Below are a selection of the comments we have received from our readers which we believe are particularly pertinent and relevant to our core question "Should marijuana be a medical option now?"
This selection of comments, pro, con and neutral, are in the approximate ratio received (for example, if 50% of the responses received are "pro," then about 50% of the responses posted below should be "pro").
The comments are in reverse chronological order -- most recent first. We sometimes edit comments for content and brevity. We also may remove comments posted when we find better comments covering the same issues. To preserve confidentiality, only the writer's first name is noted, unless they had waived confidentiality. Respondents are generally notified when we add their response to this section.
Con 12/16/05 - "I think medical marijuana is stupid. There is alot of other medications out there that a doctor can presribe to their patients that won't kill off their brain cells.... To me people are running to their doctors making up excuses about their health just to get on medical marijuana."
PRO 12/12/05 - " I suffer many different kinds of severe and debilitating pain associated with multiple sclerosis. Without the use of cannabis, on a 1 to 10 scale, my usual daily level of pain is 7-8. With the use of cannabis the pain levels drop to an (almost) acceptable level of 2-3.... Since starting the use of marijuana to control my pain, 90% of the pain has ceased. The progression of the disease has also become stable as it appears to be both therapeutic as well as palliative for ms - and many other diseases."
PRO 12/9/05 - "Personally I feel that if medical marijuana helps ease the pain for sick and suffering people then just let them use it! If you were in that much pain you would want it too and you would probably be a little angry at all the people trying to take away the only thing that gives you releif!"
PRO 12/2/05 - "[Medical Marijuana] sounds like help for the chronically ill. But I am very concerned about this country's future. A lot of people are already in trouble [for]... drugs. How can the government control this? People are already unable to control themselves. I am from Japan and I see a lot of problems in this country because of drug use."
PRO 11/19/05 - "At age of thirteen I underwent a surgery to put Harrington Rods in my back because I had and still have severe scoliosis. Today at 27 years old I'm starting to have terrible lower back pain, doctors have put me on all sorts of pain killers (narcotics) and all it does is dope me up and make me sleepy, and very clouded. I started smoking marijuana and it relaxed my muscles, body enough to take the ache and pain away. Marijuana in my opinion should be legalized for medical reasons."
PRO, BUT NOT FOR ME 10/30/05 - "I have smoked [marijuana] in the past. Today I have chronic Hepatitis C, and my joints ache when I walk. I tried marijuana again, it took away the pain but it also slowed down my bowel movements and I don't pass much urine. It takes me about two days to get my system moving again. Now I'd rather live with the pain and keep flushing out my system so that it does not get toxic. My conclusion, it is not good for me."
PRO 10/7/05 - "I use it every day and it has saved my life. I could not eat for three weeks and three hits and I eat and don't throw up. So I think its GREAT."
PRO 10/4/05 - "Four months ago I was diagnosed with Lupus and I could barely walk. They had given me pain medication, but I was afraid of becoming addicted so I tried smoking pot because I had heard that the medicinal benefits were endless! And I did, I went from crawling up and down the steps to walking like I had before my illness was discovered. Now I still stick to my doctor's orders and take all my medications, but when it comes to my pain, marijuana has helped me regain my life. I only do it when the pain meds don't help and before I go to bed. I really think they should consider legalizing it, if you have a medical condition."
PRO 9/25/05 - "Personally, I think anyone sick enough to need a drug to ease their pain where ever the pain may be should have access to it without the U.S. gov. creating road blocks. Common sense should tell them there is a way to do good without letting so much bad get away. Marijuana should be legal."
PRO 9/14/05 - "I think that it [medical marijuana] should be legalized but only for terminally ill patients. Not for people that can find other means of medication and others means of feeling better. I think that marijuana should only be open to and available to the people who are suffering and terminally ill!"
PRO 8/3/05 - "I recently suffered from an on-going problem of inflamed esophagus. In the past I have had to go to the emergency to get relief;, GI cocktail, nitro and morphine. About a week ago I had the same problem and did not want to wait in the emergency room. We went to a clinic who could not administer nitro or morphine. In desperation I decided to smoke some marijuana instead. I was amazed that in less than 15 minutes I began to get relief and in 30 minutes the pain was completely gone. I was already aware of its benefits for nausea, anxiety, depression. Its a wonder drug in my opinion. It really needs to be legal nation wide for medical purposes."
