Pubdate: Tue, 10 Jan 2012
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2012 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Don Selig


My wife is disabled. She is 58 years old, as am I. At one time, she 
was a wonderful teacher, sales associate for a large telecom and 
later a vibrant pharmacy technician and caregiver for her disabled 
father and mother-in-law. She has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue 
syndrome. She has seizures. They don't know why, but they are 
documented in a hospital study as not caused by epilepsy.

She can no longer drive nor would I want her to. She wears a morphine 
patch to get through the day, along with various other drugs. Many 
days are spent in bed, not because she wants it that way. Sometimes, 
the pain cannot be fought through, and the best way is not to resist, 
but other days it is the nausea that forces her to lie down.

The way Maryland law is now written she would have to go on the 
street to buy marijuana to help with the nausea and pain, and if 
caught, she could spend time in jail. Imagine if she had a seizure. 
And then basically defend herself with a doctors note! Does this 
sound like a reasonable course of action for anyone? Especially for 
someone married in a stable relationship for 20 years, owns a house, 
disabled and is 58 years old.

Please. I implore you. Think of the people that are suffering while 
you hem and haw about this vital issue ("Go slow on marijuana," Jan. 
3). To say that more study needs to be done is preposterous. This is 
a natural, beneficial herb that I would certainly rather see my wife 
on then morphine. It is known to help in pain relief, increase 
appetite, decrease nausea, relax muscles and is proven through 
centuries of use. Studies have shown that cannabis can relieve muscle 
pain and spasticity in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and 
can control tremors.

We as a caring people must allow others who suffer to benefit from 
something natural known to help them. We fast track artificial drugs 
without knowing the side effects only to find out later that some of 
them are not beneficial at all. My wife has taken some of them. Yet 
to deny her and others with similar needs when the facts are known is 
just cruel and uncaring. Hopefully, we can come together to help the 
people who need without the undue hardship they are now facing.

What's required is what politics, in general, lacks: compassion.

Don Selig, Baltimore
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