Pubdate: Wed, 29 Sep 2010
Source: Delta County Independent (CO)
Copyright: 2010 Carol Pierce
Author: Carol Pierce


Dear Editor:

Presently I know of two people who are suffering from life threatening
illnesses who have benefited greatly from using medical marijuana. The
first is my sister-in-law who is sure that it saved her life while
receiving chemotherapy for her stage 4 breast cancer.

The second is a neighbor of my sister who has ALS (Lou Gehrig's
disease). She is not expected to live. The only thing she has found to
get her through the day and help with her pain and loss of appetite,
without a lot of bad side effects, is marijuana.

Karen, my sister-in-law, is an amazing woman who has traveled the
world and is a very loving and supportive mother, grandmother, wife,
active American Legion volunteer, and friend to many, including me. My
brother who is a retired naval officer is probably the most
politically conservative person I know and has continually supported
her in whatever it takes to get her through this. While receiving
regular large doses of chemotherapy she could not eat or keep food
down due to nausea. The meds the doctors had her try brought on
migraines which only exacerbated her problems; she was withering. She
started trying medical marijuana and was able to start keeping food
down and even had an appetite. She could eat regularly and have
sustained stamina. She responded well to the treatments and her
markers are all down, she has won the fight for her life. She still
uses marijuana at bedtime as her legs are almost always in pain from
receiving ongoing chemo treatments w! hich affects her nervous system.
After just two inhales she can get some sleep.

After reading in the DCI that our county commissioners have banned
marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated Delta County, I am hoping
that our town administrators do not follow in this vein. When someone
is gravely sick, posing additional barriers to potentially lifesaving
methods could be a terrible thing. The use of it for some could be a
very tough decision due to the stigma they may be used to attaching to
it. I'm sure the decision to try it would be further hampered due to
availability issues. I was interested to hear from Karen that she
doesn't feel "high," impaired, or doped when using it, which she is
glad for. It appears her body is using it in ways it is needed rather
than creating these effects. Who of us wouldn't want our loved ones or
ourselves to stay alive just from using something relatively benign,
compared to many drugs.

 From the DCI article I read, our commissioners' reasons to prohibit
dispensaries were to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the
county's citizens. I think they should rethink the health and welfare
pieces. Apparently it can save lives as well as quality of life for
others who may be very sick or dying. News I have come across just
recently stated that towns with a relatively large number of
dispensaries are not seeing a rise in crime. I would like to know
where our commissioners' assessments and opinions are garnered from. I
would encourage readers with similar stories to share with others and
to contact their local government officials.

I had no intention of becoming a supporter for this cause! I just know
that I am so very thankful for my sister-in-law's survival and would
like others in a health crisis to have the same options readily
available to try. It just might help them immensely or perhaps even
save their lives.

Carol Pierce

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