Pubdate: Fri, 11 Feb 2005
Source: Memphis Flyer (TN)
Copyright: 2005 Contemporary Media, Inc.
Author:  John Hedgecoth
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


To the Editor:

I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. I also suffer from severe,
recurring depression as well as high-level anxiety. I have painful
muscle spasms that last for days. I'm currently taking oramorph
(morphine) and valium as needed to help get to sleep.

I used marijuana recreationally and then medically ("High Time?"
January 27th issue) after I was diagnosed with fibro in 1992. I grew
my own supply until the penalties became too stringent. I am a
48-year-old male and at one time served as a state commissioner of
Indian Affairs.

Marijuana is the only medication that has relieved my pain to any
extent. With only a few hits of smoked marijuana, my spasms stopped
and I realized that I had been in constant pain. I was also able to
sleep like I hadn't in many years. To me, the health benefits of
marijuana far outweigh the health risks, even compared to my current
prescribed medications.

Because of the severe criminal penalties, I have not used marijuana in
many years and have to take VA-prescribed addictive opiates to find
little relief. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to
help with passage of the medical marijuana bill.

John Hedgecoth

Crossville, Tennessee
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