Upon reading your article Movember in this week’s issue, I noticed that several of the top-10 medical issues (cancer, Parkinson’s, opiate addiction, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, cirrhosis) killing men in Ventura County are conditions that may be alleviated or significantly reduced by medical cannabis, which is banned for distribution and cultivation throughout the county. This is not to call cannabis a miracle cure-all that works for everyone in all situations (you still shouldn’t smoke it), but it’s been proven safe and effective for thousands of years. Prohibition on this plant is relatively recent, compared to the years throughout history that we’ve been prescribing it. Across the country citizens are legalizing it but Ventura County is a desert for safe access. How sad that politics trumps reason and public health and wellness, creating a situation where you have to drive to LA or buy on the black market if you want to take charge of your health.
Now that the State of California has enacted the MMRSA, it’s time for local legislators to get serious about providing a mechanism for patients to have safe access to this medicine under the new, complex regulations set forth by state legislators, details of which are being shaped right now. Even the federal government acknowledges the role of cannabis in any cancer treatment plan. (See www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq.) It’s also time for doctors and nurses to educate themselves on the endocannabinoid system and for patients to know it’s an option for much more than nausea and appetite stimulation.
I implore city and county officials to reconsider their bans on medical cannabis, before voters pass broad legalization measures in 2016. There’s no time like the present to fight disease and find wellness in our community.
Use force of fame
Five of us were invited to set up exhibits before the Neil Young Concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Oct. 10. We talked about the Grange and the future of sustainable farming. Around a hundred out of the audience of 5,000 visited “Neil’s Village” where we and others talked about solutions for climate change, GMOs and threats to biodiversity.
Because I love the message of his new album, The Monsanto Years, Neil’s 45 years of rock stardom feel like a preparation for this Rebel Tour. A brain aneurysm in 2005 might have left a fresh sense of purpose for this album and tour. He came to deliver an all-out three-hour performance with messages about GMOs, pesticides, pipeline politicians, Safeway and big-box stores, the Supreme Court and the California law that you can’t carry seeds more than three miles and give them away, which he dramatized by throwing a basket of seed packets to the crowd and inviting the police to arrest him. The Rebel Tour sounds as though it is meant for everyone, but not everyone could afford to go hear the rebel band leader. Still, maybe a few hundred white privileged males will go home and do an inventory of their cupboards and refrigerators. Many were drinking and yelling “Old Man,” a self-sorry old ballad he did not sing. Instead we heard the new “People Want to Hear About Love” about denial of our corrupt, polluted world.
He’ll be 70 in November. He said, “I’m workin’ here.” Hard to know, but it did not seem to be for money. May he inspire more celebrities to use the full force of their fame and talent to call out Citizens United, greed, toxic food and the laying waste to Mother Earth.
President, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries
Member, Ojai Valley Grange