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Coverage shameful

Of the small-town newspapers I’ve seen, there’s not much doubt that The Union is the best. However your coverage on Feb. 2 of the story concerning Scott Thorpe’s treatment with medical marijuana and your wholesale indictment of Dr. Steven Banister constitutes a major disservice to our community in terms of both honest and unbiased coverage of the story and your treatment of Dr. Banister.

Dr. Banister has served our Nevada County community for the past 24 years with continuous and genuine care and compassion. He is one of the few doctors with whom I have had experience who will actually sit with a patient for longer than the minute-in, minute-out, write-a-prescription routine we are so accustomed to from the medical community. Dr. Banister’s practice includes care for persons with intense and unbearable pain and included in the list of weapons at his command to fight unbearable pain is medical marijuana. The medical use of marijuana was approved overwhelmingly by a referendum vote of all the people of California. Your treatment of the story made it appear that Dr. Banister’s prescribing of this drug was a violation of ethics and law. It was most certainly neither.



The people of our community know their health care givers and for that reason I am sure that your assault on Dr. Banister’s reputation will have only a minor effect. Nevertheless, The Union should be ashamed of that story and make every effort to do better for the people it serves.




Tom Durbin

Grass Valley


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