Byron Willems: Medical marijuana

Editors’s note: This letter is from Craig City Councilor Byron Willems. The council plans to deliberate on the city’s medical marijuana dispensary ordinance at its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. today at Craig City Hall, 300 W. Fourth St.

To the editor:

All I know is that this entire medical marijuana situation has been twisted and distorted to allow literally thousands of Coloradans who use marijuana for “recreational usage” to now obtain it legally.

Also, the records in Colorado show most dispensary operators are registered medical marijuana users themselves, some admitting to using marijuana for 40-plus years.

Larry Hill spoke to the Craig City Council about his ownership in a medical marijuana dispensary in the Denver area and being a partner in the medical marijuana dispensary operating in Craig.

When asked, Larry could not remember the name of the town he lives in.

The current situation has allowed pot dealers to sell marijuana legally under the façade of being caregivers.

To obtain marijuana legally today, all you have to do is get a doctor to prescribe it.

If you are too embarrassed to go to your family doctor, or if your family doctor does not agree that medical marijuana is right for you, don’t worry. Your local dispensary will help you get the doctor that will make that happen.

It is sad that the truly sick people who can benefit from medical marijuana now are being lumped into a pile with a bunch of potheads using the system.

We cannot do anything about the doctor who is willing to prescribe this drug for almost everything. But we can do something about the sale of it in Craig.

Always keep in mind the patients who truly need medical marijuana always will be able to still get it.

As for the opinion from Craig City Attorney Kenny Wohl about, “Let the Attorney General incur the legal cost,” he has a valid point.

Regulation could cost the taxpayers money — but I think this is a fight worth fighting.

Right or wrong, this is my opinion.

What is your opinion? The Craig City Council needs to hear it.

The first reading of the medical marijuana ordinance is tonight.

The current proposed ordinance will allow medical marijuana to be sold in our town.

Byron Willems

Craig city councilor

Comments

tutone 4 years, 5 months ago

As a medical marijuana patient who worked very hard and paid for his card, I'm just happy that opinion will not change the law. We have amendment 20 to protect us from some joker like this. Remember Byron, the Nazi's used medical reason to justify their cause too! High Country Caregiver at http://www.highcountrycaregiver.com is committed to helping you get your medical marijuana card and teaching you to grow your own.

0

fred gerber 4 years, 5 months ago

byron needs to get his facts together before spewing out nonsense like that

0

aPerspective 4 years, 5 months ago

For So Many Having Such Informed Opinions On Medical Marijuana I Was Just Wondering......

1-On what frequency and to what extent has Medical Marijuana directly impacted your daily life? Aside from Media Coverage.......In Your Everyday life?.......For many having such assertive assumptions on the elmination on Medical Marijuana, I can almost guarantee you have no day to day contact with Medical Marijuana or anyone using it...or I may be wrong... it seems that many local citizens have Herds of Medical Marijuana Patients gathering for a Bong, Pipe and Joint on Lawns and Atriums across Craig......

2- As with almost anything, Time stands to be the ultimate Judge.....Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Northwest Colorado have been established less than 6months.........If we are making political changes in this short amount of time, What stability does that add to our Democratic Infastrcture? Do we get to make a public decision on what Local Public Officals we keep after only a few months in office? Im ready to submit my votes......"Craig's Least Wanted".....

3- Many also seem to be qualified in Medical Conditions.......I think, but may be wrong.....Personal Medical Records are not public knowledge.....My medical bills and disability, I will glady pass on to anyone who feels myself and others like me should not have access to Medical Marijuana.........Anytakers?....we have Intestine Removal and daily seditatives here.....Im running a good $10,000. to $15,000. a year in out of pocket medical expenses......Availble for immediate transfer and pick-up ASAP!

0

pgerini 4 years, 5 months ago

One word for you Byron. Moron!

