Patients' rights under attack

It was likely only a matter of time before Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis spoke up regarding the use of medical cannabis. For an elected official sworn to uphold the law, he doesn't always seem to understand the potential impacts of the proposals he is making. In seeking to limit the use of medical cannabis in public, he is in flagrant violation of the state Constitution and completely disregards the opinions of medical professionals who have prescribed this medication in the best interests of their patients.

See the news story link below City Councilwoman Michele Gregory's heartfelt plea to use common sense and empathy to uphold patients' rights in our community.

Dear Council President and Members,

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for taking the time to hear my story and for the opportunity to provide you with an alternative view to the proposed legislation. I sincerely appreciate the fact you allowed me to speak, even though the public comments had closed.

As I explained to you in my remarks, our journey to using medical cannabis was not an easy one. Even now, it isn't a magical cure. What it does allow, however, is a quality of life that was previously impossible. And despite the immense rarity of my son's condition, there are many like him, young and old, who use cannabis as a medical treatment, whether for epilepsy or easing the symptoms of cancer treatments or any other number of ailments. I hope you take this into consideration when debating this regressive legislation, and decide that the right of our counties citizens to a better quality of life is greater than the need for more penalties for the few who break what is already the law.


Another point I would like you to consider is the costliness of enforcement of this proposed law. Yes, it may occasionally lead to catching a few "bad guys", but overall I would wager that it will be time and resource consuming more than beneficial. Most medical cannabis patients are law abiding citizens like my own family, ones that would be overwhelmingly unfairly targeted by this law. Those resources could be better put to use in the fight against other more serious issues and crimes. As the Sheriff and State's Attorney admitted, any of the scenarios and anecdata they presented would clearly be covered by existing laws. I urge you to consider the overall cost, not just to the taxpayer, but to patients who have fought for their right to access medical treatment that will be hindered if you pass this legislation. Consider the health and safety of those who rely upon cannabis for a better quality of life.

I urge you to do the right thing and to not take away their right to prescribed treatment. Thank you again for your patience and willingness to listen.

Michele Gregory

Salisbury City Council, District 4

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