Skip navigation

Tag Archives: legislation

    Anne is a registered nurse.  For a time, nursing was her life.  Unfortunately, this profession that she loves so much has slipped beyond her reach.  In 2001, she became disabled. 

    Anne has a rare autoimmune disease, called Adult Onset Stills Disease.  She’s one of five people in the state of North Carolina with that diagnoses. 
    Still’s disease is a form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, characterized by high spiking fevers and transient rashes.  It’s basically a very progressive form of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Anne has a rare Autoimmune Disease

    She also has degenerative joint disease in both knees and both hips, all requiring immediate replacement.
    She’s been through two back surgeries and now has what’s considered a ?failed back?.  She has a herniated disc at L34, L45 is bulging, and L5S1 is bone on bone.

    Anne has Fibromyalgia.  Once referred to as arthritis of connective tissue, Fibromyalgia is classified by the presence of chronic widespread pain and tactile allodynia.

Anne has replaced her prescriptions with Cannabis

    Anne has Myofascial Pain Syndrome.  Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a painful musculoskeletal condition, a common cause of musculoskeletal pain. MPS is characterized by the development of Myofascial trigger points (TrPs) that are locally tender when active, and refer pain through specific patterns to other areas of the body.

    Anne has Chronic Pain Syndrome.  Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than the temporal course of natural healing, associated with a particular type of injury or disease process.

    She has been through chemotherapy to try to kill her extra white cells, to slow the illness? degenerative progression.  It made her terribly ill and caused her hair to fall out. 
    She was continuously in pain.  Her physician had her on a daily regiment of six class two narcotics, muscle relaxers, and sleeping pills.
    Nothing that the physicians and specialists tried stopped the pain and progression of her disease.  They told her that she would be in a wheelchair by the time she was 40.

    Now at 38, she doesn’t know what life holds for her.  All she can hope for is some measure of quality of life.  She really wants to go back to work.  That would give her fulfillment. 
    She’s up for a third spinal surgery at Duke University Hospital.  She’s had six major surgeries in the last eight years.  She’s praying that this time it’ll work; that it will help her start again.
 
    Though her church background forbade her from using cannabis for any reason, when she was thirty-three years old, she tried it for the very first time when she suddenly lost her physician and her scripts stopped.  In one fall swoop she was forced to come off OxyContin, Morphine Sulfate, Percocet, Dilantin, Valium, Flexural, Robaxin, and sleeping pills. all at one time. 
    Cannabis, though illegal, was the only medicine available.  Without it she doesn’t think she would have survived the ordeal.

    The first time that she dosed with cannabis, she felt that she was free again.  It helped her with depression and elevated her mood.  But most of all, it freed her from unmentionable pain. 
    Anne was physically devastated, as much from the pharmaceuticals as from her illnesses.   She believes Cannabis can free her from both.

    Modern science is confirming that Ann is correct when she says that Cannabis relieves many of her symptoms.  Doctors and researchers listen to Professor Raphael Mechoulam, who first isolated THC in Israel  in 1964, at a Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, hosted by Patients Out of Time. In this video, Dr. Mechoulam explains the role of Cannabinoids and Cannabis as an anti-inflammatory agent – highly effective for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as it’s neuroprotective properties. 

Cannabinoid System in Neuroprotection, Raphael Mechoulam,PhD                    

With her condition properly managed with Cannabis, Anne truly believes that she could go back to work. If only the medical community did not discriminate against her medicine through random drug testing.
   
    Now that she has found a holistic alternative to her harmful pharmaceuticals, she would like to have her healthcare supervised by one of her local pain management clinics, but all that she has applied to have refused to treat her because she uses cannabis. 

    She has done her research.  With all that she has been through with conventional medicine, she insisted on being thorough.  What she found was a wealth of medical evidence, all affirming that cannabis was the safest and most affective medicine available to treat her illnesses.