PRO 7/12/05 - "I was severely injured on Nov. 13 2001, when a tree top feel and struck my skull, shattering the right front section of my skull and I nearly lost my right eye. After reconstructive skull surgery (6 plates and 12 screws) ... I was prescribed hydrocodone (morphine) for daily severe headaches and pain and dilantin for anti seizures. While on the prescribed drugs, I had two severe seizures and additional hospital stays. Unable to work or fully function.
It has been now 2 yrs 14 weeks since i have used either prescribed drug, both have been replaced with cannabis daily use. NO Seizures - NO severe head aches any longer. Working Full time again !! :O) No Depression. No nausea. Gaining weight back :O)
Total shame the govt calls people criminals when they have turned their lives around and improved their medical condition. Thank God for the plant God created.... Safe, Nature and Effective."
PRO 5/23/05 - "I am a 43 year old woman. I wish to testify before you that I suffer severe anxiety and depression. I was treated with many different prescription drugs. I no longer take any of those due to the fact that a small amount of marijuana does more for my condition than anything I have ever taken.... I personally believe it is insane that [medical marijuana] is not legal and alcohol (which KILLS people from accidents and health problems) is [legal]."
CON 5/7/05 - "In the one hand we have a group of county and state supervisors that have been duped into believing that legal medicine is like their jobs, up to the voters.
And on the other hand we have several thousand drug dealers that have never followed any laws or regulations in their lives. These drug dealers will be happy with any lie we accept to allow them to continue to put uncountable sums of money in their pockets. By the way, today, half or more of the money these growers are pocketing is children's lunch money.
You should see what's really happening on the front lines of medical marijuana. These guys go from wearing camouflage in their pot fields and giggling out the new laws to wearing suits to fool the people into thinking that they really care.
Medical marijuana is a lie that is now destroying thousands of school systems and educations across our country."
PRO 4/13/05 - "Yes, I do believe that marijuana needs to be approved for the medically needy. I suffer from severe migraines & have tried everything possible from meds to try to prevent them as well as beta blockers since 1993. They are not just normal migraines. I was diagnosed with a psudeotumor ceberi (swelling of the brain -- excess water on the brain). I've already lost vision in my left eye & am now starting to loose vision in my right eye. I started smoking marijuana for the pain & nausea. I didn't have a appetite ever & didn't have a life. I was a vegtable & now I can somewhat handle life again. However, I had to look over my shoulder all the the time. Now I got caught & now I will fight & do all I can do to see it gets passed so I can get it to others like me. More people need to speak up!!!"
PRO 4/7/05 - "I am a 32 years old mother of 3 beautiful children. I am a decent, kind and usually law-abiding citizen until 4 months ago. I have been suffering for 5 years with ... painful and disabling conditions. I can usually tolerate the pain, but not always. I have severe drug allergies to ... Codeine, Morphine, Demerol, Amnitriptaline.
Due to my drug allergies my doctors and I deliberated about trying medical marijuana. I smoke very little and only when I think I might have to go to the emergency room from the pain. Since I started smoking I have managed to actually gain 5 pounds, I was wasting away due to the severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome and not being hungry from pain. My sleeping has improved and I can actually focus on the tasks at hand because I AM NOT HURTING! It is an all-natural pain killer that should be allowed to be prescribed by doctors for patients who have no other pain reliving choices."
PRO 2/28/05 - "The value [of medical marijuana] should be based on the patients' input. After all the patient is the one using the MMJ. I look at it like this; all FDA approved drugs are tested using a placebo, right! So even if there really is no medicinal value yet only a 'placebo' effect value, then who is to say it has no medical value? Government, lawyers, and the such should stay out of it and let the people of the state decide by voting as we did in California."
PRO 2/24/05 - "I have had Chrone's disease for over 30 years. I tried all the drugs that my doctors prescribed [and] I still had pain, constipation and diarhea. I was told ten years ago I needed a colostomy bag. It was then that I made a few trial and error decisions for my health. I now grow all my own food (meat included) and smoke marijuana when needed. Last Summer after a series of colon tests it was concluded that I never looked better intestinally!! [...] I am still smoking marijuana when needed and the change in my system once again -- is unbelievable!!"
PRO 2/6/05 - "I have a story / letter I wrote thinking from my mother's point of view. You see, I will never have children although I like to think that I would make an excellent mother. The title of my story is 'To Whom It May Concern.' It’s a letter to all who are against Medical Marijuana.
