| Teresa Wright | February 1, 2017|

Dear Editor:

When I was a child, my family was poor. Not quite living out of our car poor, but never very far from it. Most years, we had a garden –usually a pretty substantial one. I loved fresh veggies and in the summer my brother, three sisters, and I were able to eat lots of healthy foods that we often couldn’t afford year-round. For kids whose dinners were sometimes no more than mac & cheese with some breakfast sausage – those salads, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini and more were gifts beyond measure. For my parents, it was a small respite from their ongoing struggle to keep the family above water.

Considering recent announcements in Colorado, I have tried to imagine what it would have been like if, in the middle of July one summer, the police came to our house and pulled up 90% all our crops, and then burned what they had already destroyed. What if they had been willing to let hungry children watch their next three months’ worth of meals go up in smoke?

Inconceivable, right? Except that is essentially what the state and many municipalities, including Denver, are trying to do in 2107 – except instead of food, they want to reduce the amount of medicine an individual can grow. Children’s medicine. Cannabis medicine.

Somehow in 2017 we have reached a point where we accept that politicians and bureaucrats know more about how much medicine someone requires than doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers, and the patients or their families. To someone who doesn’t know much about cannabis or about the way various healing component are extracted, 99 plants may seem ridiculous. And I get that. But it really does take a large amount of flower to make enough medicine to treat a child with epilepsy or cancer.

But the black market. Yes, the black market is certainly a concern, but does it really make sense to take away affordable, safe, effective, home-grown medicine from thousands of sick people to make it potentially easier to weed out illegal grows? How will licensing people’s legal basement grows make life harder for black marketers? Exactly – it won’t.

So please, learn about proposed changes to state and local laws, call your elected officials, write letters to editors, and if you don’t know enough about the subject – learn a little. There is so much evidence available now that it is no longer in question that marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for many illnesses and conditions. And if none of this matters to you because you aren’t a cannabis patient, I know very many people who are – people I care about. People who are living better lives today because the people of Colorado decided to send the message that we want control of our own lives and our own health. And now that we have it, I am not willing to let it go without a fight. I hope you will join me.