Thursday, October 21, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Re. Donna Fiala’s Views on Affordable Housing, Medical Marijuana

To the Editor:

Although we enjoy reading the Coastal Breeze, once again Ms. Donna Fiala’s column left myself and friends shaking our heads in shock recently. Months ago, she wrote that she could not say no to developers because they would sue the county. We were angry because we knew that the County Commission has a staff to prepare a growth management plan and commissioners can then pass ordinances to direct growth to where it is appropriate and preserve natural resource areas that are important to protect our tourism, water resources, and our quality of life.

Then, in another column she stated that developers would “take care of” affordable housing. No, developers are in business to make a profit. The county commission is in the business to serve their citizens including the underpaid who protect our lives such as police and fire fighters and our teachers who work tirelessly to educate the next generation. We owe them for their unpaid but so valuable service. They deserve an affordable place to live in our county!

Now, in her latest column, she states that medical marijuana will lead to the use of heroin. There is no research to support that. She said that school children would go to the clinic and buy it. Uh, Ms. Fiala, you need a prescription. It’s not like buying food at Publix. And what is more egregious and had my friends and I extremely upset is that she obviously has never had a loved one slowly and horribly die of cancer with no medical marijuana to relive some of their pain. Does she have any idea that these people who are terribly suffering often cannot take opioids because those pills reduce their appetite further exacerbating their decline, prevents their bowels and other organs from working properly, and keeps them in a fog preventing them from interacting with their family during the little time they have left. I have lost three dear friends due to cancer in one year and now have a friend of 46 years who is dying of ALS. I have witnessed their unbearable suffering.

If Ms. Fiala has never had to watch a loved one slowly and painfully die of a disease, perhaps she would like to visit with my friend with ALS. Perhaps she should spend some time at a cancer center where people are enduring hours of chemotherapy and will spend the rest of their day suffering from its side effects. Perhaps Ms. Fiala needs to serve Collier County citizens and not herself.

Andrea Cooper, Naples

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