Sunday, April 20, 2014

420 to the Blackboard: It’s Time for a Lesson on Cannabis (Medical Marijuana)

By now, most people in this country are starting to have some kind of awareness that there have been some serious misspeaks when it comes to marijuana/cannabis/hemp/weed/pot, whatever you want to call it. 

However, with the way the media coverage goes, it is not surprising that some areas are not yet aware of the misspeaks. At this point, 29 states and Washington DC have legalized the medical use of marijuana (number updated April 20, 2017). 

We are not talking about getting high. We are talking about doctor prescribed, cannabis based medications. It is typically prescribed for things like cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, arthritis, gastro-intestinal disorders, movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s, also HIV/AIDS, and conditions related to aging (Americans for Safe Access, ASA) and dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. 

Cannabis is also regarded as one of the best anti-nausea treatments in the world, including the nausea from invasive medical treatments such as with cancer. In addition, for some children, suffering from some forms of childhood epilepsy, nothing else seems to work. It is also effective in end of life palliative care. That is merely a start.

So what’s the deal? As informed as I pride myself in being when it comes to the War on Drugs, I didn’t know much about medical marijuana until very recently (Garson, 2013). If people who make an effort to inform themselves on the issues are relatively uninformed on medical marijuana, it should come as no surprise that there is still a dearth of information in the general public.

This is not about getting high, this is about the fact that for thousands of years before marijuana prohibition, cannabis based medications were an important part of our pharmacopeia, as in a valued and trusted doctor prescribed medicine, and it is time to bring that doctor prescribed medical option back to our people.

Background: Marijuana Prohibition 
Marijuana prohibition was a combined political/money grubbing maneuver by Harry J. Anslinger, who made his career enforcing alcohol prohibition, and thought marijuana prohibition would be a good replacement when it ended, and William Randolph Hearst, the media/newspaper magnate, who was also openly racist and thought that it would be financially beneficial if instead of making paper out of hemp, it was made out of timber, of which he owned much land and stood to make quite a fortune. Andrew W. Mellon and the DuPonts were in on it as well. Just about anything that could be made from hemp could also be made from petroleum, and they stood to make a whole lot of money from that (and you wonder why the environmentalists keep wringing their hands, much less what our soldiers have been really dying for). 

Somewhere in the process of ensuring job security for Anslinger, coming up with a new form of prohibition, with new laws to enforce and more people to arrest (most especially Blacks and Mexicans, the KKK was lightweight in comparison to Hearst), creating a viable market for petroleum by taking hemp off the industrial map of the country, cannabis was also, pretty much coincidentally, made illegal (not much worry about those medical patients either).

The weed scam 
Hearst pulled the scam off (and continued to implement it) via a massive public relations campaign, which he was easily able to implement since he owned a large number of the major newspapers and magazines of the day. While much of the general public depended on his publications for news and information, he published a steady stream of what came to be known as reefer madness propaganda, with the sole intent of convincing the American people of the evils of marijuana and the people who used it. Never mind, that at the time, cannabis was one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the country (the fact that they were in the same family of plants and would also be made illegal under the new prohibition was somehow swept under the media rug along with the use of different words at different times and in different contexts).

Anyway, cannabis medications were very affordable, very effective at treating a number of ailments, and had fewer side effects than just about any other medication ever in the pharmacopeia of the world. Its use was so common at the time, chances are good that if you had ever been to the doctor and brought home a prescription, you very likely had at least one bottle of cannabis-based medication in your medicine cabinet. In addition to its other uses, it was a common prescription level painkiller, and in comparison to most of today’s counterparts, it was safe, effective, non-addictive, and had very few side effects.

So what happened? 
When they passed the new prohibition laws, marijuana, hemp, and cannabis were all made illegal at the same time. Whereas they are all in the same plant family, and the words are frequently used interchangeably, different strains are used for different purposes. Until the law was already passed, most people did not have a clue that it was also going to affect the availability of certain prescription medications on which they relied. The doctors of the day were in for a big surprise as well.

Bad news for the medical community 
The American Medical Association had a conniption fit. Even though it was already a well-known, proven, and beneficial medication, many in the medical community felt that with additional research, they would learn that cannabis had even more uses and more benefits than was then known. For thousands of years, cannabis had been just about as close as it comes to being considered a miracle drug, and the consensus of the medical community was that the future would prove it even more beneficial than was already known. There is no doubt, its use was well regarded and well respected.

