Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I was amused to read (Capitol Weekly, March 27) that “Federal drug enforcers … point to a 2006 U.S. Food and Drug Administration study stating that marijuana has no medical value” by way of justifying their attacks on medical marijuana patients and providers. Your readers should know that there was no FDA study of medical marijuana. In fact, the FDA didn’t even conduct a new analysis of the existing data. All the agency did was issue a press release regurgitating the long-standing federal dogma that marijuana is not a medicine. They ignored all prior analyses, including the 1999 Institute of Medicine report commissioned by the White House, which stated: “Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety… all can be mitigated by marijuana.”
Since then, the 124,000-member American College of Physicians has stated that the medical evidence “supports the use of medical marijuana in certain conditions,” and noted, “A clear discord exists between the scientific community and federal legal and regulatory agencies over the medicinal value of marijuana.”
The feds can say that the Earth is flat, but that does not make it so.

Bruce Mirken,
Director of Communications
Marijuana Policy Project

Dear Editor:

Your report (Capitol Weekly, March 27) describing attempts by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association to “force the state back to the bargaining table” conveys an impression that this administration has refused to bargain with CCPOA. In fact, we’ve been open to negotiating a new contract. Unfortunately, CCPOA has conditioned its return to the bargaining table on the state agreeing to resurrect the contract that expired nearly two years ago.
The old contract that CCPOA wants reinstated provided automatic annual pay raises and power to control management decisions in our state prisons. The Schwarzenegger administration instead offered a reasonable package with generous increases in pay and health benefits along with restored management rights. After bargaining in good faith for over a year without progress, we have taken the legal step of implementing our last, best and final offer, which includes requesting legislative approval to issue pay increases and other benefits in spite of the lack of a negotiated contract.
We have done everything in our power to engage CCPOA in good-faith negotiations. As the Dills Act provides, we will return to the bargaining table when there is a change in the circumstances that increases the prospects for a negotiated agreement.

Julie Chapman
Deputy Director of Labor Relations
California Department of Personnel Administration

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