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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.

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    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.