Canada could teach U.S. much about health care
Once again Canada has passed us by in the medical field. First, we are able to travel to Canada and purchase prescription medications at a much cheaper price than we can buy them in the United States. Second, Canada has widened the eligibility for medical use of marijuana so that Canadians who are terminally ill or suffering from certain chronic illnesses may grow and smoke their own marijuana.
For those who can't grow their own, the Canadian government has licensed a company to grow the plants and produce pre-rolled cigarettes. Licensed patients will receive a 30-day supply at a time. The product will contain less THC, the primary ingredient, but will be safer and not require scrounging on the streets from uncaring dealers.
I would tell the naysayers that I witnessed firsthand the benefits of smoking marijuana on an AIDS patient. There was a weight gain of 15 pounds as his appetite returned; no nausea, so he was free to go out to dinner and enjoy a meal, and he had the energy to drive again and to take a walk. Small every day things that gave hope that things were getting better. Not so, for marijuana is not a cure, but it certainly made my son's last five months much easier.
Critically ill patients are not worried about long-term effects. For most, there is no long term, and Canada has made it possible for the terminally ill to make the most of their days with a safe product.
We used to fear the use of morphine and turning people into addicts. Now it is a useful tool for hospices as they care for the dying patient. I feel that marijuana can be just as useful a tool in certain circumstances and guidelines.
AARP warns of potential high costs in PUCO rules
If you have a telephone in your home or business you should be concerned about some new rules that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is proposing.
The proposal will further deregulate phone service and will result in rate increases and declining service quality. Specifically, if adopted, the rules will allow the local telephone service to at least double their charge for everything except the most basic service. The second line to your home or business? Double. Call waiting? Unlimited increase allowed. Caller ID or Call trace? Double.
Supposedly there are some trade-offs for customers. Unfortunately when you read the fine print on these trade-offs they evaporate. They are more like marketing gimmicks than real benefits.
These rules are so bad that an unprecedented coalition of consumer organizations including AARP, the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, the cities of Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Dayton's Edgemont Neighborhood Coalition have come together to oppose them. The Ohio Consumers' Counsel has a detailed analysis of the rules on its website. Rather than try to distill that information here, I'd recommend you to the site -- www.pickocc.org.
The reason for telling you all this is that there is actually something you can do to help stop these rules. The PUCO will listen to our state senators and state representatives.
I think we have a good chance of stopping this proposal, but we need our state senators and state representatives to tell the PUCO that people in their district care. Please call the, today and let them know what you think.
X The writer is legislative chairperson of AARP Chapter 4545 in Boardman.
Idora Park, R.I.P.
Now that the ballroom, Wildcat and Jack Rabbit are gone forever, may the ghosts of Idora Park finally rest in peace.