Cargo Rodeman: Newspaper errs again

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Once again, your paper has fabricated and selectively represented a minute issue in an attempt to exploit and create division in Oak Creek.

Let me clarify a few facts. The resolution asking John Salazar to support the Hinchey Amendment was voted on June 8, not in May. The "several community members and employees" were actually one community member and one employee (whose input was greatly appreciated). The resolution was not "supporting medical marijuana," and the headline "Town backs medicinal pot" was ridiculous at best.

The tidbit on the front page, "Town Board supports medical pot despite disapproving residents" was even more of a joke. The resolution was to support the Hinchey Amendment that would prohibit our federal government from appropriating money to prosecute terminally ill patients in the states that have passed a medical marijuana law and whose physicians have legally prescribed marijuana to lessen their suffering.

We did not vote to table the resolution. We voted 6-1 to send it if the Oak Creek vote was in favor of medicinal marijuana in the 2000 state election and to throw it in the trash if that measure had failed in Oak Creek.

As far as it not being a Board issue, there are residents of our town, our county and our state who are suffering greatly and whose doctors have legally prescribed marijuana to assist in making what remains of their lives more bearable. I do not believe a mayor, town board, governor, president or any other politician should be able to interfere with what medically trained personnel feel is best for their patient. I do not believe that a terminally ill patient should be prosecuted for taking the medicine his or her doctor has prescribed.

After reviewing the 2000 vote from the state election, I truly believe most of my constituents agree. There is no town on the planet where everyone agrees on everything.

Dave Bonfiglio called me after the June 9 article, and, because of the way it was written, thought that we were voting to support medicinal marijuana...again. After explaining the Hinchey Amendment, Dave admitted that he did not think it was right to appropriate federal dollars to prosecute terminally ill patients either. Does that make him pro-marijuana? No.

As far as not talking to my constituents, I am out and about all the time, and everyone knows I am not exactly quiet. I have spoken to many, many residents, and once I explained the Hinchey Amendment, every one of them agreed that appropriating federal monies to bust terminally ill patients for using their state-approved medicine was wrong.

If the Pilot & Today would report the actual story instead of portraying us -- me in particular -- as pro-marijuana, the people of this valley would at least have a chance to judge our decisions for what they actually are.

Our board cares immensely what the residents of Oak Creek think. How many municipalities do you know of that passed a resolution contingent on how its residents voted on a similar issue? When I was on the phone with reporter Alexis DeLaCruz about this inevitable article, I asked her to Google the Hinchey Amendment. I hoped that she would read it, understand it and portray the resolution for what it was. That didn't happen.

Once again, we did not vote for medicinal marijuana. That would have been redundant, as it is already legal in Colorado. We voted against spending vast sums from our massively deficit federal budget to bust and incarcerate select patients for taking their legally prescribed medicine.

I invite any Oak Creek resident with an opinion on this or any other issue to call or come into the office and share that opinion. Regardless of what the Pilot & Today writes, all of your Board sincerely wants your opinions on any issue.

Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman

Oak Creek mayor

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