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MAN SAYS DELTA SHOULD APOLOGIZE FOR KEEPING HIM OFF PLANE

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FORT LAUDERDALE - A man who legally uses marijuana for medicinal purposes
has asked for an apology from Delta Air Lines for not allowing him on a
flight because of the drug.

Irvin Rosenfeld said Wednesday that the airline violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act by not allowing him to board with his prescription marijuana.

The 48-year-old Boca Raton stockbroker has a rare and painful bone disease
and has smoked legally prescribed, government-grown marijuana in smoking
lounges, medical clinics and even police substations of airports.

Rosenfeld said he is one of seven people in the United States permitted to
smoke marijuana. In his case it relaxes his muscles so the multiple tumors
that form on the long bones in his body do not rupture muscle and veins,
which could cause him to bleed to death.

Rosenfeld said that the past 19 years that he has used medical marijuana,
he has called ahead, informed Delta of his medical needs and been
accommodated with a spot to smoke.

In March, when he had to fly to Washington, D.C., to testify before the
U.S. Supreme Court about medical marijuana use, Rosenfeld called in
advance, as usual. He says he left messages and never got a call back.

But on March 26, the day of the flight and about 30 minutes before takeoff,
he was paged and asked to report to Delta's customer service counter.

Rosenfeld said a Delta employee told him he would not be allowed to board
the plane with the marijuana.

He said that even after he showed airline employees the prescription pasted
to the plastic bag that holds his daily dose of 12 marijuana cigarettes,
they said he would need to get a waiver from the government in each state
the flight would pass over.

"If I was a diabetic, would they expect me to board the plane without my
insulin?" he asked. "They had a problem with me because my prescribed
medication is marijuana."

Rosenfeld eventually had to book a later flight on another carrier.

Rosenfeld has a lawyer, but said he's not ready to file a lawsuit yet.

He said Wednesday he is giving Delta 30 days to issue an apology, reimburse
him the $450 it cost to buy the ticket on the other airline, and promise
that such discrimination will never happen again.

Delta officials are investigating Rosenfeld's claim, said spokeswoman Cindi
Kurczewski.


Newshawk: Sledhead - Drug Policy Forum of Illinois
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Aug 2001
Source: Naples Daily News (FL)
Copyright: 2001 Naples Daily News.
Contact: letters@naplesnews.com
Website: Naples and Southwest Florida News and Information | Naples Daily News
Details: Overload Warning
Note: Note: Publisher prints several newspapers - please indicate which
newspaper in LTEs.
 
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