In response to the change in the laws, “In 1937, the U.S. passed the first federal law against cannabis, despite the objections of the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. William C. Woodward, testifying on behalf of the AMA, told Congress that, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug" and warned that a prohibition "loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis." (Americans for Safe Access, ASA)

The damage done 
Needless to say, from the prospective of medical care, this change in the law was a big problem for a lot of people, and it continues to be a problem to this day. In the meantime, in the ignominious tradition of the Hearst legacy, we have been inundated with generations of blatantly false and misleading media spin to convince us that what was once considered the miracle drug of the ages was actually an evil weed. In the process, seriously ill individuals have been denied access to doctor prescribed medications, and others, who were just as seriously ill, have been imprisoned because they dared to reach for the cure.

These laws have done major damage to communities, families, and individuals across this country. There has been so much needless suffering. Countless numbers have lost their lives because effective treatments were deemed illegal, and not made available to them.

As active and involved I have been in so many issues, for so many years, until very recently, I flat didn’t know what was going on when it came to medical marijuana (Garson, 2013).

I too thought these medical marijuana folks were a bunch of stoners looking to have a legal high, and if they couldn’t get it any other way, they were going to go the medical route. Anybody who knows me is aware I am on the liberal side of things, as in who cares anyway, but on this one, my liberal attitude really got in the way of me seeing the truth when it comes to the medical use of marijuana.

Whether we are liberal with good intentions or conservative with good intentions, both sides of the aisle have been fed some serious misinformation when it comes to marijuana, most especially when it comes to its medical applications. On a certain level, that can be life or death serious.
Nonetheless, when it comes to marijuana and the news, we have had such a constant, one-sided story, for so long, a whole lot of people don’t know up from down on this one. 

We get a constant stream of arrest numbers, and reefer madness hype, and little mention of how many lives these laws are destroying, or how many of these media portrayed criminals are either seriously ill patients or have seriously ill family members who seriously need a cannabis based medicine.

A while back in Georgia, a seriously ill man was convicted for growing his own cannabis, the catch was, although he had been prescribed Marinol, which is a cannabis derivative, he could not afford it, and so he was growing his own, natural form, which is marijuana. He got probation instead of jail time, which would seem like a good thing, except he is not going to get by with growing it now, and in this case, I am not sure it is a blessing at all.

Why is this even such an issue? Why is it illegal? Why do we bother to call this country free? This seriously ill man was convicted of growing a plant that was bringing him some level of relief. He can’t afford the medicine either. So where does that leave him? Define torture. He would have been better off and suffered less if they had sentenced him to waterboarding every day, because then he would have at least been able to keep his food down. Exactly what is cruel and unusual punishment? How the fuck can this country continue to get by with doing this to good people. Denying a sick person the medication that would bring them relief is about as heinous a crime as I can imagine. But they are torturing sick people, and doing it in the name of the law. Call it what is it.

Marijuana prohibition laws have destroyed more lives than marijuana ever will. Despite the damage of marijuana prohibition, in the course of human history, marijuana itself has saved many more lives than these very recent laws have destroyed. So what is going on here? Where is up and where is down?

Why don’t we hear more about this? Things are changing, but things like that guy that was just convicted, he was past the point of too sick to make a lot of noise. And we seldom hear their story. 

We are starting to hear more though, and even Alabama recently passed Carly’s Law, but there is so little coverage of the medical uses of marijuana, people don’t even know it is there. And that law has the supposition that the only ones suffering who would benefit from the cannabis-based medications are children with epilepsy, and that is nowhere near the truth. Progress is progress though.
Mostly if we hear about it at all, it is likely a joke some stoner is making because they really would rather be getting high. Although that was a big so what to me, it really was part of my own problem in not understating the bigger picture on this one.

Things sure look different when the truth starts coming out.
Dr. Sanja Gupta made some major news and then he made it again when he came out with a very public proclamation that he had got it wrong when it came to marijuana. He issued a very public apology because, in his writing, media work, and medical reporting, as have so many others before him, he had played into the same media cog that Hearst started and that he too had helped to spread the mis-information. He is a surgeon among surgeons, one of the most respected medical professionals in this country, and he too had been mis-lead when it comes to cannabis and its medical applications. The point is not to blame people, but to educate them. It takes some doing to get to the truth. When Dr. Gupta realized that he too had been duped, and he too had believed the lies, he had a few things to say about it. He also set out to set the record straight (Garson, 2013).

