Pubdate: Sun, 25 Mar 2007
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Page: B7
Copyright: 2007 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: John M. Walker


The recent decision handed down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals 
found that although there is not yet a constitutional right to use 
medical marijuana, such a right might eventually be recognized as 
fundamental. While this provides a glimmer of hope to patients who 
might actually live long enough to see our federal government stop 
treating sick people like criminals, it does absolutely nothing to 
help my mother.

She died several years ago of cancer. We watched helplessly as she 
wasted away on the powerful narcotics prescribed to control her pain. 
The morphine did kill her pain, but it also killed her appetite. She 
hardly ate those last few weeks.

I'm not suggesting that we condone the recreational use of marijuana, 
just as I wouldn't suggest that we condone the recreational use of 
morphine. I'm not suggesting that every person with a common cold run 
out and use marijuana, just as I wouldn't suggest that they use 
morphine. I just don't understand how letting people waste away on 
powerful narcotics like morphine is better than letting them try 
marijuana, especially when current research supports the use of 
marijuana as an effective treatment for some.

The Illinois Legislature will soon vote on a bill that would allow 
people like my mother to use medical marijuana to help control pain 
and stimulate appetite. I hope that they do.

John M. Walker, Buffalo Grove
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