Pubdate: Thu, 07 Oct 2004
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT)
Copyright: 2004 The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Author: Jill Brauss
Cited: Initiative 148 ( )
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


I am writing to express my support for the medical use of marijuana. I
never have, nor do I intend to use marijuana for any other purpose. I
pray I will never be in the position to need it for pain relief from a
catastrophic illness, but if I or a loved one should ever need it for
that purpose, I would want to know that the option is there for my
physician to prescribe it.

This is not just an opinion I have formed from reading about the use
of marijuana for pain relief. As a registered nurse, I have personally
witnessed the effect it can have to bring relief from excruciating
pain when all other alternatives have been exhausted. My experience
was with a young man in his 20s who was near the end of his battle
with cancer and his only time without severe pain was when he was able
to use marijuana. He had never used it before and certainly one could
not label him a "druggie" or a substance abuser! I know of another
case where a young woman was given marijuana (in pill form, by the
way) and was able to live out her last days with greatly decreased
nausea and pain from her cancer treatments.

We need to think outside the box and realize that there are myriad
drugs that cannot be given without a prescription (demerol, codeine,
morphine, etc.), but are used every day for pain relief. Medically
prescribed marijuana would be no different.

In a humane society, why would we choose to withhold a substance that
could give a person some modicum of dignity and comfort, and at the
same time give families the comfort of knowing their loved one has a
way to decrease their suffering? I hope that we can get away from the
mindset that medical marijuana would in any way promote its use as a
recreational drug. There is nothing recreational about the pain and
suffering of illness.

There will be an initiative on the ballot on Nov. 2 regarding this
issue. I encourage you to inform yourself further if you are in doubt
as to how you will vote.

Jill Brauss, B.S., R.N.

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