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Mar-17-2009 12:43printcomments

Help a Sick Relative, Lose Your Job

Scoring three marijuana cigarettes for an aunt with breast cancer costs a police dispatcher her job.

(SAN FRANCISCO) - When medical use of marijuana is illegal, it’s not just the patients themselves who get hurt.

Laura Llanes

Today’s Chicago Tribune reports the story of police dispatcher Laura Llanes, whose aunt is battling breast cancer and suffering the side effects of chemotherapy.

Llanes told the paper that her aunt was “sick constantly, not eating, not having an appetite. She is diabetic. She has to eat. She was whittling away to nothing.” So she obtained three joints worth of marijuana for her aunt, and it helped.

But when Llanes told a co-worker about it, word got to her supervisors, and now she’s out of a job — collateral damage in America’s ongoing war on the sick.

On the bright side for people like Llanes and her aunt, medical marijuana legislation is under consideration in Illinois. To find out how you can help — and especially if you live in Illinois — you can visit the Marijuana Policy Project Illinois page.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Laura Llanes - IL March 19, 2009 12:52 am (Pacific time)

I just wanted to post and say thank you to Bruce Mirken for your support!

stephen March 17, 2009 8:57 pm (Pacific time)

I just wanted to take a moment and say I agree with the first two posts. I think both were very good. thanks.

Mike March 17, 2009 8:51 pm (Pacific time)

To Vic: Not all cops are bad cops, and not necessarily many are. My guess is that you had an altercation with an officer for something you probably thought was not so bad, such as speeding, or running a yellow light. What officers do is protect the general public, whether everyone would like to see it that way or not. They are good people willing to put their lives on the line for others. Perhaps you should re-evaluate your opinion on those who protect you.

Vic March 17, 2009 5:57 pm (Pacific time)

Sounds to me like she wasn't police force material anyways...compassionate, willing to take a risk for another person,empathetic, kind...she was not qualified to be a modern-day cop.

think March 17, 2009 4:48 pm (Pacific time)

The underlying problem is the way the war on drugs is tactically carried out. Legalization would create the means for a regulatory system for drugs that would actually accomplish the goals that prohibition never has or will. Refer the problems with alcohol during prohibition compared with relative social order after prohibition repeal. Also note government alcohol related revenue continues over 7 decades later. Legalization would also move most drugs from the street into government authorized facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. As for the police dispatcher that got stung by the war on drugs for trying to perform an act of compassion, when is society going to have had enough of this discriminatory nonsense? The federal government could do the U.S. a favor by simply officially recognizing and approving marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. People are using it without any real restriction anyway, and why not free a whack of time for law enforcement to better utilize by solving more serious and violent crimes?

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