Pubdate: Sun, 27 May 2001
Source: Gazette, The (CO)
Copyright: 2001 The Gazette
Author: Deborah Germeroth
Bookmark: (Amendment 20 (CO))
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


I have been following the debate on the use of medical marijuana with an
interest stimulated by personal experience. Those opposed to its use are
seeing a threat where none exists and I resent their self-appointed
positions as guardians of our health and moral well-being. 

Last December my husband underwent rather radical surgery for stomach
cancer. He finished his radiation last month and will be done with
chemotherapy this week. Those seeking to deny others the use of medical
marijuana need a glimpse of what his life has been like in the last six
months. You can see his 90-pound weight loss and weakness. What you
can't see is the tube in his chest, or the blisters on his back from the
radiation or the oral ulcerations from the chemo, so severe he can't
close his mouth. You have not had to live with uncontrollable vomiting
or a loss of appetite so severe that you absolutely can not force
yourself to eat. Yet you presume to tell him you know what is best for

I agree, there are legal drugs that are supposed to help him. Guess
what? They don't work. He tried the anti-nausea pills to the tune of
$382 for nine pills and he vomited anyway. He tried the medication to
increase his appetite and his sense of well-being. That one was $350 for
a two-week supply and was equally ineffective. The only thing that has
helped, sanctioned by his doctors, is marijuana. The decision to use it
as part of his treatment regimen is between his doctors and him and is
none of your business.

If the active ingredient of marijuana was purified and readily
available, that would be his preference, but the magic pill is still not
on the market. And we still do not know if it would be as beneficial as
the raw plant. Marijuana-phobics seem to be most afraid of the mild
mind-altering effects of the drug. But is that really such a bad thing?
The mental anguish is as great if not greater than the physical
suffering. Is it really so dangerous that maybe, just maybe, for a few
hours a day, what is passing as living doesn't seem so bad? We used to
limit the use of morphine because of unfounded fears of creating drug
addicts. Do the medical marijuana foes honestly believe than when this
is all over my husband will have turned into a pot head? Well, here is a
dollar, go buy a clue. All he wants is some semblance of his normal life

I am so tired of self-righteous busybodies trying to dictate what is
right for the rest of us. They push for laws, not because of a valid
reason, but because of some imagined offense to their uneducated

Thomas Jefferson once said that laws should be based only on those
things which "pick your pocket or break your leg." Patients who use
marijuana with their doctors' consent are doing neither. They are just
trying to get through it the best they can. Let them.

Deborah Germeroth D.V.M., Fountain
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