Nov. 7 2012 08:52 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Medi-pot abuse

In your blog post "Goldsmith can't back up his medical marijuana claim," the city attorney is making the point that there is widespread abuse throughout the failed social experiment with medi-pot. Skyping for a pot card is just one fraudulent aspect of it. And notice the pot-shop advocates didn't say it's not happening. What evidence is there that skyping for a pot card isn't heavily used? Pot shops don't ask where their customers got their card; show us the unbiased documentation that it's not a widespread problem. You see, it cuts both ways.

Doctors can't give a prescription; they can only give a recommendation to use pot, but once it's recommended, it's never revoked. There is no expiration. A sore back when you're 18 years old that results in a pot card, 30 years from now is still valid— this mocks medicine and healthy living. The recommendation gives that "patient" a lifetime pass to buy and use pot. And there's no limit to how much pot that "patient" can buy. Under these circumstances, abuse is rampant, drug trafficking is inevitable and the "compassion" selling point of Prop. 215 appears misleading at best.

Jon Sullivan, Oceanside

Editor's note: The Medical Board of California says that recommendations must be renewed at least annually.

Power to the dying

I first want to thank Edwin Decker and CityBeat for bringing awareness to the subject of physician-assisted suicide ["Sordid Tales," Oct. 17]. Discussing death is rarely a welcome topic, but it's one that's urgently needed if we are to fully honor our dignity as individuals and human beings.

An important point of information I felt missing was a recent report published in Frontiers in Psychology for Clinical Settings and reported by on Oct. 9. The study of 33 patients diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), along with their caregivers, shows that liberal legal attitudes toward assisted suicide do not measurably increase the desire of the terminally ill to seek such options. Moreover, the study emphasizes that patients, above all, possess a strong desire to know they are in command of their own health and take comfort from knowing such options exist even if they have no intention of using them.

Concluding the report, lead author Ralf Stutzki comments that among those surveyed, caregivers of the terminally ill scored far higher levels of "suffering," "loneliness" and "emotional distress" than patients themselves and recommends that larger longitudinal studies be performed to better understand how policies can be improved. Simply put, we need to talk more about death. I thank you for your willingness to do so.

Trevor Stutzman, City Heights

CityBeat is free press

In response to a recent letter to the CityBeat written by Jose Serrano [Oct. 31]:

CityBeat is not in competition with the Reader, and the larger a newspaper is, the more advertisers can censor what is said by it. My experience in El Cajon is that CityBeat is always gone in less than a day, while the Reader still has half its copies left until delivered the following week. The fewer advertisers accepted, the more your writers can say what they want, and spit out the truth, with little fear that some shoe store will cancel its ads.

I support CityBeat as being a much freer free press than the Reader. My newspaper accepts no advertising whatsoever for exactly that reason.

John Kitchin, publisher, San Diego Homeless News

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