Philip Gerini

0

onewhocares 4 years, 5 months ago

You're the man Byron !!! I could not agree with you more. We all ready have an epidemic drug problem in Craig, and now this.....Can you say our citizens are becoming the living dead, with a few exceptions.
In my opinion, unless you're dying from a painful cancer, I can't see how you are even justified using marijuana to begin with. I would bet there's a 1000 other healthier alternatives you could try if you made the effort to do so. We have become a society of people unwilling to face life head on, even the injuries and ailments that plague us. And yes, I have experienced excruciating injuries and have yet had to resort to marijuana, AND I am strong again, BUT it took hard work and sometimes painful moments to get there.

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

Thankfully Mr. Willems veiws are NOT reflective of the opinions of the majority of Coloradoans.. If the constitutional amendment were to be introduced to voters today, I'm sure that there would be the same results, just with more people in favor of it.I wonder is Mr. Willems was an atipot crusader before it was medically legal. I think that he jumped at the chance to get on such a controversial platform, and to speak out publicly. I am curious if his desire to get on the hate- wagon was to stand out from the rest of the Ctiy Coucil members to make a name for himself.....unfortunently for good ole boy byron, that name is MORON.

0

westslopeguy 4 years, 5 months ago

"All I know is that this entire medical marijuana situation has been twisted and distorted to allow literally thousands of Coloradans who use marijuana for “recreational usage” to now obtain it legally." (Quote from Councilor Willems' letter to the editor and by default, to the people of Craig)

Councilor Willems: Apparently, since this is “All you know…” you do not personally know anyone who uses marijuana as prescribed, to his medical benefit. I do, and apparently so do a majority of Coloradans. I can’t believe with that as your opening statement to the community, that your biases have allowed you to be a “public servant.” One looking out for the better good of the community, not just “…twisting and distorting …” the facts to support your belief. What is it again, exactly that an elected public servant was elected to do?

Further quote from Councilor Willems' letter: "Also, the records in Colorado show most dispensary operators are registered medical marijuana users themselves, some admitting to using marijuana for 40-plus years."

With opinions like this determining public policy, is it any wonder that an individual who has sanction from the State of Colorado to use marijuana to reduce the detriment that his ailment has caused him finds it easier to open his own dispensary? It is too restrictive for a legal, prescribed user to procure his medicine. Ergo, the logical way around public policy makers who “only know” one thing, (and there is a difference in “knowing” and “believing” something), is to create a dispensary. Let's not get into the entrepreneurial spirit it takes to start one's own business in a hostile environment, thus deflaming the argument that marijuana users have reduced ambitions, etc.

Additional quote from Councilor Willems: "It is sad that the truly sick people who can benefit from medical marijuana now are being lumped into a pile with a bunch of potheads using the system."

It is truly sad that our public servants, those we elected to support the charter of our city, and the constitution and legislations of our state, lump “…people who can benefit… into a pile with a bunch of potheads…”

Maybe, rather than blast Mr. Willems, and “lump” him with other uninformed individuals, we ought to rethink the way we vote and consider a candidates belief in “our” system, not just his belief system.

I could go on, but in my effort to keep this brief, I'll just add...

