Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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.

WON’T STOP
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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