Dr. Gupta did a documentary in an attempt to start correcting some of that mis-information that we have all been fed for so long. Then he made another one. Since then, there have been hearings on state’s rights when it comes to medical marijuana laws; there have also been other hearings on the sentencing and what these laws have done to our people (Garson, 2013).  

Changes are most definitely being made (Garson, 2013). Despite the fact, it is still illegal at the federal level; state after state has been reaffirming their state’s rights and passing legislation to make these medicines available to their citizens once more. When I say once more, I do mean once more. Records vary somewhat, but some say that marijuana/cannabis based medications have been in use for as long as 12,000 years. It is one of the 50 fundamental healing herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

There is no doubt that Big Pharma stepped in to fill that gap. As much as we all like to yell about them, on some things, they have truly done a good job. Many medical and pharmaceutical advances have been made in the last decades. However, on other things, medical science has reached a dead end. You can’t throw away thousands of years of best medical practices and make up for it in a day, or even a few generations. Marijuana/cannabis was one of the earliest cultivated herbs on the planet. For almost that many years, it was among the most frequently utilized medical herbs on the planet.

New studies, old ways 
New studies and transcriptions of the Old Testament books have led etymologists to believe that “kaneh-bosm” was accidently translated to “calamus,” when it should have been “cannabis” (Bennett, 1996). That is still being debated. Others question whether it was used in some of the healing oils that Jesus used in his ministry. Not to take a thing away from his miracles, but he was undeniably a physician, a healer, and at times, he sent his apostles out with oils and preparations to heal as well. Because of its wide range of uses in healing, the time-frame, and some of the things it was used for, questions are now being asked as to whether what we now know as cannabis was perhaps in some of those anointing oil preparations as well (Chris Bennett cited in BBC,2003). If so, that would surely put a different spin on a whole lot of things.
With the perpetual lies we have been fed about marijuana in the last generations, it is very easy to dismiss that notion. However, for the thousands of years before marijuana prohibition made it illegal, marijuana/cannabis was one of the most effective and widely used medicines on the planet.

The War on Drugs is not just about the right to get high, or that we have the biggest prison population in the world, it is also about the fact that these laws have seriously influenced what is available by prescription in this country. It was not an accident or a fluke of nature that this so-called evil weed has for most of recorded history, been one of the most widely prescribed medications in the world. Many times over, marijuana/cannabis has been shown to have been one of the most all around beneficial, for more medical purposes, with less side effects than any other medication known to humankind.

Changes are being made 
People are catching on to the truth. That is why, in state after state, the citizens are changing their laws. They have had enough. They are tired of watching their loved loves suffer while the cure is deemed illegal and just out of reach. Others watch helplessly as their loved ones die shackled to a prison bed for daring to have reached for the cure. Or, like Peter McWilliams, they die soon after being refused the medication that could have saved their life.

When we throw away the wisdom of the ages, we all lose. It has been a long time since the US had the best medical system in the world, and doing things like arbitrarily (it was all about the money) making one of the most all around beneficial medicines in the history of the world illegal to our people is just one of the things that is wrong.

People are working hard for change. But most people don’t honestly know the difference until a person in their own family has a health problem for which there seems no answer, and then, doctor after doctor, pill after pill, and the same story of hopelessness, nothing working, then they too hear a whisper, maybe cannabis will work. And sometimes it does. It’s not a guaranteed miracle. Like the base of so many other medications, it is simply an herb of the field, but it is also a serious and proven medicine, and sometimes it really does work.

All these things take on a completely different light when you realize there is a possible cure for you or your loved one, but the cure is illegal. What do you do when you realize that the real reason certain treatments and even cures are not available is not that we don’t have the medical know how? It is not even because of a lack of availability or difficult manufacturing processes. It is for no other reason than the greed of certain individuals that cannabis based medications were ever made illegal to our people. Too many people have already suffered and died to feed that greed. This is not something that good people in a good country will put up with for long. There is a growing number of people working for and demanding change on that one.

