Monday, December 22, 2014

Please Stand With Us in Favor of Medical Marijuana

*Tonight's Zoning Board of Appeals meeting has been postponed. We will keep you updated.

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As the President and CEO of Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC), an organization that specializes in providing the LGBTQ community with comprehensive and culturally competent health care, I want to discuss an issue that is extremely important: The ability to legally access medical marijuana in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.
 
I stand in solidarity with the organization MedMar, that is seeking a license from the State of Illinois and approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to open a medical cannabis dispensary at 2843 N. Halsted in Lakeview.

While Howard Brown Health Center cannot prescribe medical marijuana because we are a federally qualified health center, not a day goes by when one of our 15,000 patients doesn't inquire about the availability of this type of treatment.
 
And they do so for good reason. It's been proven that alternative therapies can make a huge difference for those living with a range of illnesses and conditions such as HIV/AIDS, anxiety certain cancers, and chronic pain. Also, it can help counter certain side effects that traditional medicines can cause. With this in mind, having medicinal cannabis at arm's length, could be a game-changer for our clients.
 
Most important, HBHC patients with chronic conditions want to coordinate with a local dispensary in order to strengthen their health and lives by being provided this alternative therapy.

And while there have been some concerns about this potential development, we are confident that Lakeview's vibrancy, progressiveness and diversity can withstand and support this type of dispensary. These streets serve not only as a home for its residents, but for all Chicagoans who frequent Lakeview for its sports activities, the LGBTQ nightlife, numerous theaters and other forms of entertainment.

Lakeview, given its rich history and legacy, is strong enough to accommodate this vital service that so many can benefit from.

The ZBA meeting that was to be held today has been postponed. You can still show your support by
 emailing Alderman Tom Tunney at ttunney@cityofchicago.org,  and cc Katrina McGuire at kmcguire@thompsoncoburn.com.

Thank you for standing with us. 

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David Ernesto Munar
President & CEO of Howard Brown Health Center
 


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 This health center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).