A Pledge to Do Better
May 9, 2006
To the Editor:
Doug Ireland is right: we did drop the ball on rallying American LGBT support for the second annual International Day Against Homophobia (“Going Global on Gay Rights,” May 4-10). When it was first presented to us, there were a lot of other competing demands on our limited resources. By the time I got around to focusing on IDAHO, it was too late to do anything meaningful. I will do better next year.
Executive director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
April 30, 2006
To the Editor:
Nathan Riley did an excellent job of summing up the dishonest and overtly political nature of the Food and Drug Administration’s recent statement on medical marijuana. (“Bushies Once Again Bury Science for Politics,” Apr. 27-May 3).
Among the many medical and public health organizations supporting laws to permit medical use of marijuana is the American Academy of HIV Medicine, which endorsed New York state medical marijuana legislation in 2003. AAHIVM wrote, “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients.” Since that statement, new data has shown that medical marijuana can help those experiencing nausea and vomiting from their anti-HIV drug cocktails to adhere to their medication regimens.
In June, Congress is expected to consider a modest but important amendment, to be introduced by Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-Binghamton), to stop the federal government from arresting patients in states which have chosen to permit medical use of marijuana. The LGBT community needs to energetically get behind Hinchey’s amendment, which represents a significant step toward sanity in federal marijuana policy.
For more information and to get involved, readers are invited to visit http://action.mpp.org .
Director of Communications
Marijuana Policy Project
The Full Truth About Slammers
April 15, 2006
To the Editor:
Christopher Murray’s “Meet the Slammers” presents an important new viewpoint regarding crystal meth and its impact on the gay community (Apr. 13-19). Specifically, Murray doesn’t deny or avoid discussing the pleasure of drug use. I think it’s important that we acknowledge that much of life can seem pretty mundane and gray in those early months of sobriety compared to the intensity of using. This is a difficult topic to discuss because it runs the risk of encouraging further use but it is important that we begin to have a more honest discussion about our lives as gay men and the true feelings that drive destructive behavior.
Another important point that Murray makes is that the paranoia often experienced with crystal use becomes a fact of life for some addicts. Normal people don’t understand that the many horrors of addiction become normal to an addict after a while. “Why didn’t you stop earlier?” people have asked me. Because it was just my life.
The writer is the author of “Tweaked” and “Beyond Shame.”
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