my two cents, Paul

0

Robert Chase 4 years, 5 months ago

It is Mr. Willems' comments which are "twisted and distorted", not the "entire medical marijuana situation", which except for the grandstanding, alarmism, and the rebellion against our Constitution being waged by much of our political and law enforcement establishment, is perfectly straightforward. That some or even many patients do not require medicinal cannabis misses the points that cannabis is virtually innocuous, and that the purpose of the Medicinal Cannabis Amendment is being served -- people are obtaining relief from severe pain or other debilitating conditions; for many, access to medicinal cannabis means the difference between life and death. "Also, the records in Colorado show most dispensary operators are registered medical marijuana users themselves, some admitting to using marijuana for 40-plus years." -- Willems' case, if one can call it such, proceeds by means of a series of insinuations and misstatements; it is not entirely clear what he is trying to insinuate here, presumably that dispensary operators are debased scofflaws, but why not just say what you mean instead , Mr. Willems? "When asked, Larry could not remember the name of the town he lives in" -- Mr. Willems apparently means to insinuate that cannabis has destroyed Larry's mind. It is entirely possible that Mr. Hill suffers from some organic condition which causes him to have severe lapses in memory, but there is no basis for supposing that cannabis is the cause of his forgetfulness. More likely is that Mr. Willems is fabricating his account. It is only anecdotal evidence, but my case might serve as a counterexample. In 1993, after thirteen years of regular smoking of cannabis, I achieved scores on the GRE which qualified me for membership in the Triple Nine Society; my IQ is within the top 99.9th percentile of the general public. As an aside, to address general misconceptions about the effects on health of smoking cannabis, consider "Researchers surprised to find no link between marijuana, lung cancer" (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/26/MNGAKJ2S481.DTL) and "Cannabis May Cut Alzheimer's Risk" (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/10/19/marijuana_hea.html?category=human&guid=20061019101530). The extent to which the prohibitionists have lied to us over the past seventy years about the ill effects of marijuana is breathtaking. The body's endocannabinoid system is responsible for dampening the inflammatory process. Cannabis may have useful medical application not just in palliation, but in the treatment of the many diseases linked to inflammation, including cancers, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, etc. Many readers will have been propagandized to the effect that since cannabis has more tar than cigarettes, it is more dangerous than tobacco -- the opposite appears to be the case.

0

Robert Chase 4 years, 5 months ago

Tobacco is implicated in the deaths of 435,000 Americans every year -- a staggering number (from the CDC, by the way), while marijuana has never been shown to kill anyone. The reason is likely that despite the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (which have been shown to be carcinogenic) in both tobacco and marijuana smoke, their carcinogenicity is dwarfed by that of polonium 210, a potent alpha particle emitter found in significant amounts in tobacco but not in marijuana. "To obtain marijuana legally today, all you have to do is get a doctor to prescribe it." -- in fact, marijuana cannot be prescribed, because the Federal government has falsely declared it to be without useful medical application. Under Colorado's Constitution doctors may recommend cannabis. "It is sad that the truly sick people who can benefit from medical marijuana now are being lumped into a pile with a bunch of potheads using the system" -- I agree entirely; please stop doing so, and please stop using pejorative terms such as "pothead" to describe people who enjoy cannabis. The use of such loaded language serves to marginalize those who choose to use cannabis, but it is neither objective nor rational to do so. "But we can do something about the sale of it in Craig" -- (I was taught not to begin sentences with coordinating conjunctions, but people have been getting away with it for years), Craig can defy the Constitution, but it is not an appropriate course of action. "Always keep in mind the patients who truly need medical marijuana always will be able to still get it" -- this is nonsensical on the face of it; if Willems, Ritter, Suthers and their ilk get their way it may very well not be the case. Dispensaries' effects on a community are similar to those of pharmacies; they are unobjectionable businesses which employ people, and pay property and sales taxes into state and local coffers. Certainly Craig can stay mired in the past, resist the opening of dispensaries, and attempt to impose pointless, onerous regulations on them, but no useful purpose is served by doing so. The only thing you have to fear are fear-mongers such as Mr. Willem. Mr. Willem, your opinion is based on misconceptions and is irrational.

0

daybyday 4 years, 5 months ago

aPerspective, 1-One is not required to experience everything directly and personally to make an informed and prudent decision. If so, you would be saying then that people who don't have children wouldn't be good parents, or people who haven't had an abortion shouldn't have an opinion on abortion. I can almost guarantee that the majority of Americans have a friend or loved one who has had or does have cancer, and that it most definitely does impact our lives directly. We don't have to smoke pot to understand their pain. 2-Yes, time will be the test, and I don't agree that all swift politcal changes always equate with progress. 3-I think this is a healthcare issue and not a marijuana issue. No one that I know wants to see someone suffer or in pain or financial distress or disaster due to medical issues. I don't believe that most dispensary owners/employees are qualified in medical issues.

