In response to Randy LoBasso’s article about the possibility of a medical marijuana bill in 2013:
I am a retired Marine and a war veteran. I believe that cannabis is the safest treatment for PTSD, pain management and migraines associated with a traumatic brain injury. I have been treated with lots of medications that made me worse off—suicidal thoughts and many other side effects. Look at the suicide rates of veterans. Legal drugs are part of that problem. Cannabis does not have those side effects. Pennsylvania laws should look like Colorado laws.
I am a Pennsylvania resident who has used cannabis to treat a lung disorder and asthma for 31 years now. It allows me to breath in a deep, un-labored breath. I’m a patient with no legal access to a natural medicine that helps me to breath. I have tried every medication that Big Pharma offers. All the medications have a string of side effects and other medications to treat the side effects. Here is the short list of why I don’t use them: nausea, shaking, loss of appetite, sped-up heart rate, anxiousness. None of them open up my airways to relaxed, deep breathing like cannabis. Legalize it, tax it and stop making sick people criminals.
Pennsylvania needs to pull together and make this happen. It would mean comfort and freedom from addictive pharmaceuticals for so many people. All they need is a naturally, not chemically formed, plant. So simple, it can be a relief from prescription costs, and older citizens who can’t handle dangerous painkillers and sedatives. How many people have overdosed from a little marijuana? How many drunk driving type stories have you heard? Alcohol is far more dangerous, do the research, get educated.
In response to Randy LoBasso’s blog post about N.J.’s red-light cameras:
Red-light cameras are making roads safer and saving lives in Philadelphia. These devices are an important part of our city’s traffic safety program, so it’s important for people to have the full facts so they can understand the positive impact of the Red Light Camera Program.
A popular assertion by those opposed to the implementation of the program is that the technology results in an increase in rear-end-type crashes. But according to the 2011 Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee Report, rear-end crashes actually decreased 16 percent at 10 Philadelphia intersections with red-light cameras in operation for three years. And long-term studies show, there are fewer rear-end crashes today than before cameras were installed at intersections along Roosevelt Boulevard. What’s most critical is once cameras go up, the most dangerous and most deadly right-angle traffic collisions go down. T-bone crashes have decreased 32 percent at intersections with red light cameras in operation for at least three years, according to the report.
It’s important to understand the difference between the numbers provided by PPA and the Philadelphia Police Department. The data is the same. But the numbers being released by the PPD may be higher due to the fact that they include all accidents within the area of Grant and the Boulevard, which would include parking lot accidents or accidents that actually occur half-way down the street.
Red-light running puts everyone in danger—including other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Safety is the top priority of this program and there is proof that intersections are safer once cameras are present.
Executive Director, Philadelphia Parking Authority
Letters to the Editor