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    Back in the early 90’s, William was in a car accident.  He sustained whiplash, a couple of herniated discs, and a few broken bones.
    Complications from the back injury prompted his physicians to put him on a cascade of lethal pharmaceuticals.
    A couple of drugs put him in the hospital, some caused hallucinations, others – uncontrolled body temperature, still others – violent fits.  “The anti-depressants basically made me happy I was in pain,” remarked William.

    Anti-depressants are routinely doled out to the chronically ill under the premise that, whether the cause or the effect, the patient must be depressed.

    William suffered with a migraine that lasted for a year.  He would have to lock himself in the bedroom, pull the shades and lay there in the darkness.  Often he would cry from the intense pain.

William struggled with prescription narcotics

    The drugs that his doctors had him on put him in another world.  They robbed him of his short-term memory.  The only thing that kept him grounded to reality while he was on prescription meds was the pain.
    The only drug that he found that sufficiently relieved the pain was Percocet.  But because of its toxicity, physicians will only prescribe it on a limited basis.

    Percocet, a narcotic analgesic, is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain.  It contains two drugs – Acetaminophen and Oxycodone.  Acetaminophen is used to reduce both pain and fever.  Oxycodone, a narcotic analgesic, is used for its calming effect and for pain.
Percocet is known to cause dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, sedation, and vomiting, but most serious is its high tendency for dependence.

    William had a friend who asked him if he had ever tried Cannabis.  He admitted that he had used Cannabis on occasion recreationally.  His friend asked him if he’d ever used it to treat his pain.  William realized that when he used Cannabis, he felt better.
    He and his friend went out and obtained some “black-market” Cannabis and William began dosing.
    That day was the first time that he had control over his pain in 14 months.  He cried that day, not because he was in pain, but because he was released from it.

    He’ll always have the injuries that he sustained from that car accident long ago.  But he’s able to manage his pain now, with Cannabis and physical fitness.  He finds that he doesn’t have to dose on a daily basis anymore, but only on the days when the pain is too much.  On those days, Cannabis “… does the job for me.”  With it, he no longer takes any pharmaceutical meds for pain.
    The only side effect he has experienced from dosing with Cannabis is that he got hungry.

    But the story doesn’t end there.  William was diagnosed with Epilepsy when he was eight years old.  He’s been on a wide range of medications to treat it.  Depakene, Depakote, Tegretol, Dilantin, Phenobarbital, Klonopin, and many others.

William realized that he had one month to find an alternative.

    With some of his medicines, all he wanted to do was sleep.  He spent much of the time unconscious.  The Tegretol gave him violent mood swings.  Others would cause him to break out in rashes or hives; one even caused him to bleed on the surface of his skin.
    It was Klonopin that finally enabled him to gain control of his seizures.
Due to the seriousness of Klonopin, physicians only prescribe it as a last resort.  Two of the many side-effects of this serious drug are short-term memory loss and coma, but with the high frequency of seizures that William was experiencing, he considered it a worthwhile trade off. 
    At one point, he was experiencing 12 to 15 seizures a day.

    For years, wherever he moved, whatever doctors that he would have treat him, they would always prescribe Klonopin.
    A few years ago, he fell on hard times.  He owed his physician money, so the physician refused to treat him or sign for refills of his prescription.
    It’s hard for him to discuss this time of his life without him becoming emotional.  He remembers going to his physician’s office, with other patients there, pleading with him to give him his medicine – so that he could work, so that he could drive – he was a single father with two kids – so that he could do the things he normally did that he knew he wouldn’t’ be able to do without that medicine.
    The physician begrudgingly agreed to fill William’s prescription for Klonopin just one more time, but that was it.

    William realized that he had one month to find an alternative.  He got online and looked up alternative treatments for Epilepsy.  He found a vegetarian diet, exercise, meditation, prayer, and Cannabis.  Because he only had 30 days, he did them all.  he turned vegetarian, he started a strict exercise program, he meditated and prayed every day, and he started smoking Cannabis religiously.
    When the 30 days were up, the prescription was gone, but he didn’t have anymore seizures.
What’s more, they stayed gone.  After a year, he was no longer a vegetarian, he didn’t meditate and pray every day, and he didn’t exercise like he should, but he continued to dose with Cannabis.  It’s been three years and he has not been on any prescribed medicine and it’s also been three years that he has been seizure free.
    About six months after he had been off the Klonopin, William’s physician ordered an EEG at the local hospital to check the progress of his Epilepsy.  What they found was that the seizure activity in his brain had actually increased, but they no longer surfaced.  He no longer had any visible seizures.