    All she wants is some measure of quality to her life; to safely, legally, and sufficiently treat her illnesses.  For her, Cannabis is what she needs.

    View all our Patient Testimonies at www.youtube.com/cannabispatientnet. Patients and prospective patients, we need your help.  Please consider giving us your video testimony.  Together, we are strong, together we will abolish prohibition, once and for all.

Advertisements

    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.

 

    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.


    Mark lives in the City of St. Louis. He had been living a relatively healthy life up until about a year ago. A seemingly innocent sinus infection turned life-threatening, culminating in brain surgery. His life was turned upside down.

Mark suffers from seizures

    Mark soon found himself on many prescription drugs, disabled, and prone to seizures. Mark discovered that cannabis eased his anxiety and lessened his seizures.

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

    This first ever Patient Protection Day 2008 was a statewide lobbying event involving medical cannabis patients from Kansas City, Joplin, Columbia, and St. Louis.   

    Dan Viets, representing MO Norml, orchestrated this event and functioned as our Jefferson City Liaison.  An attorney and 30 year veteran in the struggle against Cannabis Prohibition, Dan has been at the forefront of every legislative attempt here in Missouri.  
  

 Dan’s wife is a cancer survivor.

 

    During this day-long event, chronically ill Missourians and their advocates met with Missouri Speaker of the House, Rod Jetton.  Jetton, who blocked their Cannabis Compassion Bill in 2007, was making every effort to block it again for 2008.
    Though Jetton recanted his position while faced with a number of patients in his office, he later killed HB1830 by appointing it to a do-nothing committee too late in the session for it to go anywhere.
    Fortunately for Missouri’s chronically ill, Rod Jetton will not be returning to Missouri’s House in 2009.

 

    Patients presented their testimonies beneath the Rotunda of Missouri’s capital building, as their voices carried up through the adjoining floors above them and the corridors that spidered off from the domed enclosure.
    The stage and sound system were generously provided by the University of Missouri, Columbia.

    Jacqueline Patterson, formerly of Kansas City, conceived this, the first Missouri Patient Protection Day, during a phone conversation she had with Mark Pedersen two weeks prior to the event. She flew in from California to be a part.
    Jacqueline had to move to California or risked losing custody of her children.  Afflicted with Cerebral Palsy and a moderate stutter, she doses regularly with Cannabis to ease her symptoms. 
    Family Services of Missouri does not condone the use of cannabis to treat Cerebral Palsy or any of the other many chronic illnesses that have proven receptive to cannabis therapy.  They continue to adhere to the 70 year old propaganda that blindly condemns cannabis to being a harmful drug and a danger to our nation’s young people.  Apparently, Family Services does not consider “family” to be as important as politics.

 

Jacqueline has Cerebral Palsy

 

    Jacqueline was featured in Showtime’s documentary “In Pot We Trust”.

 

    Aimee has been battling Autoimmune diseases most of her life; Lupus and Crohn’s, to name only two.  In 28 years, she has suffered more than most of us have ever dreamed of. Cannabis has brought her unfailing relief from pain and other symptoms during her many struggles.

 

Aimee battles Autoimmune Disease

 

    Mark Pedersen of St. Louis has been a Cannabis patient for over ten years. He uses Cannabis to treat Fibromyalgia and severe migraines. For the last several years, he has been an advocate for the chronically ill and a proponent for legislative change in Missouri and nationwide.

 

Mark suffers from Fibromyalgia and severe migraines

 

    Since 2006, Mark has been collecting video testimonies from Cannabis patients, their families, and physicians, from across the country, but most specifically in Missouri and North Carolina, where he has been most involved in legislation to benefit the chronically ill.

 

    As the chronically ill step up to take an active roll in ending cannabis prohibition, America has finally been given a face to this terrible injustice.  The hypocrisy that has dominated this political deboggle is dimming amidst the ever growing number of cannabis patients coming forward to tout the benefits of this age old holistic treatment.  

  

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