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Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014: Keystone pipeline, medical marijuana, methadone

Climate and energy news

Recently, reports and advertisements were released about new climate change science, energy developments and policies.

First, the 195-member nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis,” stated that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. … The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.”

Second, the U.S. State Department’s environmental impact statement on the Keystone pipeline project states that tar sands oil emits “17 percent more greenhouse gases on a lifecycle basis than the average barrel of crude oil.”

Third, a National Academy of Sciences report showed significantly higher levels of toxic air pollutants at the tar sands fields than previously reported when they added results of tests near huge wastewater ponds.

Fourth, ExxonMobil’s “2014 Outlook for Energy” report. One conclusion was: “After decades of growth, we expect worldwide energy-related CO2 emissions will plateau around 2030 before gradually declining toward 2040, despite a steady rise in overall energy use.”

Finally, the American Natural Gas Association released ads showing a new gas/solar Florida Power and Light plant and a new gas/wind Georgia Power plant.

I urge all to contact the president and tell him: We support his June 2013 Climate Action Plan; to not approve the Keystone pipeline; to work in the U.S. and internationally to put a cost on carbon; and to support power plants such as those in Florida and Georgia.


Pamela W. Person


Best patient care

“It’s about providing the best patient care possible.” Becky Dekeuster’s Feb. 5 OpEd raised a lot of good points regarding the benefits of medical marijuana. However, it’s not always a good substitute for opiate medication.

To illustrate, I must flashback. A few years ago, I had to keep vigil with a good friend with Scleroderma. He was prescribed methadone. When it ran out, he went to heroin and got into a lot of problems. He went back with methadone. He was fortunate enough to not require public money. Marijuana, usually high quality, was standard throughout this entire time.

At one point the medication ran out, and my friend went into an opiate sickness, which TV depicts as withdrawal. TV doesn’t do it justice. The sickness, especially when you’re the calming factor, is much worse. Marijuana could not even come close to preventing the sickness’ onset.

One answer to many opiate deaths and the alleviation of many illegal opiate transactions is to withdraw the maximum allowable methadone treatment. Medical marijuana may work for some patients but not all.

Again, “It’s about providing the best patient care possible.”

Ed Barrood



Methadone questions

In the Feb. 4 BDN, I was puzzled with the article concerning cuts to the drug treatment programs for opiates. As I read on I was amazed at the quest for sympathy for the gentleman who has been on methadone for the last five years.

I am sorry, but in my opinion the people on this program need to at some point deal with the 72 hours of withdrawal side effects as opposed to the rest of us paying taxes to keep them hooked for their own comfort.

I would like to ask two simple questions to the supporters of methadone:

1. How many people have died in Maine in the last five years due to withdrawals from opiates?

2. How many people have died on methadone or suboxone overdoses in Maine in the last five years?

Maybe they could try a narcotics anonymous program?

Chris Patterson



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