My mother and I are very close and we have actually discussed the need for our nation to accept medicinal marijuana for patients who need it. My mother lives in South Carolina and I live in California. I would not be alive if I lived in South Carolina." View the letter.
PRO 1/23/05 - "It isn't a secret when one says that marijuana adds to a heightened frame of mind. I feel that this is the state of mind a person must achieve in order to deal with a life threatening illness, because lets face it, how would all the politicians all over the world react if they were going to experience an unbearable amount of discomfort before leaving behind everyone they love. We need to find a way for people to have as much comfort or an acceptable level of numbing when dealing with an emotional and physical life threatening illness."
PRO 12/18/04 - "I am a medical practitioner trained as a surgeon in modern medicine, presently engaged in clinical research in medicinal plants. I use cannabis in movement disorders and have observed several beneficial effects of the same."
PRO 11/25/04 - "As a middle age parent, I have and will maintain concern about the influences on the children. I do recognize that the legality of marijuana reflects little to its availability and/or use in society today. I know this to be just as true now as it was when I was a child. In my older years I have discovered that any negative impact derived from its use, be it medical or recreational, is 'light' by contrast to the repercussions inflicted upon an individual by our legal system. Were it not for an understanding of the incredible amount of money it pumps into the Judicial and Enforcement branches of our government by remaining illegal, I would wonder why it remain with that status. I simply would like to see the federal government release the issue back to the State and allow the State to treat the issue of Marijuana use, medical or recreational, as the State would choose."
PRO 11/20/04 - "I think if MJ helps heal it should be available to those in need...not for social and destructive behavior..."
PRO 7/22/04 - "The Declaration of Independence guarantees 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.' Life is defined as 'maintaining metabolism.' And I have seen no proof that pot is not part of at least some segment of the population's natural body chemistry which makes up that metabolism. Therefore laws against marijuana use by adults are unconstitutional."
PRO 7/3/04 - "I am pro/marijuana and have been a legal smoker in the State of Nevada since it was made legal for medical patients almost 4 years ago....I was hit by a drunk driver 17 years ago and have the following symptoms: continuous pain 24/7 due to 7 herniated discs and a rod in my left leg. I am bed-ridden now and I am not operable....I believe marijuana should be made legal, but under strict regulation for those under the age of 18 or 21. I would prefer alcohol be illegal, it has ruined many families and killed and maimed many innocent people. I don't believe it should be legal to drive on marijuana, but our current methods of finding guilt are inadequate at best. I would continue smoking even if my government makes it illegal for my medical usage. I can't see putting someone like me in prison when I am only trying to reduce my agony and have some type of productive life where without it I couldn't imagine wanting my life at all."
PRO 5/29/04 - "This whole debate about medical marijuana, and arguments against legalizing it is an absolute mystery to me. I simply don't see what the big deal is. Marijuana is not for everyone, as some people do not respond well to it, but just because some people can't handle it, does that mean that I should not be allowed to smoke? that's like saying that since some people can't handle wilderness and have gotten into serious trouble while backpacking, then backpacking should be illegal for everyone. That's about the logic of this whole marijuana debate."
PRO 5/26/04 - "Inadequate substitutes [to marijuana], such as Marinol, are given to cancer and AIDS patients who can't even swallow, much less, keep it down long enough to reap it's benefits. The U.S. government has gone way overboard in it's campaign to vilify marijuana. It is an herb which has good uses, as well as, the potential for abuse. Marijuana has no business, being classified as a Schedule I - Controlled Substance, a category which is usually reserved for highly dangerous drugs, such as 'street' methamphetamine, LSD, heroin and so on... Putting marijuana in the same class with those drugs is like stocking Drano in the toy department, alongside bubble soap.
Marijuana classification and control is best left up to botanists, herbalists and physicians, not the DOJ, DEA, FDA, CIA, or any other alphabet agency or administration, looking for a villain."
PRO 4/24/04 - "I have been a cannabis user for 19 years. I have psoratic arthritis, bipolar disorder and PTSD. I have found that I am able to control much of the symptoms of these conditions with my use."
