Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · MS Patient Faces Hearing for...
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MS Patient Faces Hearing for Medical Marijuana

Eartha Melzer - July 8th, 2004
At the age of 29, Matthew Barber, a disabled Gulf War vet, was diagnosed with terminal multiple sclerosis. He became paralyzed, lost his memory, and experienced extreme pain from lesions on his brain.
Barber tried all conventional treatments, with no improvement. Medical bills cost Matthew and his wife Laura everything they owned, and Laura had to quit her job to take care of him.
Two years ago while in the VA medical center for emergency treatment of Matthew’s agony and paralysis, the Barbers were told by a visiting neurologist (from California) that marijuana was the only treatment that offered promise for MS patients.
Because marijuana is not legal for medical use in Michigan, the Barbers had to break the law to get Matthew marijuana.
Smoking marijuana, Matthew improved significantly.
Last month the Barbers were stopped for speeding. Police searched their vehicle and discovered Matthew’s cannabis -- two ounces -- a month’s supply.
The couple explained that they had the marijuana for medicinal reasons. They say the police were civil and apologetic as they arrested them and took them to jail.

On Tuesday, July 6, the Barbers go to court for a pre-trial hearing on the charge of criminal possession of cannabis.
Matthew says he will not stop using marijuana. Laura says she will not stop helping him get the marijuana he needs,
“I have seen the change in my husband in 18 months of doing this,” Laura says. “My husband is able to walk. Not long distances, but he has more use of himself than he has had in the last three years. We have noticed a slow down in the progression of the lesions in his brain.”
Matthew feels that God had a hand in developing this legal situation.
“We were tired of sneaking around,” he said. Matthew had prayed about what to do and received a message: don’t walk in fear; find a solution so you don’t have to be afraid.
The Barbers are now ready to face a jury trail in hopes of establishing the right to use medical marijuana. They feel that Matthew’s life will be in jeopardy if he is imprisoned and forced to stop using cannabis. They say they chose to face this risk and argue the issue not just for themselves but for all the critically-ill people who use medical marijuana and are forced to live in fear.
In related news, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to hear a case on the legality of medical marijuana.

Marijuana activists
plan show of support

The local Michigan Cannabis Action Network chapter is planning to rally outside the Grand Traverse County courthouse at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6 to show support for Matt and Laura Barber.
“He is not willing to go back to existing in a fog of pain, nausea, and drugged confusion, unable to walk, needing to be catheterized or diapered,” said activist Melody Karr in a release to local media. “The possession of cannabis in any amount in Michigan is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2000 fine. If Matthew goes to jail and is unable to use cannabis, he will experience a re-admittance and exacerbation of his disease within a matter of days, and death is a real possibility. Other medical cannabis patient-advocates have been killed in exactly this way.”
Karr said the Barber’s attorney will request leniency in light of Matt’s condition and the fact that his use is medicinal. “But because there is no medical marijuana law in Michigan, and the federal government has interfered extensively in states which do have medical marijuana laws, this is by no means a foolproof tactic.”

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