Thursday | October 20, 2016
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Your Views for August 3

Over the edge?

On July 20, Pradeepta Chowdhury suggested in his letter to the Tribune-Herald that Israel should have waited to retaliate until some of their own citizens were killed by the barrage of rockets being fired into Israeli territory from Gaza. No nation on this planet will wait to retaliate under such conditions while their citizens sit like sitting ducks waiting for a rocket to hit them.

On Aug. 1, he goes further to complain about the cost of the Iron Dome antiballistic system, which protects Israel from major rocket attacks. He complains that “the all powerful Jewish American lobby is disproportionately over-represented in the Congress.” A fact check reveals that the 113th Congress has a total membership of 533, of whom 299 are Protestants, 163 are Catholic, only 33 are Jewish, and the rest belong to a slew of other smaller denominations.

I am amazed by these statements from an individual whom I respected as an educated and logical thinker. Perhaps Dr. Chowdhury was not yet born during the Cuban missile crisis when the Russians positioned large rockets in Cuba, and he did not experience the Cold War with its arms race during which we all sat here in fear of the intentional or accidental firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead.

In the case of Israel, the threats are much more immediate and real as the country has been surrounded by hostile neighbors since its inception, and its population has lived with the threat of actual war or imminent war and terrorist attacks every single day. In spite of these conditions, Israel has built a modern, technologically advanced state and revived a dead language.

By comparison, watch the interview by Charlie Rose of CBS with the leader of Hamas to understand the intransigent, unproductive and illogical political position that the Islamists think serves their purpose.

Adrienne S. Dey


No nukes

The lesson from Hiroshima: Ban nuclear weapons.

Remember the horror. Let’s not let it happen again!

Christa Wagner


Needless suffering

Americans for Safe Access deplores the probation office denial of Aaron Zeeman’s right to use medical cannabis for severe chronic pain. He suffers from rat lung disease (“Puna man sues feds for medical pot,” Tribune-Herald, July 29). The well-established “Doctrine of Medical Necessity” states that in circumstances of overwhelming urgency, a person is allowed to respond by breaking the law.

Based on this doctrine, Zeeman has the right to use medical cannabis for his life-threatening disease.

Other examples of the doctrine would be driving at more than the speed limit to reach medical care, or destroying property to escape a fire. Zeeman uses cannabis now in defiance of his probation officers to prevent an even greater harm caused by a disease which has killed Hawaii residents.

In California, medical cannabis patient Valerie Corral used cannabis to alleviate debilitating epileptic seizures four years before medical cannabis was approved there. She had tried every prescription drug to lessen her seizures without success.

When she was arrested in 1992, she used a medical necessity defense for the right to medicate herself with cannabis, the only medicine that worked.

Zeeman’s doctor recommends cannabis as efficacious to lessen his patient’s symptoms from rat lung disease. Zeeman’s condition has steadily worsened by using powerful and addictive prescriptive medicines, but his probation officers continue to deny him the right to use what helps.

What kind of a society is it that allows a person to suffer needlessly when there is a medical solution?

Zeeman’s probation officers should allow him to use the medicine his physician recommended. As stated in the court documents, the officers have the authority to do this.

We support him in his lawsuit based on his alleged reasons, which include violation of his rights to due process, equal protection, equal treatment and privacy.

Denial of his request also violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Andrea Tischler

Chairwoman, Big Island Americans for Safe Access


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