0

als362 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the person that states that how can the city dare to allow something as silly as this marijuana business, when the city cannot keep the kids from smoking and drinking. How will they keep these so called "caregivers" from selling this uneeded garbage to the kids? This is not needed here or anywhere. Period!

0

Robert Chase 4 years, 5 months ago

als362: Caregivers don't want to risk their freedom by selling cannabis to non-patients, and only six minors statewide are registered as patients. It is not likely ever to be a problem anywhere, but since kids generally don't belong in dispensaries, it will be easy to spot if someone were foolish enough to do it. The situation is totally different for the ubiquitous stores selling beer and cigarettes; minors are allowed in, and policing these stores requires more work. Considering that many kids acquire the addiction which will eventually kill them by obtaining cigarettes from such stores, I'd say your fear of children obtaining cannabis from a dispensary are unfounded, and your priorities completely misplaced.

P.S. .=period, ! = exclamation mark

0

als362 4 years, 5 months ago

To solar satellite: If the kids can get beer and liquor, then they will find a way to get marijuana and cannabis. Don't try and tell me that these so called "caregivers" will never be tempted to make an easy buck, or cannot be fooled by a teenager. If you tell me that I will not believe you!!!!

0

yampa78 4 years, 5 months ago

I think you should just let it be!!! you dont like marijuana and never will. Let us beable to have what works for us. Im not pushing it on you just let it go. For 6000 years man has used it and some how we have been able to make it. Kids will be in the med cabinet way before they find marijuana. Read the book the empiror wears no clothes.

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

complaining about medical marijuana isnt going to change its legality. They state government can't just terminate the constitutional amendment 40, they can only try to add to or better define the law. And as to the federal government, I dont think they can be more clear, they are NOT going to raid and shut down dispensaries that abide by state law. Every state has the right to state independance from federal persecution----if the people of any said state vote and pass a law, thats democracy in action. If you dont like the liberal laws of our state, then MOVE, or zip it. Showing up at city council meetings and acting like unitelligent monkeys that are going to sue our entire civilization, or equate a plant to abortion, is INSANITY. You could better prove your points by getting a grasp on colorado state laws, and staying ON TOPIC.

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

"Don't try and tell me that these so called “caregivers” will never be tempted to make an easy buck, or cannot be fooled by a teenager. If you tell me that I will not believe you!!!!"

Well, that's exactly what I am going to tell you. If said Teen has no medical card, there will be absolutly no fooling anyone. Dispensaries take copies of Drivers lisences and medical lisences, so ANYONE getting medicine without a card is not going to happen, let alone one of those super smart teens who can fool even the smartest of adults. And as far as making an easy buck? Are you out of your mind? "Hey, I can make $50 extra dollars today if I illegally sell this bag to a minor and chance losing my business! Sold!"

0

ranchmama 4 years, 5 months ago

I think everyone who called the councilman a "Moron" owes him an apology. Shame on you! And as far as throwing the "thousands of Coloradoans who voted for" this stinky law. You cannot hide behind that number because you could tell by interviews given on TV that many of the people who went to vote during that election had never voted before. I wll go as far to guess that Colorado had many, many younger (college age) voters. Probably more than ever before. So don't hide behind that. I doubt very few people that did vote for the law had a legitimate reason. I pesonally, would never want any person in my family to suffer but never would want them to turn to MJ. I watched my Grandmother in a great deal of pain in her last months but never heard her want for a drug that kills as many braincells as MJ.

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

@ ranchmomma Many people called my Willems a "Moron" because he either lied, or mis stated SEVERAL facts on this Letter to the editor - Hate pot? Fine, back it up with facts. This one phrase in particular gets me - "The current proposed ordinance will allow medical marijuana to be sold in our town." Actually, Mr. Willems, any ordinance that would ban or restrict the sale of Medical Marijuana would be unconstitutional and against the law. But who cares about the constitution, right? He also fails to state that if he get's his way, and the City Council votes down this ordinance, they will be in the EXACT same boat as before, with no rules or regulations, and free for any dispensary to open in the newly zoned areas. Next voting day, you better pull the bus up to the retirement home, cause guess what? Once you are 18 years old in the United States of America, you can vote. There's no requirements that you have to had voted previously - There's no "Young Vote" count. We will absolutly not "Hide behind" those numbers - We will stand in front of them. Young people will inherit the world, so why, then, should they not be able to sculpt it? The young shape the future. Live with it. You live in Colorado. Medical Marijuana is legal, and that is never going to change. Cry, kick and scream all you want.

