Pubdate: Sun, 15 Apr 2007
Source: Tuscaloosa News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2007 The Tuscaloosa News
Author: Michael Phillips


Dear Editor: I am a 36-year-old man with an inoperable brain tumor,
which causes multiple grand mal seizures a day. I have been a patient
at Children's Hospital and the Kirklin Clinic since the age of 8. I
have had four unsuccessful brain surgeries.

I have been on every seizure medication known to mankind, as well as
some that never received the Federal Drug Administration's approval. A
few years ago, I saw a program on marijuana being used as a seizure
deterrent. I decided to try marijuana as a medicine, and I have had
better results using marijuana in its natural form than from any other
treatment in my life. My seizures have decreased from six to eight per
day to one every six to eight weeks. My neurologists have documented
this in my medical records.

I have also been arrested twice for possession of marijuana. It caused
me great hardship both on a psychological level and a monetary level.
I wondered then, as I do now, why people in 12 U.S. states are treated
like patients and allowed access to medical marijuana, but here in
Alabama I am treated like a criminal for trying to treat my illness?

There is a bill before the House Judiciary Committee to protect
physicians who recommend marijuana to their patients for certain
illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and seizures, and
the patients, like me, who use it as medicine from being prosecuted
under state law. Please call your elected officials and tell them to
vote yes on HB206 the Compassionate Care Act.

Michael Phillips