Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 31

Can't afford another failed program

I'm exhausted trying to follow the Senate health care bill. Are you? Public option, expand Medicare; you name it, whatever it takes, in one day, out the next. Recent polls show that 61 percent of the public don’t want any part of it. So, why is President Barack Obama so determined to ram it down our throats?

That’s an easy one to answer — control.

Obama, and his leftist administration, needs the framework of a government-run system to gain control of your lives. From abortion to rationed care, they will have you by the throat from cradle to grave.

Congress’ problem is yet another predictable unintended consequence of any government entitlement program. As health care costs rise to pay for the government interventions, more and more people clamor for subsidies because they can’t pay the government-mandated higher costs.

Once government starts handing out benefits, then the scramble is on for the spoils.

Eventually, the government starts cheating: It needs to escape the full cost of its promises, for instance, with price controls on payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers. As always, the poor get screwed as payment schedules for Medicaid are even lower than Medicare.

The Democrats tell you they are for the middle class, the poor and minorities. Take an unbiased look at the bills working their way through Congress and see if you agree. We cannot afford another ill-conceived entitlement program.

GREG SQUIRES, Olympia

Marijuana has medicinal benefits

The column by Jill Wellock discussing marijuana use was offensive and inaccurate. She relies on personal anecdotes/opinion to disparage marijuana and its users. She is judgmental and lacks compassion for the physically and socially ill.

She claims marijuana is “used under false pretenses of pain or illness.”

It appears Wellock has never seen the suffering that marijuana can alleviate. Especially callous and misinformed was her comment regarding fibromyalgia not being a legitimate illness or causing debilitating pain. I have had this illness for a decade, and I know the pain and disability I have faced.

Regarding medical science, Wellock is unaware that the body possesses endogenous cannabinoid receptors, which means there must be a way for the body to produce its own form of cannabinoids, the same way it produces its own pain relieving opiates. Several of these cannabinoid ligands were discovered beginning in the early ’90s. THC, the active compound in marijuana, has been found to have analgesic and possibly neuroprotective properties, most likely similar to the ones the body produces itself.

One final point I must make is that Wellock is surely unaware of all of the fully functional users of marijuana she encounters in daily life.

Because of attitudes like hers, and fear of prosecution, loss of employment or children, loss of financial aid and other harsh punishments, most users are forced to keep their use extremely private.

For more reasoned information I refer interested readers to www.csdp.org (Common Sense for Drug Policy) or www.drugpolicy.org.

CANDY EGGLETON, Olympia

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