Letters to the Editor

Marijuana Beats Morphine

I am a 61-year-old stage IV metastatic melanoma patient. I have tumors in my chest, spine, liver, and back. I can get all the morphine I want, but the side effects are horrendous. I much prefer to use marijuana to help with some of the pain. I smoke frequently and am appalled at the way this drug is treated. Kudos to attorney Douglas Hiatt, reporter Philip Dawdy, and Seattle Weekly for bringing up this important topic ["Club Pot Med," Aug. 16]. Frankly, at this stage of my life and the short time left of it, I find it ludicrous that anyone would refuse to allow me to purchase and indulge in any drug I wanted. What's it gonna do? KILL ME!

Dan VanderKolk


Expanding MINDS

Thank you so much for Philip Dawdy's well-researched and well-written article ["Club Pot Med," Aug. 16]. Hopefully, the straightforward quotes from Douglas Hiatt and Dawdy's presentation of some positive response toward medical marijuana from the medical community will open some minds and get people thinking about who is impacted by the busts: people who are very ill. Then perhaps they'll ask themselves how society is benefiting by arresting and incarcerating sick people—many or most on their deathbed. What is the point?

Should Dawdy ever feel inspired and have the time to look into what incentives the feds offer physicians to push pharmaceuticals and kill medical marijuana recommendations, it could make one helluva story! My mom died of lung cancer, and even though she chose not to treat it, she still lost interest in eating and drinking. I was her caregiver and begged her doctor to recommend marijuana to my mom, as she would not consume it unless her doctor made it legal. Her doctor, a woman in her early 40s—so not from my mom's Reefer Madness–brainwashed generation—replied, "I don't believe in it. It's not medicine."

How can a seemingly intelligent young doctor be biased this way? Why would she say this? And why is it that Seattle's medical community "on Pill Hill" had no comment? I believe it's federal incentives—just as they have incentivized Hollywood to produce TV shows and movies that are down on "drugs" (erroneously including marijuana, which is a God-given plant) and use pro–drug war propaganda/lingo. It would be grand to see such an exposé in print!

Thanks for drawing attention to this issue!

Beth Rice,

Staff Member, Seattle Hempfest

Pot's just a Plant

Bravo to Philip Dawdy, giving a voice to the Seattle Weekly with an excellent article regarding the medical use of marijuana ["Club Pot Med," Aug. 16].

"The Pacific Yew Act" was signed in 1992 by George Bush Sr. to ensure that federal lands would be available for harvest and long-term conservation of the Pacific yew tree. The bark is a reliable source of Taxol, which has saved countless lives. It is used primarily in cancer patients, commonly for breast cancer. The Pacific yew tree is native to the Pacific Northwest.

This planet has within itself all of the required elements to sustain life. Legalizing Cannabis sativa for medical purposes is no different than saving the Pacific yew trees for harvest under federal law.

It is imperative that the general public understands this is not about legalizing weed for recreational use; it is for sustaining the life of a human being who most likely is dying or has a chronic illness that leaves life a daily struggle, in pain that none of us would want to understand. Living daily without disabling pain is the goal—or worse, dying without pain, or with less of it.

Cannabis sativa is a plant. It has medicinal qualities. The people who need it the most need empathy along with a natural pain treatment plan.

Stephany Newman


Over and Out

I am deeply saddened to hear that some of the few remaining, thoughtful adults in Seattle journalism are leaving the room [Mossback, "The Seventh Sign," Aug. 16].

The astute and courageous contributions of Knute Berger, Chuck Taylor, and George Howland Jr. to the education and illumination of Seattle's citizens will be sorely missed and, I fear, irreplaceable —to our city's detriment.

I can only hope their voices will continue to be heard in another venue. Maybe they can get together and start a truly "alternative" paper for a city that desperately needs one. Unfortunately, starting a paper is much like trying to start an airline: a quick way to bankruptcy.

We can now look forward to the continued homogenization of Seattle media into lifestyle features for affluent, class-conscious consumer demographics who themselves are completely disconnected from serious dialogue about public policy. With hardly anyone left to insist that the people hear about what our representatives are doing "in our name."

Many of our electeds, along with advertisers, I'm sure, welcome these developments. Those supporting an activist press holding government accountable do not.

Geof Logan


Missing MOssback

I just wanted to write and say thank you to Knute Berger [Mossback, "The Seventh Sign," Aug. 16]. I hope this change is exciting and his wishes are fulfilled. I will miss his leadership and that of his staff who have also left. I sure hope the new leadership meets the high standard they all have set.

For years I have picked up, early Wednesday morning, the new issue. I hope I want to continue to do so. I have trusted the reporting and agree with the tone of the paper. I always learn something I should know that doesn't get covered and should!

D. Maxwell


Agree or disagree? Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com. Letters should be less than 250 words. By submission of a letter, you agree that we may edit the letter and publish and/or license the publication of it in print, electronically, and for archival purposes. Please include name, location, and phone number.

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