Pubdate: Sun, 14 Sep 2008
Source: Flint Journal (MI)
Copyright: 2008 Flint Journal
Author: Andy Heglas


Most of us, if not all of us, know someone who has been diagnosed 
with cancer. In recent months, I have lost a good friend and my own 
brother to cancer. My good friend Steve and my brother Mark were each 
diagnosed with terminal cancer, and within a year, they were both gone.

Throughout their treatments, they were in pain from the effects of 
chemotherapy and radiation. Mark actually had visible burn marks on 
his stomach from his treatments. Steve found some level of comfort, 
but my brother was never out of pain and most of the time it was 
intense. Both of them continued to lose weight throughout their 
treatments. Loss of appetite was an issue for both.

My purpose for this letter is to inform people who may not be aware 
of a proposal on the November ballot. Among other issues on the 
ballot is the legalization of medical marijuana. I know that everyone 
has their own point of view on the medical use of marijuana. In my 
own case, my brother Mark would not have benefited from the use of 
marijuana but Steve benefited greatly from smoking marijuana.

The effects of chemo and radiation can include, but are not limited 
to, loss of appetite, nausea, pain and hair loss. Marijuana does 
nothing for hair loss, but it can increase appetite, relieve the 
effects of nausea and diminish, to some level, pain.

People should vote their conscience on this proposal, and consider 
this while they do: If it were their family member or friend, 
wouldn't they want any treatment available that could help or ease 
the effects of cancer treatments?

In my humble opinion, the time has come for marijuana to at least be 
legalized for medicinal purposes.

Andy Heglas

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