Pubdate: Thu, 14 Dec 2006
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2006 Asbury Park Press
Author: Jim Miller
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Chronic Pain)
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


The Dec. 1 article "Advocates to launch new push for needle exchange 
program" exemplified how concerns about drug abuse can cast too wide 
of a net. Caught in that net are those suffering from HIV and AIDS 
who became infected without taking illegal drugs. Many such victims' 
disease had a dirty needle in the chain of infection, where a clean 
needle could have broken that chain.

Sadly, as some of those sufferers progress and near the end of their 
lives, they become affected by a wasting syndrome, where even 
preparing food will make you extremely nauseous. The result is 
inability to keep food down, leaving the body emaciated and 
vulnerable. For many, marijuana would quell that nausea and improve 
their quality of life.

Most of us just don't know what it's like to be that sick forever. 
The Drug Policy Alliance is leading the effort at passing a needle 
exchange law in New Jersey. That same group commissioned a poll that 
found 86 percent of New Jersey residents support medical marijuana. 
On behalf of my late wife, thanks for your support. Cheryl spent the 
last decade of her life telling everyone how marijuana relieved her 
multiple sclerosis spasticity and pain. After spending the 1990s 
fighting for medical marijuana legislation, she spent the last year 
of her life wondering why her "supporters" did so little to help her.

My hero went so far as to leave us with her answer to detractors who 
still say medical marijuana isn't necessary because there are legal 
alternatives. You can hear Cheryl's reply by going to 
and clicking on "Cheryl's cry of pain."

To the Drug Policy Alliance's reported 1,250 New Jersey members, it's 
time to step up and finish what Cheryl began. Medical marijuana bills 
are now stalled in the state Senate and Assembly health committees 
and need your help. You know what to do. Now do it.

Jim Miller

Toms River
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