0

Sumarjn 4 years, 5 months ago

"Cry, kick and scream" is what will happen to the potheads, when voters realize how they have been duped. Below are a few excerpts from an active Daily Sentinel report.

"Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he knew Amendment 20, which legalized medical marijuana for some state residents, eventually would cause backlash if passed as it read. The law doesn’t provide for regulation of caretakers and dispensaries. Also, anecdotal reports of abuse in the system, such as one doctor approving 200 patients in one day, “leads some to wonder whether doctors are paying attention,” Suthers said.

The average age is 41 for all of Colorado’s registered users, and 73 percent are men.

Two doctors are responsible for recommendations for more than one-third of the state’s registered patients.

As of July 31, 13,102 patients have been added to the registry, and the Health Department receives an estimated 400 applications daily.

Patients afflicted with at least one of eight debilitating conditions can be granted a referral by a physician, but 90 percent of all patients on the state’s registry list their ailment as severe pain."

0

ranchmama 4 years, 5 months ago

Read Amy Hamilton's story in the Sentinal on 11/14/09 on how she was able to obtain a card. Voters everywhere have been duped. @ applesaday I know how every 18 has a right to vote. I don't think this law passed because of the 35 or older crowd. A lot of those kids would have never voted if it weren't for legalizing MM. Don't kid your self, you're not kidding me.

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

So, you're saying their votes should not count, because they felt passionate enough to show up and vote for something they believed in? I don't understand your reasoning here....It really does not matter who passed it. It passed. Maybe those "Potheads" are not as lazy as you think.

0

daybyday 4 years, 5 months ago

apples, you said younger voters will inherit the world and, whether you see it or not, I believe older voters just care very much about the world in which you will inherit. If a lot of young people stepped up to vote for the marijuana issue, I hope they will also step up to fix it when everything starts falling apart due to the legalization of marijuana...and it will.

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

Whell then, If your opinion is that Medical marijuana is somehow going to crumble society, you are VERY very wrong. It has been used medicinally for centuries, and our country was founded on it. It is the one idustry that brought revenue to our country in its infancy. Now, let me ask you this, what has the legalization of liquor done? I dont know how you can be aware of the thousands of alcohol related deaths & diseases,, and not be protesting their industry. As to date, there have been ZERO marijuana related overdoses, or disease. Marijuana acrually REVERSES glocoma. What does alcohol fix?Nothing. What does alcohol destroy? Everything. The same can be said of pharm. drugs.That is not just my opinion, IT IS FACT! So not matter what you 'defenders of ignorance' say, I'm going to base my views in whats factual, not political. I am a lifelong Craig resident, & I have my medical marijuana card. I will continue buying & growing cannabis IN THIS TOWN until the day I die. I am thankful that I have somewhere legal to purchase my choice of medication. I was on a list of meds to manage my pain, and with medical cannabis, I have been weened off of them. I feel more alive & functual. I'm able to wake up without the nausea, & severe chronic aura migranes that leave me blinded & bed ridden. I was at the end of my rope in a weeklong episode that landed me in the E.R. I decided to look up alternative options to the many meds that failed me. Thats when I learned about Medical marijuana. I was sceptical, but went out, found an illegal pot dealer,(that was surprisingly easy) I smoked during the onset of an aura, & It didnt progress! It subsided! I never experienced such immediate relief. Now I have my card & get my medication in a safe, professional environment. So a BIG thanks to all the new dispensaries that are popping up. If it wasnt for the marijuana, I would be giving myself triptopan injections to snuff out the pain. I thank God for this plant, it was created in his hands & saves me from my agony. And shame on anyone that tries to tell that I am a sinner for using it! would it be exceptable if it got me drunk? Or came in a pretty little pill? Is this the society we have become? The bright future of change is upon us, and I embrace it. Fighting change is futile.

