned about reducing the chance that my 
children might ever abuse any drugs. My kids have no trouble understanding 
that itis not okay to abuse marijuana, just as itis not okay to abuse 
Demerol. They cannot understand, however, why their mom could be jailed for 
taking her medicine.

At a time when our state budget is stretched perilously thin, the very 
least we can do is to stop wasting our tax dollars by jailing people for 
taking medicine. To continue this practice would not only be financially 
irresponsible, it would be obscene!

Please call the governor today at (410) 974-3591, and ask him to sign the 
medical marijuana bill.

Mrs. Erin Hildebrandt

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