Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jan 2014
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2014 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Kate Rollason


Many, many kudos to The Baltimore Sun for its front-page article on 
Maryland's failure to people with some disabilities and those who 
suffer in extreme pain due to inexplicable roadblocks to authorize 
medical marijuana ("Medical marijuana still beyond reach in 
Maryland," Jan. 28).

We hear many excuses spun as "reasons." Yes, it's still banned by the 
federal government, but 20 states and the District of Columbia have 
chosen to help people instead. Two states have even legalized 
marijuana for recreational use.

To my knowledge, doctors have not lost their licenses to practice 
medicine. Yet those in our state have refused to help people in need. 
The law that passed was overly restrictive by requiring a medical 
institution to conduct "studies." None have done so, and I'm not sure 
what that would have done for people in Garrett County anyway.

My favorite excuse is that it's a drug and that it will lead to more 
serious drug use. As a person with epilepsy myself, I've been taking 
drugs, some with very severe side effects, for over 50 years, which 
sometimes work pretty well and sometimes don't, but they still make 
me groggy on occasion.

I'm appalled that we would let a little boy have his face smashed up 
by a fall from a seizure. I'm appalled that we would continue to 
allow him to have 10 seizures a week. I'm appalled that we would 
allow people in severe pain to not have a shot at relief while still 

But my other favorite excuse is that "we must research it first." 
Research while people are being hurt? I always thought that the 
mantra, the guiding principle of the medical profession was, "First, 
do no harm."

We are doing harm, serious harm. Give physicians, with or without a 
tie to a medical institution, the authority to prescribe. We can 
continue with research. But first, let's do no more harm to any more 

Kate Rollason, Annapolis
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