There have also been major migrations of families into areas where medical marijuana is legal, for children suffering from epilepsy, others with cancer, and other diseases. Clearly, more studies are needed, but there is also no doubt that there are already way too many cases of healing for it to be coincidental.

This march to legalize medical marijuana in the states is not a march of the stoners. People are fighting for their lives and the lives of those they love. 

Many look at the weed as evil, as if it were all a joke, as if it is evil to even suggest there might be a cure in the green leaf. It is not about the high, or maybe it is. But more than that, it is about healing, about ensuring that the people we love and the doctors who care for them have the option of a cannabis-based medication, if it is deemed, by their doctor, to be needed—on a prescription basis.

The things we don’t know about these laws have in some ways hurt us all. Until the need arises, or it somehow affects us or one of our loved ones personally, most of us don’t have a clue as to the truth. Medical marijuana is not about the high. It’s about the cure. Ending the war on drugs is about the most basic of our rights, it is about freedom; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Copyright 2014 Regina Garson

Updated April 20, 2017

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Hot Dogs, Yellow Dogs, and Political Predilections

"Hot Dogs & Yellow Dogs"
Hosted by Jeff & Pam Miles
April 17, 2014
Madison, Alabama
Yellow Dog Courtesy of Frank & Sherry Weaver

One thing has been sinking in for a while, I really thought about it hard last night. I’ll get to that in a minute. Despite the fact I ended up working late, and then showed up late, last night I was able to make it to a local political meeting, Hot Dogs and Yellow Dogs, out in Madison, Alabama, at the home of Jeff and Pam Miles.

I went with the mindset that I was an interested citizen, not planning to write at all, big mistake, I write. And as many times as I think I am not going to be political and write more poetry or be creative, or something, and I do try, but I always end up back at politics. Anyway, since I had no intention of writing about it, I didn’t take pictures either. Lessons learned.

This was a mostly local, as in north Alabama, gathering, but politicians from throughout the state showed up. I am not sure the exact count, but there were around 25-30 politicians who showed up, and an estimated 130 attendees. I felt like I must have parked a half-mile away, but in reality it was probably only a quarter of a mile away. At any rate, the place was packed beyond any expectations of a Democratic political meeting in north Alabama; it could be that I am not the only one who is ready for change.

It was definitely a lively crowd, and I had a good time for sure. But I do so love a good political meeting.

Parker Griffith Ate Crow

Parker Griffith was there eating crow, I missed his speech, and wished I had got to meet him, but I did catch it on YouTube. I know he is eating a whole lot of political crow these days (something about swapping parties and then swapping back, waiting for those open arms), and I don’t even know what my opinion is on it all, but I do know we need a change in the governor’s office.

I am absolutely appalled that our current Doctor Governor absolutely refuses to sign off on the Medicaid Expansion, while we are one of the poorest states in the nation. I know, what does being poor have to do with Medicaid Expansion? A whole lot actually.

Although intellectually what Bentley says makes sense about hard working taxpayers not wanting to support lazy no account scum who are unwilling to work. Most of the poor in this state are poor because they don’t make a lot of money, not because they are lazy, not because they don’t work, and certainly not because they are scum.

Even Huntsville, where I live, which is considered one of the top economic areas in the state, if not nation, if I had to rename the place, I would call it Layoff City. Compound that with the fact that losing health care coverage happens to a whole lot of people during these layoffs; from that perspective, the ostensibly vile and repugnant Obamacare Act is very likely the best thing that ever happened to the workers in this area, especially since it is particularly prone to layoffs.

Most people don’t seem to realize that until they too are in that layoff line. You would think that the people in an area that is so reliant on the ups and downs of government contracts would be savvier on that issue. But they are too busy listening to folks they shouldn’t be listening to instead of thinking with their heads and looking to the well-being of their people.

So smack in the middle of the biggest Layoff City in one of the poorest states in the nation, Doctor Governor Bentley is bound and determined that Alabama will not have that Medicaid Expansion, which would provide coverage for the poorest of the poor in this state. We all hope we don’t hit that category, but the reality is that a whole lot of those folks were pretty hard working and not doing bad at all until they too ended up in those layoff lines.

So with all that, and back to what do you do about health care after a layoff, which this state has its share of, Bentley epitomizes the death panels that some said would come out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and he is a freaking doctor. I could at least understand that attitude from a banker, sort of. Anyway, those death panels didn’t come out of the ACA, they came out of the ones who were so vehemently against it, that they would rather watch the citizens in their state die for lack of care than do what needs to be done to get them to a doctor. 