NEUTRAL/PRO 4/24/04 - "Marijuana is like any other plant, neither bad nor good. It is just a plant. It is its use, or misuse that is bad or good. From what I have read so far it appears that the government and the law enforcement agencies are placing a 'value' on it on a solely political basis. The only way that it could be proven as a medically beneficial substance is by honest long term extensive study using larger populations as a base for the studies. This then would allow for any statistical error. Judgment should not be fully passed until that point. Also what matter does it make that someone who is terminally ill uses it, even if it were only a placebo effect, as long as it gives comfort, eases pain and improves their well being. I personally believe that a medication that has been in use for about 5,000 years should not be banned purely for political reasons. Life is short and painful enough for those with debilitating illnesses without government harassment because marijuana gives them freedom from pain, nausea, or other unpleasant symptoms."
PRO 4/20/04 - "The FDA does not care about our safety or well being. It's only concern is having the government backing it up with money at all times. And the government does not want to allow legalization of marijuana until they can control every aspect of the drug. My doctor informed me I was on my way to death. But the FDA doesn't care, and neither do the drug companies that are accepted by them and the government. I can list all of the 'legal drugs' I am on, lexapro, wellbutrin (antidepressants), norco (extra strength vicodin), lisinopril (high blood pressure), metformin (diabetes), norflex (muscle relaxer), allegra(allergies). My pain is very very awful. It's like having the worst flu, with all the body aches and weakness, on a daily basis. Never goes away. The only thing that stops my pain is marijuana. Even though it's only maybe 30 minutes or so, when there is constant pain, that 30 minutes means everything.!!! Thank you for letting me share my thoughts."
PRO 4/16/04 - "I am a 20 year old male with fiber mialga and have had it well within 7 years. I'm currently on several medications that only help every now and then, but smoking marijuana has helped me out expedentially. Figuring there is no cure for this disease yet its the best temporary cure for it, honestly I would like it to be legalized for this reason as well."
PRO 4/10/04 - "I spent all morning in the emergency room at strong hospital in Rochester, New York. There was a couple...the man's wife was in a wheel chair, and to make the story short, we went out for a cigarette. The woman, after i opened the conversation, admitted that smoking pot the night before was the only relief she had to the pain she was having. I would like all the policy makers to spend a day in the E.R., and wonder how fewer the numbers would be, and if the prohibition on pot would end."
GEN 4/8/04 - "I have a few concerns involving marijuana... I have mild/moderate asthma but was able to smoke marijuana with almost no symptoms for a long time, then I got severely ill with a respiratory infection recently and stopped for the duration of the infection which was about a month. I then started again and almost fell faint due to such a high heart rate I became extremely paranoid and thought I was going to die from a heart attack. As far as I know however I am relatively healthy. I do not have a history of high blood pressure or hypertension. This was the first time I ever felt severe adverse reactions to the drug. I am just wondering... is it possible for people with asthma to die from heart attacks, strokes or aneurisms related to THC in marijuana?"
[Editor's Note: We recommend that all health concerns be brought to your physician.]
CON 3/3/04 - "I don't think marijuana should be used as a medical prescription for cancer patients because all the doctors are causing is the patient to die even quicker. I know right now that marijuana is known not to cause cancer but, the doctors need to have it researched even more because as they do say it is not a known fact that marijuana is a better source of medication for the cancer patients, but what is a known fact is that marijuana causes more of a painful chronic cough and more severe pains than cigarrettes alone do. So all once everybody sits down and thinks about it for a long while they will realize the same thing so I don't think marijuana is a wise choice for any medical patient."
PRO 2/6/04 - "I am a nurse and work with the elderly. I have suffered from horrible stomach ailment since the age of 17. I've been to so many doctors ...scoped..x-rayed...medicated...I got sick of it all. A few years ago a friend of mine saw how bad I looked...I have a spastic stomach...IBS...nausea, pain...sometimes can't eat. He said 'I have some tea I drink for that purpose. Take some home home and drink 2-3 cups of it warmed.' So I did and oh my God...first the nausea went away...pain...it was wonderful. I only drank it right before I went to bed as that was the prime time for all my gastric problems but I was nauseous pretty much all the time. After awhile I asked him what it was in the tea and he said marijuana. Well, I was horrified as I am a nurse, but than it dawned on me...all those years of doctors...medicines...hospitalizations...pain...I finally took matters into my own hands and decided to continue...it worked!"
PRO 1/22/04 - "Marijuana has alleviated my arthritis suffering for 25 years."
PRO 1/20/04 - "I am a female, age 42, who found out in 2001 that I had MS [Multiple Sclerosis]. I think medical marijuana should be legal for people with these kinds of diseases. There is not a lot of things out there for the pain. I'm not saying to make it legal for everyone, just those with MS, cancer, and things like that."
