Many Utahns with severe, chronic and debilitating medical conditions chose to treat their symptoms with an herbal remedy, rather than taking synthetic, man made prescription drugs.
When making this choice, these Utah citizens are also risking their freedom, and if one were to believe the typical hype from Utah politicians, their lives.
Rather, most medical marijuana patients in Utah have a well established connection whom they turn to as often as necessary to treat their medical conditions.
Although medical marijuana continues to be illegal in Utah, many patients opts to risk the penalties established by Utah lawmakers and enforced by Utah law enforcement personnel.
Many lawmakers have responded to the grassroots organization, Legalize Utah, in their campaign to obtain a personal opinion from each politician regarding medical marijuana. It is clear from the majority of the responses that statewide, there is a serious lack of education, understanding and compassion. For example, Utah Congressman Jim Matheson stated:
“Individuals who regularly abuse marijuana may experience the same problems as tobacco smokers including cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis, and frequent chest colds, and usage also increases risk of cancer of the head, neck, lungs, and respiratory tract.”
There are several problems with Congressman Matheson response.
First, the medical marijuana movement is for patients with severe medical conditions, many of which prevent any type of smoking. Individuals who require oxygen or chose to ingest their choice of herbal medication for other reasons cook with cannabis.
Second, there are hundreds of excellent ganja friendly recipes and there is clear evidence from next door neighbor Colorado that stores like the Ganja Gourmet are not only surviving in the most intense recession since the Great Depression, they are thriving by providing employment as well as a very much needed service to medical marijuana patients.
Another typical response from Utah lawmakers was given by Utah Senator Allen Christensen:
“As soon as you are mentally hooked on marijuana you will be looking for additional drugs to get your ‘kick’. Marijuana is a gateway drug and I will never vote to support its use”.
Senator Christensen also introduced S.B. 40 – The Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Amendment with which he plans to use almost two dollar a box tax on cigarette (in part) to “fight the medical marijuana movement in Utah”.
By using tax money to fight a movement that is helping chronically ill patients by allowing them to chose their own method of herbal treatment, Senator Christensen is oblivious to the needs of his constituents.
With 2010 elections looming, Legalize Utah has vowed to elect more informed, better educated politicians who are actually responsive to the Utah voters, rather than disrespectful and rude.
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