I meme’d it before and I may well meme it again. I think the whole concept of death panels is morally repugnant and a blasphemy against everything that I and a whole lot of other people believe in.

And that is why I am going to support Griffith on this one; we need to get our folks covered. No matter how logical, rational and moral this Bentley philosophy about lazy takers sounds when he preaches it, a bed ridden person is not going to be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. At a certain level of sick, they are not going to dependably make it to the doctor either. And that is why we so desperately need the Medicaid Expansion in this state. We got a lot of sick people and we got a lot of poor people.

At the very most basic level, Griffith understands that sick people probably do not make a lot of money when they are sick, and they may very well need help getting to a doctor. Oh, Griffith is a doctor too, imagine that! A doctor who understands that people who are very sick are probably not going to be very productive while they are very sick, and they actually, may honestly, need a hand up during that time. That is what the Medicaid Expansion is about, getting poor sick folks to a doctor, not handouts for lazy player scum. And what if you weren’t poor when you got sick, but you were sick so long, you ended up poor and you still needed to go to the doctor? What happens then?

I understand that there are other issues and other candidates, I wish I could have heard them all, and anybody who knows me knows I have been very active in medical marijuana issues and efforts to end marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs, but at this point, especially with what is going on at the national level with the Affordable Care Act, I personally think that the Medicaid Expansion would very likely have the most immediate and a greater impact on the over all well-being of this state and the people in it than any other current issue or opportunity before us (everybody from the lives of the people needing the care to the people with jobs providing that care), and we all have our predilections.

I actually voted for Bentley last go around. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the way he acts, it is like he went in with bipartisan support, but he sure doesn’t have it now. And he acts like he doesn't know that people from both sides voted for him. Best I can tell, he pretty much had the support of the whole state. That is no longer true. Despite the fact I am not honestly a yellow dog, his behavior during his term in office is very likely sending me, and a whole lot of others to the yellow dog ranks. And this is despite the fact that I have always voted for the likes of Richard Shelby in every single election where he was on the ballot and I was voting. Word has it he too was a party changer. But I always voted for him anyway.

All considered, I probably can’t blame Griffith too much for going back and forth on the parties; I have done my share as well. I have always felt like we should not be so divided by party, but I am very disillusioned these days, there are a whole lot of politicians in office these days who are more concerned with their own agenda than the good of the country, much less the people they represent.

Mark Bray

I did spend a little time at the get together meeting talking with Mark Bray, who I knew previously from my space involvements. He is running as an Independent, and although I am not certain we actually agree on all the issues, one thing we do agree on is the importance of the space program to this country. Aerospace, both private and government (NASA), is vitally important to the future well-being of our country. It is vitally important to a whole lot of people in this area too, and I think he has a good grasp that a balance is needed between all related government and commercial efforts. For no other reason than he could do some honest good for the space program, I will support Mark Bray’s efforts. He still needs signatures on a petition to get on the ballot though.

Reggie Hill

One of the younger candidates I was able to spend a few minutes talking to was Reggie Hill, also an Independent. Although he is very young, he impressed me because he was keyed into some of the issues that I think are really important not just to the well-being of the people in this state, but to the long-term good of this country. He didn’t just stand up and say that we need change, he talked about the issues that he felt were important and he demonstrated a pretty firm understanding of those issues. Hill’s issues included mass incarceration and the war on drugs. Anybody who knows me knows how I feel about those issues, which is precisely why I am mentioning him here. I surely wish him well and will try to lend support to his efforts in these areas. 