PRO 1/9/04 - "I have scoliosis and marijuana is all I will use for the pain, only organic...no chemicals. It takes 10-15 grams a day and dulls the pain so I can work."
PRO 12/2/03 - "I am not a weirdo or a freak or a drug addict. I am a 46-year-old mother of five and grandmother to six great kids. I was told in 1973 I would never have those kids. I am a survivor of a rare type of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood cancer. A tumor the size of a baseball was removed and I was put on very rigorous chemotherapy. My cancer was so rare and had not been previously seen much, so the doctors were pretty much playing it by ear and gave me a slim to none chance of living.
I cannot find appropriate words to describe the pain and illness of the chemo I received seven days out of every month. I dropped 60 pounds in no time. The nausea alone was horrific. Everything made me vomit. I mean everything, not just food. The air conditioner moving the curtain, smells of nurses and doctors, sounds from the lobby, smell of coffee, smell of the sheets on the bed. I cannot think of one thing the entire time I was on chemo that did not make me retch. This was the most horrible part. It was worse than no reflexes, no hair, no smell or taste. People asked me why didn't the doctors load me up with meds for nausea? They did! I was on at least four different drugs for severe nausea.
My friend [said] I sounded depressed on the phone so she came to cheer me up. I began to vomit again. All I could think of was how to get rid of her … I really didn't hear her until she said " and I brought you a joint of Acapulco Gold." I was thrilled. I had not smoked any weed since the beginning of this nightmare almost 8 months before. I had been watched almost every second of every day.
We decided we would smoke it in the bathroom with the door locked and a towel rolled up in front of it, to hide the smell. My poor little friend had to practically carry me and all my machines and tubes in to the bathroom with me retching the entire time.
I figured I could only manage a hit or two but discovered I could smoke the entire joint with her. We were sitting in the little white bathroom laughing up a storm when it dawns on both of us at the same time that I am not sick, AND I AM LAUGHING! As long as I live I will not forget that feeling of total freedom from pain. I walked myself back to the bed and she carried my equipment. The nurse steps in and gives us a raised eyebrow and leaves. My friend pulls something out of her bag and says, 'Look what I brought ya.' Lo and behold! It was a giant jar of dill pickles! I was a pickle addict before I became ill. With no hesitation I ate that entire jar and did not get sick at all! Not one cramp, nothing.
Suddenly it occurred to me if I could feel so good and am able to live by smoking pot then why should I die?
Here I am, 30 years later. I have had a rough life since then and I still survive. I do not know why marijuana gave me back my life. I don't analyze it. I am just grateful that it was there when I needed it. The powers that be have got to somehow start caring about people who are dying or wanting to die, suffering from pain that cannot be comprehended unless one has experienced it."
Angel - 12/2/03
PRO 10/15/03 - "Hello my name is Scott and I suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome and have chronic pain ! I have been on everything from the smallest pain killers to oxycotin and duragisc patches ! I have found marijuana takes off the edge with out the horrid side affects of synthetic heroin the doctors would not take me off of because they did not want to deal with the withdrawals of it! I live in Indiana and have to go thorough great lengths to get my marijuana!"
Scott - 10/15/03
PRO 10/14/03 - "I did have a close friend who passed on from cancer quite some years back. He smoked pot. I remember that he told me certain kinds of pot certainly did relieve his pain, but, some did not. Regardless, it was his choice, NOT the Government's. In my personal opinion our government has no business whatsoever telling any of us what we can or cannot put in our mouths, what drugs we can or cannot use, whether we have to wear seat belts, etc., etc. The list is endless."
Linda - 10/14/03
CON 10/14/03 - "I have used marijuana pre/post my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I do suffer from MINOR spasticity in my back and legs, along with MODERATE pain in those areas. I did try self administration of marijuana for relief of these symptoms and did not notice any relief, in fact marijuana made many of my MS symptoms, particularly those of the sensory type, feel much worse."
Paul - 10/14/03
PRO 10/13/03 - "I have very mixed feelings about the use of marijuana. My personal opinion is; It should be legalized EVERYWHERE for MEDICAL PURPOSES ONLY. It should be prescription of course. There are always abusers of the laws. Unfortunately this is how humans are."
