Letters to the Editor

Head shops don't help patients

To the editor:
    In the late afternoon of Nov.26, I received an inquiry from Mr. Carl E. Olsen regarding the defeat of a drug legalization initiative in New York.  I told Mr. Olsen that two national news sources had reported the defeat on Nov. 4.  In his letter to the Herald-Index on Dec. 4, Mr. Olsen had decided that this initiative was in the state of Washington.  He may indeed have more accurate information, due to his apparent involvement with drug legalization advocates.
    It should be noted that, while Mr. Olsen presents himself as a sympathetic advocate of the medicinal benefits of marijuana, he has been aligned with "NORMAL," the National Organization for the Relaxation of Marijuana Laws.
    Regarding his claim that distortions by law enforcement deprive medical patients of therapeutic substances, please refer to the Dec. 8 issue of TIME magazine.   An article entitled "Too High in California?" indicates that the legalization initiative there has already taken an ugly turn.  That initiative was passed under the same smokescreen of sympathy for suffering humanity.  However, it has resulted in something the voters did not foresee: An array of marijuana smoking dens with liquor, pot-laced baked goods and dancing girls.  The article states that many of the clubs are monitored for doctor's oral or written orders.  But other clubs seem closer to head shops than hospitals.  One proprietor says that pot can and should be used for anxiety and depression.  Clearly, these head shops bave nothing to do with helping patients and everything to do with the spread of dope.  Mr. Olsen states that Iowa's drug law has classified marijuana as medicine since 1979.  To my knowledge, our department has never arrested a doctor for prescribing medicine.  We do, however, arrest people every week for possession and distribution of controlled substances, which include marijuana.  Perhaps Mr. Olsen could clear the air in his room and study the Code of Iowa.

John L. Gray,
Altoona chief of police

The Altoona Herald - Mitchellville Index
Thursday, December 11, 1997, Page 6A
Post Office Box 427
Altoona, Iowa 50009
Phone 515-967-4224
Fax 515-967-0553