    William is a hard working American.  He works a full time job and contributes greatly to his community.  William takes care of special needs children.  So much so that a number of local agencies compete for his services.
    He’s raised two children on his own.  Now he’s helping others raise their children.
    All William wants – instead of pumping his body full of pharmaceutical toxins, making him sick, lose his memory, lose his mind – is just to be able to medicate with Cannabis once in a while, so that he can be clear headed and pain free, so that he can continue to be an asset to society.

    To view more of our Medical Cannabis Testimonies, please visit our website at www.youtube.com/cannabispatientnet .  We need your Testimony.  Please contact me today about scheduling your interview.  Help us change law through your personal story.  I can be contacted at seren001@swbell.net.

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    Eddie & his wife, Diana were the first two patients that I interviewed back in April of 2006 prior to the beginning of Journey for Justice 7.  Their story epitomizes the heartbreak endured by many of the chronically ill.

    When Eddie was 7 years old, he was hit by a car while riding a bicycle.  He sustained a serious head injury.  Diagnosed with Epilepsy, anti-seizure medications like Dilantin quickly became a part of his every day life.
    Though Eddie grew up, he was never quite free of the seizures, that is until much later when he tried cannabis.  To his surprise, not only did it alleviate the seizures.  It also put an end to the blackouts and the “funny feelings”  that he has had in his head since the accident.

    He wasn’t sure if it was the cannabis that was countering the seizures, so he stopped taking it for a short while.  Soon after, he suffered an Epileptic seizure, totaling out his wife’s car.  Fortunately, he had just dropped his son off and was alone when he hit a telephone pole.

Eddie suffers from Muscular Dystrophy and Epilepsy

    In  2004, Eddie was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy.  At this point, he realized that he needed stronger medicine.  something that would relieve the pain; an anti-inflammatory for the cramps in his legs; something viable; something that would help him keep the weight on.  Something that wouldn’t further compromise his frail immune system with toxic side effects the way pharmaceuticals most certainly would.
    What he discovered was , again, cannabis.  Only cannabis could adequately treat his varied illnesses.  He could eat.  He gained 45 pounds.  With his small frame, every pound is a blessing.
    He could distance himself from the pain.  Simple movements were again possible.  With cannabis, Eddie could do without his cane and his wheelchair more frequently.

    Eddie’s wife, Diana was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  She discovered that with cannabis, she not only could feel better and fend off the onslaught of her disease, but could even go back to work.

    Even though the $350 to $450 a month for commercial, black-market cannabis was often more than their meager budget could bear, Eddie made every effort to dose regularly with cannabis, because both he and his wife realized that with it, they felt better and were more productive.

    Unfortunately, the state did not see or care what benefits Eddie and Diana were receiving from cannabis.  The state of South Carolina apparently has a blind adherence to the law.  Because of that, the powers-that-be didn’t care about their crippling disabilities.  They didn’t care that the healing benefits of cannabis was all that was holding this family together.
    The state took Diana and Eddie’s children.  That was a couple years before my first interview with them.  Still, now, four years later, they can only see them during a supervised visits.
    Their kids have suffered abuse while in foster care and their grades have suffered.

    Eddie, like so many other chronically ill Americans, has found that his greatest adversary is not his life threatening illness, but the very government that was pledged to preserve and protect him.

    To view all our Medical Cannabis Testimonies, please visit www.youtube.com/cannabispatientnet.

    My first interview with Joe took place in April of 2006 at Ken Locke’s home in the Appalachians, just prior to the start of Journey for Justice 7.

 

Joe uses cannabis to treat his MS

 

    Joe suffers from a type of Multiple Sclerosis.  At the time of our first recording, he still did not have a firm diagnoses.   He suffers from muscle spasms, general weakness, loss of muscle control and balance – all of which make it virtually impossible to walk.  Joe has a power wheelchair.

 

    Joe finds that cannabis is the only medicine that adequately treats his symptoms without the debilitating side affects of prescription drugs.  It relaxes his limbs and back far more adequately than pharmaceuticals.  Also, cannabis allows him to avoid anti-depressants for treating his anxiety. 
    Unfortunately, the high cost of black market cannabis often forces him to choose between food and relief from his symptoms.

