Toni to Pot Opponents: Shove It
Regarding Kathy Glasgow's article: I have the greatest respect for Jim Hall ("Dope Detective," July 10). His unique ability to offer unbiased information about drugs is a refreshing change from the usual drug-war rhetoric and lies. His observations, however, about the medical use of marijuana need some clarification.
Jim Hall acknowledged, as physicians for thousands of years have known, that marijuana has definite medical benefits. In 1988 the DEA's own chief law judge, Francis Young, ruled in part that "marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known." Jim Hall's suggestion to make these active ingredients available by suppository is, well, asinine. Many people have found relief from their suffering by brewing marijuana into tea or baking cookies, much more realistic approaches than shoving something up one's butt.
In the same ruling quoted above, Judge Young admonished, "It would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance...." But people are still suffering unnecessarily from chemotherapy, they are still in pain from multiple sclerosis, they are still dying from AIDS's wasting syndrome, and they still continue to go blind from glaucoma. Our government has ignored Judge Young's ruling for ten years.
It is time to repeal unreasonable, unproductive laws against medical marijuana, state by state. California and Arizona successfully brought the issue to the public and corrected their draconian laws. So shall the State of Florida.
Toni Leeman, president
Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana
Medicinal Pot: More Than Token Support Needed
Jim Hall has done a great service to our community and our nation through his involvement in exposing the Rohypnol scandal, his involvement in the Miami Coalition, and his leadership at Up Front. We became friends while serving on the board of the recently defunct HIV/AIDS Planning and Management Organization (HAPMO).
But I was taken aback by his disparaging remarks about advocacy of new research into the legalization of medicinal marijuana. In fact, it was Jim who introduced me to Toni Leeman, one of the founders of the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana. I have joined that board of directors as a free-speech issue, and as a medical adviser I hope to promote research to determine the value of smoked marijuana for glaucoma, cancer pain, AIDS, nausea, anorexia, et cetera.
I hope that more members of our professional and political leadership will recognize the benefits of this endeavor. Public support is invited.
Mark A. LaPorta, M.D.
David's Discovery: Dade Still Part of USA!
After reading Kathy Glasgow's article "Dead End" (July 10), I have come to fully realize that many of the rabid anti-Castro fanatics are more dangerous than the lunatic they fled. What is even more dangerous, however, is the attitude of politicians who refuse to distance themselves from these people. (Last time I looked, Dade County was still part of the United States -- despite having its own foreign policy.)
And as far as naming streets after fascists or pilots shot down by Cuban MiGs, how about naming a street for some young kid who got shot to shit in Korea or Vietnam? Nah, the bozo politicians wouldn't get any votes out of it, would they?
Spielberg Will Never Go for It: No Dinosaurs
There is nothing more I can add to express my feelings after reading Lynda Edwards's "Myths Over Miami" (June 5). Your readers have eloquently expressed themselves in their letters.
The story sat beside my typewriter for a week and haunted me. Finally I sat down and wrote a letter to Steven Spielberg, asking him if he would consider making an animated film from this haunting story and give part of the money realized from its distribution to help homeless children all over the world. I clipped the story in its original form and sent it to him so he could get the full impact of it. Maybe if I wish long and hard -- like those courageous children in the story do for a better life -- he will listen and act.
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I wonder how those homeless children can survive under such harrowing conditions. Maybe if we all try hard enough together, the children can be saved. I am counting on some kind of response from Mr. Spielberg.
In the July 3 issue, theater critic Savannah Whaley incorrectly identified the directors of two recent stage productions. Giorgio was directed by Peter King, and Chloe was directed by Lisa Kennedy. New Times regrets the error.