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RANDY: The chemotherapy and finally died of cancer. During the last several years, he wanted to address the nausea problems of chemotherapy with the use of marijuana. And there were people who offered him marijuana, but he would not take it, because he only wanted to do it with the support of a physician. He went to different physicians, and almost every one of them said that it would help, and in many cases would help better than the drugs he was being given. But, they said, I can't help you. You realize what would happen to me if I did. Through absolute fear of our lawmakers the physicians were not doing their job with their patient, even though they knew it was the best road. And, that's what we're doing by making this thing a criminal situation. It should be taken out of the class I category that it's in, and put in just like any other prescribed medication.
COLOFF: Okay, Randy, thanks for the call.
RANDY: Thank you.
COLOFF: Mr. Corbett? Any response?
CORBETT: Well, I think the gentleman has a good point. And, if you could just narrow it down to that aspect of it, there'd be, you'd think it was easy to do. But, just as there's people that will abuse drugs, you can have physicians. I mean, it isn't going to be any matter of time where everybody's going to know the physician that's going to approve it for whatever reason, and to get the signature. I mean, that word will be on the street in no time. An, so, it's extremely hard to police, and it's hard to prevent the abuses from it. So, we have it in two states. Let's find out how it works in those two states. Now, they've legalized it. So, we're going to have some data and information over the next three or four years on this subject. This certainly isn't going to be the last time that this issue is going to be debated. It's going to be debated hotly around the country more and more as more and more referendums get on ballots, and, so, let's see, let's let other states, let the other states experiment with it at this point in time.
COLOFF: And if it works there, would you be willing to go along with it in the future?
CORBETT: Well, the more information you have, I mean, I've never been a person that's believed that someone should be locked in stone for whatever reason on their opinion. If you have more and more information and data that can provide you, that's provided to you, it helps you in your decision making process. Why not? I would be foolish to ever say that, I mean, if my questions and concerns are answered, and we don't find out in Arizona and in California that marijuana use goes up among fourteen and fifteen year olds, and there aren't some of the problems that I say possibly could arise. It's not just me, but the national drug czar and other people, President Clinton, say can develop from this. We'll know in a couple of years.
COLOFF: Okay, and we're going to go back to the phones, 277-1918 or 1-800-913-9479, and, Thomas, you're on KCNZ. Your comments.
THOMAS: Yeah. My question is for the Speaker. Why won't he put it to a vote?
COLOFF: Mr. Corbett? I guess, it came up. Why not?
CORBETT: Well, there's several things. I'll just let you know the legislative process. We're only there for a few months. And, there's two thousand different bills that are introduced, and there's no way you could bring every bill on up into committee and up on the floor. You'd be there all year long. And so we're part time, so...
THOMAS: Well, it seems pretty simple to me.
CORBETT: So you pick and choose the issues that you're going to bring forward. I don't think there's enough votes for it. So, why go through three, four, five, six days of debate on an issue like this and then have it be defeated?
HELMERS: Well, there's a lot of us voters who would like to know where you stand on it, for next election.
CORBETT: Well, you know, (laughter), you know where I stand.
HELMERS: Would you like some reliable information? There's a couple pages of full of studies that have been done which are very easily obtained. I will make sure you get a list of those studies that were done by scientific people. The information, the literature is out there.
CORBETT: I think most of the people that run for public office will let you know where they stand on this. You just said locally, a local senator there supports it. There's a questionnaire that we get on every group and organization on all their different issues. I remember getting one on this specific issue. I checked the no box and sent that back, so I'm certainly not hiding my position, so...
HELMERS: Elaine Szymoniak introduced a bill for this last year.
HELMERS: Elaine Szymoniak had a bill that she introduced on this issue.
CORBETT: Well, I understand. And she's a senator again, and maybe she'll introduce that legislation again.
CORBETT: I'm not saying that all one hundred representatives and fifty senators don't oppose this or support it. There's a difference of opinion. That's the democracy and the process, but there aren't the votes right now to pass it in the house.
COLOFF: Ron, last year when that bill came up, did it come up for discussion last year, or not? Do you remember what happened to that bill that she introduced?
CORBETT: It got assigned to committee. It didn't even come out of committee. There wasn't any public hearings on it, or anything. It just, whoever was the floor manager of the bill didn't do anything with it.
COLOFF: Okay. We're running out of time here, and, Mr. Corbett, I need a last comment from you.
CORBETT: Well, I think we've had some good discussions, and this we're going to continue to have, not just on talk shows, but on editorial pages and continue discussion and education about these issues. And, I'm not going to act like I know all the answers. I'll continue to read the stuff that Mr. Helmers and other people send me, and I hope that they would also consider the other side. And this is going to be something that we'll be discussing for quite some time.
COLOFF: Okay. Mr. Helmers, about thirty seconds to wrap it up.
HELMERS: Okay. Well, I think we have to stop locking up chronically ill people in the name of the drug war. The cost of this war that the politicians have going on has risen $15.1 billion in Clinton's 1997 budget. It's gone too far. It's time that America took a little difference stance here. When compassion and common sense are in conflict with the law, then the law is wrong.
COLOFF: All right. Well, we thank you both for being part of the program and for getting involved.
HELMERS: Thank you.
COLOFF: Mr. Corbett, thank you for being part of the program.
CORBETT: Thank you.
COLOFF: That does it for our local show for today. Thanks for your input. It's about ten o'clock on KCNZ.
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