Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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Letters

May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013: Letters to the editor

(Continued)

Medical marijuana should be available

While there is overwhelming support for legalization of medical marijuana, its users still suffer harsh discrimination. Sometimes they lose their jobs, and sometimes they can lose their life.

In Colorado, Brandon Coats is disabled throughout 80 percent of his body. He suffers involuntary body spasms that can only be helped through marijuana. While marijuana is a miracle drug for relieving various medical conditions and pain, the federal government continues to deny this evidence and state it has no medical purposes.

So, while as a customer service representative, he was subject to random drug tests by his company.

While Colorado law states those who use a legal drug are safe from discrimination and firing, Mr. Coats wasn’t because the company cited federal law.

The fact is a company can’t fire someone in that state for Viagra, but they can fire someone like Mr. Coats for taking marijuana for body spasms. Marijuana is the only legal drug where it is legal to discriminate against someone who uses it. Now, if that case made you mad, just wait for the next one.

Norman Smith was a patient with cancer of the liver. I say Mr. Smith was a patient, because he died. He died because he was removed from a waiting list for a liver transplant. He took marijuana with the advice of his oncologist for his severe pain.

No, the government did not mandate he be removed from the waiting list, but it is part of the larger culture of intolerance for marijuana usage in the culture among the elite, be it government, police or even hospital administrators. Norman Smith might still be alive today, if not for that mindset. By the way, groups such as the Marijuana Policy Project work to reform these unjust laws. We need a medical marijuana law in Indiana, now.

Colleen Kronquist

Kokomo

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