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Time to legalize medical cannabis

I went to the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehabilitation Center in March 2016. There they tapered you off all the prescription medications they could — a no-narcotics approach to pain. You also had to stop using any illegal drugs as well to participate in the program.

For me, in Nebraska, medical cannabis was and still is illegal. I could not get a prescription for it, so it was treated as an illegal drug, even though Minnesota approved medical marijuana laws back in May 2014.

I had to stop cold turkey, with no tapering. Guess what, I did it, because, Tom Osborne, cannabis is not addictive. I stopped using for three weeks, and I was way better off than some of those having to taper off opioids. I know, because I had already done it before I got to Mayo.

I successfully completed the program, which increased rather than lowered my pain. I did it because I knew the knowledge and information I would gain to help manage my complex regional pain syndrome and chronic pain was necessary to my survival. And let me tell you, folks, having not one but five invisible illnesses is difficult.

So, I proudly proclaim I use medical cannabis, whether it is legal or illegal, because I should be afforded the freedom of choice. Just like you should be able to choose to have it be or not be a part of your medical treatment. You already can through synthetic prescription drugs derived from cannabis, Syndros and Marinol.

Lia McDowell Post, Springfield

Congress can end emergency declarations

Right now, The Atlantic notes 30 federal states of emergency are in effect in our country. Some are decades old.

Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, Congress is required to meet every six months “to consider a vote” on ending states of emergency. Alas, it never has.

With President Donald Trump threatening to declare a national emergency in February because he’s failed to convince Congress to fund a campaign promise of his, it’s time for Congress to review the 30 emergencies and end those that are no longer needed.

I want Reps. Don Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith and Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse to call for this review to happen within two weeks. And should the president declare the bogus emergency, they should immediately vote to end it. Too many democracies have been destroyed by abuse of states of emergency.

Because Congress has the power and duty to end states of emergency, if our representatives chose to let the bogus emergency stand, they would be complicit in that abuse of power.

Curtis Bryant, Omaha

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