Laronda - 10/13/03
PRO 9/18/03 - "A doctor 'recommended' I use marijuana for muscle spasms/pain relief from two physical problems [caused by sports injuries] that do not respond to therapies/medication. That was in 1985. The legality issues surrounding marijuana use prevented me from using for 7 years, and the number of times I was prescribed muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and physical therapy increased. Upon the recommendation of an acquaintance, I resumed the use of marijuana. I have not needed to attend therapy, and the incidence of muscle spasm and physical pain are highly reduced and far more bearable. It is difficult for me to not be able to say anything to my mother, who experiences much physical pain, an impacted lifestyle, and little relief from current medical procedures. It would make me feel much better if there was a legal 'venue' that I could suggest for her to see if marijuana would help live her life with less pain....Iowa does not recognize marijuana as a medical option....
I used to work as an alcoholism/substance abuse counselor, and KNOW that alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, and many non-prescription drugs are far more likely to be addictive and be life threatening than any of the negative issues that may be related to marijuana...."
John - 9/18/03
PRO 9/17/03 - "Ten months ago we found out that a family member had terminal cancer, and the cancer was unfortunately in the brain. Of course doctors did not give too much hope, and pills galore, however I am writing to inform you that the quality of life has been greatly improved because of the marijuana usage. We mix marijuana with orange juice, papaya juice, pineapple juice and a banana in a blender, which not only is very tasty, does a great thing for the individual. The migraine headaches have ceased, and appetite returned. Also the person is a lot happier. I have great hope that the marijuana will shrink the tumor as well, and we also hope that it will also increase the number of days the person can live without pain and suffering. THC has been scientifically proven to shrink tumors, and hopefully may get rid of it altogether. I fully support the usage of this wonderful herb, to improve the quality of life for people who have sickness of all sorts, and recommend our juice to them. Don't let people's ignorance prevent them from taking this herb illegally, this is utter nonsense, and it is always typical of mankind to abuse herbs, if they are illegal. Please let the sick have legal usage of this wonderful drug, which is a god-send for all of us.
Happy to share this with you all, and will give you an update on the sick persons condition. So far so good."
Gabrielle - 9/17/03
PRO 9/14/03 - "I have been seeing several doctors for over two and one half years for chronic neck pain. they can't help. The only thing that has helped my pain is cannabis."
Luis - 9/14/03
PRO 9/6/03 - "My son has Tourettes and I know for a fact they did a study with tourette patients and marijuana and it does help control the ticks of Tourettes as well as other symptoms of this disorder.I have written to members of congress in my state, which is New Jersey, asked for a response to my letters, but as of yet had not received one E Mail. P.S. It helps my son without the terrible side effects of his meds. Orap, which he is on, can cause heart damage, depocote started to effect his lever, risperdol -- he developed a severe allergy reaction to, haldol he started showing signs of tardive dyskinesias, which most of the time is irreversible, but we was taken off in time, thank god. Wellbuturan made his tics worse than ever. So you see why I would like medicinal marijuana in my state?"
Dottie - 9/6/02
CON 8/25/03 - "I appreciate this venue to voice my opinion on medical marijuana and the effects it has had on adolescent users.
I am in the midwest working with adolescents who have had significant problems at home, school, and with the legal authorities because of their pot use.
I consistently find two schools of thought from my teens. First those in my group who are still using or have recently quite their use, consider the topic of medical marijuana as fuel to feed their fires. It is a quick jump for many of these kids from medical marijuana (controlled) to it is just a matter of time before they can walk down the street smoking weed. The other apparent attitude is that the thrill will be gone if marijuana is legalized (in any form). Many of my teens claim to use because it is illegal and thus a thrill. I think it would be irresponsible to think that those with this attitude would be positively affected by medical use becoming wide spread and acceptable. However, those with this mindset about medical marijuana use will jump at any excuse to use and justify their use.
Finally, the teens appear to lose all enthusiasm for medical marijuana use when the drug come in the form of a pill or other non smokable form.
Thank you once again for this forum and would appreciate a reply at some time in the future."
Rob - 8/25/03
PRO 8/22/03 - "Excellent work but some of us can answer the question quickly and with no hesitation. Yes it works, no it's not a cure, yes smoking is bad for you (so eat it or vaporize, etc.) and is it effective? Again, yes. I hope Bob Barr never has to be in a situation where he would need to make that decision. AIDS sucks, Cannabis helps."
