kearns to la city council: medical cannabis, carmen trutanich & LA’s “extraordinary response” to HIV/AIDS (0079)

[tuesday, November 3, 2009] good morning
president garcetti, distinguished council
members. i have given the clerk copies
of my prepared remarks.

my name is richard kearns. i am a 58-year-old
gay man with AIDS, a long-term survivor & activist,
a medical cannabis advocate, a poet & journalist.

i am here this morning to suggest a
plan B for medical cannabis in LA


please empower a special high-speed
ad hoc medical cannabis team, who,
starting with the text of the city’s
legislative analyst submitted to the
plum committee september 25th
can finish translating the whereases
to section numbers inside a month
(sort of like going from iambic pentameter
to dactylic hexameter) &
not to “correct” them, but
to produce a good faith
medical cannabis ordinance,
one that spells out fees & enforcement protocols
one that includes storefront dispensaries
(not just your LA garden variety)
one that captures legislative intent
one that respects voter intent
one that incorporates community input

mr trutanich would have us believe that
changing the law is against the law

so i thought i’d review with you
why we want to change the law,
in the hope that
• by reaffirming the broad
vision of our mutual intent
• by recalling the urgent &
compelling reasons for
creating medical cannabis
dispensaries in california
in the first place
we make it clear
what the city attorney
left out in his version:
he left out saving lives.

medical cannabis clinics are an example of an
“extraordinary response” to the global HIV/AIDS
pandemic called for by UN-AIDS (the Joint UN
Programme on HIV/AIDS) former executive director,
dr. peter piot, who characterizes mr. trutanich’s type of
failing-to-keep-pace-with-a-liberalizing-
society-shut-them-all-down-i-don’t-care-
how-drug-warrior
attitude as “the new denialism.”

let’s start here: the chances of my survival
as a person with AIDS increase 330%
when i add medical cannabis to my
treatment regimen. i can’t take care of myself.
don’t tell me i can grow it myself.
don’t tell me i can eat cake

it would be nice if mr trutanich would join
the 21st century & contribute to this city’s
extraordinary response rather than wrecking it
but it’s not going to happen

please move ahead with plan b

namasté

richard kearns
rk@aids-write.org

AIDS requires extraordinary response
UNAIDS policy statement

An emergency is a situation that threatens the lives and well-being of large numbers of people and requires extraordinary action to ensure their survival, protection and adaptation. Emergency situations are caused by both natural disasters such as earthquakes and droughts and human conflict such as warfare and civil unrest. A complex emergency is a humanitarian crisis with a significant breakdown of authority and security, requiring an international response beyond the mandate of one single agency. In such situations, people in all sectors – soldiers, rebels, humanitarian workers, displaced persons and others – are at greater risk of exposure to HIV. Women and children are often the most vulnerable.

http://www.unaids.org/en/PolicyAndPractice/SecurityHumanitarianResponse/default.asp

7 December 2006The head of the main United Nations agency dealing with HIV/AIDS today said the global threat posed by the disease requires an extraordinary response.

“We are already witnessing a new form of AIDS ‘denialism,’ which maintains that AIDS must be treated as simply one of many public health crises,” the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Dr. Peter Piot said, opening the agency’s 19th board meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20885&Cr=HIV&Cr1=AIDS

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