Pubdate: Tue, 08 Jun 2004
Source: Day, The (CT)
Copyright: 2004 The Day Publishing Co.
Author: Whitney Garlinghouse
Note: Garlinghouse is a member of the LEAP Speakers Bureau Coordination Team
Cited: Peter McWilliams
Bookmark: (McWilliams, Peter)


I commend The Day for its coverage of the rally near Congressman Rob
Simmons' office in Norwich last Friday to protest his position on
medical use of marijuana. ("Demonstrators show support for medicinal
marijuana," June 5.)

Although eight states have already legalized the use of marijuana for
medical purposes, such as for the relief of nausea brought on by
chemotherapy or relief of painful muscle spasms, Rep. Simmons
apparently feels that the federal government must prevent these states
from carrying out the will of their citizens under their laws. He
seems quite comfortable, for example, with the 10-year federal prison
sentence currently being served by Bryan Epis for growing medical
marijuana legally under California law. It seems ironic that a
Republican would have such disrespect for the right of each state to
govern its own affairs.

OK, so maybe Rob Simmons does not really believe in states'

But, what about the pain and suffering of fellow citizens in need of
medication? It wasn't long ago that Peter McWilliams used marijuana
legally under California law to relieve the nausea that prevented him
from keeping down critical cancer and AIDS medications. When a federal
court ordered Mr. McWilliams to stop using marijuana as a condition
for him remaining out of jail pending trial, he was soon found dead in
his home, choking to death on his vomit.

What possible logic can our Congressman find to justify his support of
such federal action except worn out platitudes from a war on drugs
that increasingly looks like a war on people?

Whitney Garlinghouse

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