0

daybyday 4 years, 5 months ago

Not surprising that your diatribe is inaccurate and confused on so many levels that it actually proves more harm for your cause than good.

0

yampa78 4 years, 5 months ago

daybyday, just wanted to help you out with the cloud over your head. READ THE BOOK Emperor wears no cloths. Or check out www.jackherer.com Alot of good info. Dont talk down on it. The Wall street Journal reports that over 30 million regular uses of marijuana in the USA.!!!!!Over 50% of that is grown in the USA. IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY. You want to fight something that will never end just like a war over oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0

proudmomma2 4 years, 5 months ago

When someone mentions marijuana everyone automatically thinks "pot-head", "stoner", "druggie." But you know what eating/smoking marijuana is way better than popping pills, or shooting up heroin, or smoking crack or even getting/being drunk!!! Everyone in this town is a hypocrite!! Everyone is so worried that this is gonna get out of control. WORRY ABOUT THE DARN DRUNK DRIVERS OR THE CRACK HEADS! People that smoke/eat "pot" don't drive into trees, or roll their vehicle, or kill people. People that smoke/eat "pot" are not killing nor hurting our children!

Their are people that sell pills, meth, cocaine, alcohol, and what else who knows to kids in this community and yet no one seems to be concerned about that.

So unless you have smoked/ate marijuana don't be a hypocrite. If you don't smoke/eat marijuana and you comment on what other people are saying get your facts right first.

Worry more about the drunk drivers, the pill poppers, and the meth addict's that are behind the wheel driving! At least I know where the people that eat/smoke marijuana will be...AT HOME ON THE COUCH OR IN BED RELAXING!

So many other towns have legalized marijuana why can't this town? What is this community too proud? One way or another people will buy/smoke/sell/grow marijuana. As long as you are a patient that states you can have marijuana in your possession it's not gonna matter what this town thinks.

What is this community gonna start judging people on their disabilities or the pain they are in? Who is gonna tell someone in pain that they can't have certain "medicine?"

0

daybyday 4 years, 5 months ago

Many arguments people use for legalization of marijuana just make me laugh. A stand "against" marijuana is not a stand "for" any other addiction. I just have a couple more comments and will let it rest here, addressed to yampa78. One, thanks for your help. I read a little of your infamous jackherer, and all I can say is don't drink the koolaid. I don't have my head in a cloud, but you may be blowing smoke up my skirt. peace out

0

applesaday 4 years, 5 months ago

This can be debated all day long, but the FACTS are that amendment 40 is going to be in Colorado forever. The people of the state of Colorado, exercized their right to vote. And in the American way, the majority won. If it wasnt what some Craig citizens wanted, then next time something controversial is on the ballet, they should better organize their agenda. The voters forced the government to realized that it is our FREEDOM of CHOICE to make our own decisions.There is a double standard here, that is undenyable. Mr. willems, a city council memeber has such strong public views about public safety, but yet I have never heard him speak out about Alcohol and bars. Everyone knows that Mathers bar is a hot spot, where everyone can get wasted, or beaten up. Even the cops know it and that is why when its hoppin down there they have to be posted nearby to help regulated the rampant drunk drivers that leave Tom Mather's establishment. I have never seen cops staioned around the local dispensary every busy night....maybe because deep down they know that medical marijuana users arent unitelligent risk takers that put their selfs in danger just for a little social fun. The same can NOT be said of the majority of Mathers patrons. there is no medical need for alcohol, and yet it is socially ecceptable. Enough so that the bar owner is representing this county....I doubt that our town would ever allow a dispensary owner to represent it. What hippocracy this town exudes. The city council should tend to their own houses before telling us how to keep ours.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.