The Ottumwa Courier

February 6, 2013

Legislators need to remember who they represent


FAIRFIELD — On Jan. 30, the Legislature of Iowa was holding a public hearing on medical marijuana. I contacted them in advance expressing my strong desire to give testimony. I was told that they would call me. Because I am paralyzed from the neck down and bedridden, I was physically unable to attend the hearing, which was quite far from my home. I was told that they would call me. I waited around most of the day and eventually sent an email to one of the representatives inquiring what was going on. He wrote back immediately, very polite and apologetic but between him and the representative conducting the hearing, they “FORGOT” to call me. These representatives have a lot of control over my life. It doesn’t give me a lot of confidence to see that they cannot conduct a public hearing and forget to do something. If their forgetting to do something involved something trivial, I can understand.

That basically they violated my rights as a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen.

If they are taking advantage of me, what about people in worse shape than me? I cannot use my body, but my mind is clear.

Maria Smallow