 

Joe’s only relief is from Cannabis

 

    Cannabis continues to be his oasis from pain and atrophy — when he can get it, of course.  And that is increasingly becoming more difficult.  The only outlet for Joe’s medicine is the street.  His age and medical condition make this a difficult prospect since cannabis is illegal in North Carolina.  Joe can only expect an occasional taste of the freedom and relief it can provide.  For now, he must suffer silently knowing his government favors the fat pocket books of big business lobbyists to the wellbeing of the chronically ill. 

 

    To view all our Medical Cannabis Testimonies, please visit www.youtube.com/cannabispatientnet.

 

    I interviewed Dennis at his home in western North Carolina.  Dennis is retired.  He lives a quiet life with his wife, Sheila and dog Beano.  They’re at that time of their lives when their success should equate to long walks, extended vacations and just enjoying their lives with each other. 

    But Dennis has chronic degenerative back disease.  His illness has grown to the point where even simple movement can cause him searing pain.   His left leg and foot have weakened so much that walking now requires deliberate and very physically demanding effort.  He’s usually not without a cane.

    To ride in a vehicle for more than just a few minutes can put him flat on his back for days.

    Dennis also suffers from heart disease.

 

Dennis suffers from chronic back pain

 

    Surprisingly, Dennis’ physicians were the ones who recommended that he try cannabis when pharmaceuticals proved useless in treating his symptoms.  Gradually he was able to taper off most of his prescriptions, finding that cannabis either complimented his pill regiment and for some of them, replaced them altogether.

    David, a long-time resident of St. Louis, displays all the carefree hippy attributes of his youth. But David isn’t well. He hasn’t been well for a very long time. He suffers from chronic depression. He also suffers from the residual affects of Hepatitis C.
    Depression runs in his family. His father committed suicide in 2000.  David has times when he cannot leave his home. It’s during those times that he finds cannabis to be quite affective in treating his anxiety. With it, he is able to face the world.

David suffers from depression and anxiety.

     David has strived to improve himself, returning to college and receiving a BA in Psychology. Unfortunately, a cannabis bust brought his education to a halt. Finding himself without the only thing that freed him from his home-bound incarceration, he was forced to slip back into the shackles of mental illness and pharmaceutical stupor. So, for the last five years, David’s life has been on hold. That’s how long he has been on probation. The penalty for being caught in the possession of the only medicine that affectively treats his illness is to be denied that very medicine for five very crucial years of his life. It’s not enough that he suffers alone with a debilitating illness, but further, he must suffer knowing that it is Missouri law and nothing else that forbids him from having a life; that denies him the very rites our founding fathers pledged their sacred honor to instill. The words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are only words to the forgotten America which is the chronically ill.

     This video was originally taken at the 2007 Missouri State Norml Conference in Columbia, Missouri. Mr. McVay was one of the speakers.
    There were 300 views on the original youtube video at the time of the update. Better quality equipment and improvements in my feable skill level have allowed for a far better quality audio and video presentation.

Doug McVay is a cancer survivor.

 

    Doug, an activist of “Drug War Facts” fame, is a cancer survivor. He praises Cannabis for improving his chances for recovery by replacing opiates for pain and easing the affects of chemotherapy.

Cannabis maintained his weight during chemo

 
    To view all of our Medical Cannabis Patient   Testimonies, please visit my youtube channel www.youtube.com/CannabisPatientNet , and to view our legislative reform, go to www.markpedersen.com  and www.gstlnorml.org.

 
   This video was originally taken on July 3rd, 2006 while staying at Linda’s and her husband, Eddy Lepp’s home and ministry headquarters near Upper Lake, California. This clip took place at the end of Journey for Justice 7’s cross-country trip.

Patient and Activist Linda Senti of Upper Lake, California

    Linda was suffering from stage 4 lung cancer when I interviewed her. Her steadfast demeanor in the face of such a terrible prognosis was awe inspiring. Linda and Eddy attributed her prolonged life in contrast to a statistically improbable chance of survival to her heavy regiments of cannabis.
    Linda finally succumbed to her disease on November 25, 2007.
    To view all my Medical Cannabis Testimonies, please visit my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/CannabisPatientNet and to view our legislative reform, go to www.markpedersen.com