Pubdate: Mon, 23 Feb 2004
Source: Press Journal (FL)
Copyright: 2004, The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author:  George McMahon
Bookmark: (George McMahon)


In your Feb. 18 article, "Official tackles marijuana myths," Sgt. Brad 
Fojtik claims there's "no medicinal value in (marijuana), period."

I am one of several patients who use legal medical marijuana, grown and 
distributed by the United States government through the National Institute 
of Drug Abuse's Investigational New Drug program. I use my medicine to 
treat symptoms of pain, spasms, and nausea related to years of 
pharmaceutical and surgical maltreatment, repeated injuries, and a rare 
genetic condition called nail patella syndrome.

Prior to being admitted to the federal program, I survived 19 major 
surgeries, was taking 17 pharmaceutical substances daily and was dependent 
on a wheelchair. Since my admission to the program 13 years ago, I've had 
no surgeries or hospitalizations, I've stopped taking pharmaceuticals and I 
ride a bike. I've spent the past decade traveling across the nation to 
educate legislators, health care professionals, and patients about the 
medical value of cannabis.

Like all other substances, marijuana can be used in ways that harm and ways 
that heal. We should not criminalize sick and dying people who use cannabis 
with a doctor's recommendation.

To quote Robert Randall, the first recipient of federal marijuana, "History 
indicates the most trivial of facts can implode the most powerful dogma."

George McMahon Frankston, Texas
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