Letters | 6-12-14


Change legislators to help medical cannabis users

Medical cannabis patients have new hope today that they will be able to legally access their medicine with the historic passage of the Robrabacher-Farr amendment by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will stop the feds from raiding dispensaries and cut off funding for arrests and prosecutions in states where it is legal. It still needs to pass the Senate and receive the president’s signature. Write or phone Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz. Ask them to support the House-passed medical cannabis amendment.

By next year, our reluctant Hawaii state Legislature will have a green light to establish statewide medical cannabis dispensaries. Finally 12,000 patients will be able to access their medicine at dispensaries that offer a large selection of strains efficacious for a variety of illnesses, conditions and maladies. During the last legislative session, a resolution was passed to establish a task force to study and make recommendations of how a state dispensary system would work.

On the other hand, there’s still a lot of work ahead because there are a number of state legislators (mostly in the House) opposed to medical cannabis. There’s one representing my district. They would vote against a dispensary system even if the federal raids were to stop. They are mostly entrenched conservative members returned to office routinely because of name recognition and long-term standing in office. Working in their ivory towers and mingling with lobbyists and big business interests they serve the rich and powerful. They are out of touch with the common people.

Here’s our election year opportunity to make changes as there is a good selection of new state legislative candidates. For medical cannabis patients and for those who support us, inform yourselves and vote for compassionate candidates who will make a difference to improving patient’s quality of life.

Andrea Tischler

Chairwoman, Big Island Americans for Safe Access

Hilo