 Speech by Horace Clemmons

The Attendees

I want to take a minute and list the attending candidates who were on the roster. There were a couple no-shows, and maybe a couple who did not make the roster. This is what I got though, and then I have my own concluding remarks. 
  • Parker Griffith – candidate Governor 
  • Kevin Bass – candidate Governor
  • James Fields – candidate Lt. Governor
  • Joe Hubbard - candidate Attorney General
  • Miranda Joseph – candidate State Auditor (no show)
  • Doug Smith – candidate Commissioner of Agriculture & Industry
  • Mike Curtis – candidate State Senate District 1
  • Earl Gardner - candidate State Senate District 1
  • Angelo "Doc" Mancuso - candidate State Senate District 4
  • Rose Gaskin – candidate State Senate District 7
  • Mitchell Howie – candidate State Senate District 7 (no show)
  • Horace Clemmons – candidate State Senate District 8
  • Randy Money - candidate State Senate District 8
  • Darrell Turner – candidate State Senate District 13
  • Patrick Jones - candidate State House of Representatives District 21
  • Anthony Daniels - candidate State House of Representatives District 53
  • Patrick Douglass – candidate Madison County Tax Assessor
  • Lynda Hall – incumbent/candidate Madison Tax Collector
  • Tim Clardy – candidate Madison County Sheriff
  • Sheriff Mike Blakely – re-election Limestone County
  • Mark Bray – Independent candidate for Congress District 5 
  • Reggie Hill – Independent candidate for Congress District 5 

A Wrap

Since I was finishing up on a work assignment, I got there later than I would have liked and did not get to hear all the speeches. And I went with no intent whatsoever of writing. One thing really sank in though, even when I am in groups where I know that there is a lot of common ground, I am probably not going to agree with everybody there, and I am not going to support a candidate who is not firm in their beliefs as to why they are going into politics or running for any given office. 

Wanting to be a politician is not good enough. I want to know what they are going to work for. I want to know what they believe in. We don't need more career politicians in politics; we need more citizens who understand real life problems of everyday people in politics. We need people who are honestly working toward change in politics; that is what we really need.

Nonetheless, I was impressed with a lot of what I heard. It gives me hope to see new people stepping into the political arena. Being real, there were also a few that I already marked off my list, and just because they were not mentioned here doesn’t mean they are marked off, it meant I got there late and didn’t get to hear, much less talk to everybody.

For a long time, with various of my editorial assignments, I was really more involved and aware on a national than a state and local level, I am not sure if the last months haven't been a coming home, as much as an awareness that if you don’t have good roots, that tree is not going to be standing for long. I’m from Alabama, it’s my home. It is also the home of my family. We’ve been here for a very long time. We’re not going anywhere.

My Take

Some things sound one way when you talk, but the reality is very different. I guess I’m back on Bentley, and he wasn’t even there. Talking the talk about the lazy takers on welfare, when the reality is that most of the ones on assistance are working, or at home bedridden, but the takers really do get the attention. It could be because they can be so very loud and we know one or two of them. But now that attitude has transferred to Medicaid Expansion, and that is chilling, we are talking about denying people in serious need of health care the care that they need to get back on their feet, physically, while our Doctor Governor declares sick people lazy. How can a doctor not know better than that?

I am aghast what this has come to. That people in real need are put to such incredible shame. It could be that they are not so visible as the players and takers, probably because they are working all the time, if not flat out bedridden. That attitude hurts every person in our state. It surely hurts the ones who suffer in humiliation because they really are in need, when it would have cost so little in comparison to get them back on their feet.

But on a greater scale, it costs the taxpayers a whole lot more than it ever should have, because instead of increasing our ranks of healthy prosperous tax-paying citizens, we are kicking them while they are down, and being kicked when you are down does not lead the way to prosperity, it leads the way to ever greater poverty and despair. I don’t care what you call it or how you label it politically, that is what Bentley is doing. And it’s doesn’t work. Not only that, it’s wrong, and any person with a shred of moral decency knows that.

We got a long way to go in Alabama, and to get there, we really are going to have to work together and look toward the health, education, prosperity, and well-being of every single citizen in this state. This is not about being liberal or conservative, Republican, Democrat, or even Independent; it is because for every one of our citizens who prospers, the whole state does that much better. That should be a no brainer. When we all work together as a people, we all as a people do better. Instead of taking from the table, many of the ones who are now sick and poor among us would also be able to contribute to its abundance. It is not about entitlement for the few, it is about health, prosperity and well-being for us all. 

PS: Two years ago as of this get together, April 17, 2012, I had a freak accident, choking, torn esophagus, landed me in the hospital for right at a month, went back twice, bedridden for months. I don’t actually know anybody who has spent that much time on that many tubes and lived to tell it. I was going to write something philosophically uplifting to commemorate the two year survival anniversary that I am still alive. I went to a political meeting instead.And this was my take-away.

Copyright 2014 Regina Garson