The Los Angeles Times

Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, March 3, 1999

Medical Marijuana

California state Sen. John Vasconcellos has just touched the tip of the iceberg of the problems with our national drug prohibition policy (Commentary, Feb. 25).

The dominant puritanical minority that controls the Congress with coercion, fear and the politics of personal destruction has also subverted our federal courts. After the federal sentencing commission proposed easing marijuana sentencing, the Congress responded by refusing to approve any more appointments to the commission. The result is that the federal courts no longer have the guidance of the commission and thus federal law and the nation's courts are effectively subverted.

Most judges fear rendering constitutionally consistent decisions because these vindictive members of the Congress will censure them. While a censure won't remove a judge from the court, it will foreclose any upward mobility in the system. This is the judicial environment that Peter McWilliams is subjected to.

If the state of California is to save the life of McWilliams, it should step in and take him into protective custody from the federal prosecutors and provide to him the lifesaving marijuana that he needs to stabilize and strengthen his body. The state should stand up to the federal persecutors and protect their citizen from a federal government gone mad.


Allentown, Pa.

Vasconcellos deserves high praise for his essay. This extraordinary statement is both courageous and historic, especially in light of his defense of McWilliams and other medical marijuana patients who are currently being persecuted by hostile federal officials.

Vasconcellos' challenge to the federal government to respect the will of the people is the kind of genuine and inspired leadership that deserves our respect and support. It's time to stop arresting sick people.


Olympic Valley, California

NOTE: Less than 6 weeks after this letter was published, Kubby was arrested on medical marijuana charges.