Illnesses should be treated by doctors

The active ingredient of marijuana, THC (cannabis) has been available by prescription from medical doctors for many years. As a board certified family practitioner, I have prescribed THC.

The FDA has allowed a pill form to be prescribed for wasting related to AIDS and for terminal cancer patients. THC pills are regulated just like any other prescription.

The FDA could extend coverage to other conditions only when scientific, evidence based studies prove that they are effective. To this date evidence is lacking.

Thus, there is no need for medical marijuana clinics that sell a product that is not regulated, of unknown quality and strength, and, may be dangerous or ineffective.

Illness should continue to be treated by health professionals based on scientific evidence. This is responsible policy.

Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Oakland

Appreciate Oakland 'flavor' in columns

I enjoyed Byron Williams' recent column, "U.S. had significant hand in Mandela's imprisonment." It is good for us to acknowledge those who sat on the apartheid bandwagon before it had wheels.

Oakland's Ron Dellums was one of those people. Before Sun City, UC Berkeley, Steve Biko, there was a man with many causes and a good heart. This man figured out a way to passively, slowly change the lives of millions of oppressed people. I am proud.

Dellums and Mandela knew where and what Oakland is. And so do I. We are so much more than poverty and homicide statistics. We have a history: Dellums, Marcus Foster, Huey, Bobby, Elihu, Lionel, Ruth Love, the Maynards, and on and on. And those yet to be born.

Thank you, Byron. And welcome back, Brenda Payton, you give the Tribune that old Oakland flavor.

Gwendolyn Bell

Oakland

Don't take money away from veterans

As Congress debates taking away benefits from U.S. veterans, I'm sure it has the wrong priorities. These servicemen and women come back from combat zones, with arms and legs missing, blinded, PTSD and an array of other devastating injuries. And now Congress is debating taking away their benefits.

What I don't understand about our elected officials Washington, D.C. is how come they never mention anything about taking away benefits from illegal aliens?

These people violated our immigration laws and don't belong in this country in the first place. Our government spends $338.3 billion a year on programs for illegal immigrants.

I would like to know who the jerk is who came up with the stupid idea of taking away veterans' benefits. It sounds like an idea from a communist. Our government should take away the illegal immigrant benefits and give that money to the veterans. These are the people who went into combat zones, risking their lives for this country. These are the people who deserve help for spilling their blood in foreign countries.

Bruce Barry

Hayward

Bankers win, taxpayers lose

So we bailed out General Motors to the tune of $10.5 billion to keep it afloat during the Great Recession.

This was tax money well spent. Hundreds of thousands of workers kept working and the GM assembly lines stayed productive, churning out cars and trucks.

Contrast that scenario with the banks. The banks that looted our savings accounts and retirement portfolios so they could gamble with our money, engaging in all manner of chicanery and duplicity to enrich themselves and bleed the middle class. The banks that we bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Did they produce anything but paper? Create jobs for working people?

Thanks to Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama for cozying up to the bankers, for deregulating Wall Street, and for maintaining a free-for-all, no-holds-barred playground for the wealthy and powerful interests that control Washington.

David Ogden

Walnut Creek