Phil - 8/22/03
PRO 7/7/03 - "I work with "The Ohio Patient Network". We network and educate anyone who needs or wants to hear it. We are working to get a bill passed here in Ohio. I am a patient myself and have been a nurse most of my life. I have seen the changes this had made in people. I have my WHOLE family's support on this and I will not stop until it's passed. Thank You."
Paula A Mercer R.N. - 7/7/03
NEUTRAL 7/2/03 - "I loved your site! It helped me a lot in writing a research paper for college!"
Lola - 7/2/03
PRO 6/21/03 - "Hello. I'm a medicinal cannabis user for bipolar. I lived in Maastricht, the Netherlands for 6 months. The specific effects it has on me are keeping me calm/mellow/stable w/o making me feel drugged. It also takes away the nausea from Lithium as well as stimulates me to eat. In mania, sometimes it's easy to not eat for several days, resulting in emulsification. I do not get high from it, only it keeps me at a constant, no ups or downs. No rage, no anger, I'm more human."
J B Tatom - 6/21/03
PRO 5/25/03 - "I think that medical marijuana is a good thing when managed correctly, it can relieve pain and stress."
Stephen - 5/25/03
NEUTRAL 5/22/03 - "Hi there I like the truth you tell, I think there should be a TV show once a week telling the problems."
Dean - 5/22/03
NEUTRAL 5/17/03 - "Thank you for your informative site. I am an Egyptian university professor looking for alternative therapies to combat the side-effects of radiation therapy for my aunt's breast cancer. Having read of marijuana's effectiveness in relieving AIDS-related nausea, etc., I was curious as to whether it might help relieve her symptoms from future side-effects (she has yet to start radiation therapy). After reading your site, I find myself much better informed. Thank you so much."
Sarah - 5/17/03
PRO 5/10/03 - "I am a 27 year old male. I neve believed in doing any kind of drugs, but on Sept. 5th 2002 I hurt my back at work, and am now taking 240 ultracets a month. I tried some marijuana, and it did not make me shake like my pills do and worked better for my pain than my pills."
Jason - 5/10/03
PRO 4/17/03 - "I preface this supportive note by saying that I neither smoke nor take drugs. My father is a retired physician, and my mother is a retired RN. Neither drink nor smoke. I am 37 and was unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer in late February. I had major surgery on March 6th, and began chemotherapy on March 31st. I handled chemo poorly. Days 3 & 4 featured mind-numbing bone pain, for which there was no relief. This was an expected side effect, and ultimately one I could handle. But Days 6, 7 and 8 were so bad that I ended up back in the hospital for X-rays. Reduced to daily hysterical crying for hours at a time due to the pain, I was unable to eat, and could barely even get water down. Despite strong anti-nausea medications (Anzemet, etc.), the nausea I felt was beyond tolerable, as was the pain. I could barely walk or move. In desperation, a friend of my sister's sent up a bag of pot. My father -- a retired physician -- went to a neighbor's to borrow a pipe and a lighter (a gesture which made me cry), and I prayed to God that this plant might work. It is difficult to explain how desperate my parents and I were by this point. Suffice it to say that my father -- an unemotional doctor -- was reduced to tears after overhearing hours of my hysterical, pain-riddled crying. After smoking, I was able to ingest some food for the first time in 5 days. I was able to sit up, and my pain level was cut in half. And I was finally able to sleep after nearly nine days of terrible insomnia (which I don't ordinarily suffer from). When I called my chemo doctor, he said, "That's the only thing that works for a lot of people. If it's working, keep using it." I had to smoke every half hour or so for a number of days, and then was able to smoke less and less as my body recovered from the first chemo treatment.
My next treatment begins Monday, and MJ is a big part of the plan my doctor and I outlined to try to alleviate the unusually painful side effects that affected me. I somehow feel shortchanged that I wasn't more informed before chemo started. If I had known how helpful MJ could be, I might not have suffered through days of thinking I was going to die.
As a former corporate executive, I have flown all over the world to give speeches and presentations. After this one experience, I feel compelled to speak out in support of this issue. I don't yet know how I can help. I have posted a link to your web site on an influential forum catering to female cancer patients. I hope the seemingly unbiased information you present helps others avoid some of the pain that I have suffered. Thank you for providing this site, and supporting this effort."
Dina - 4/17/03
PRO 4/14/03 - "I am a 24 year old female with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Along with some other psychogenic issues, my OCD has completely shut food off from my body. Without my prescription drugs AND marijuana, I have no natural appetite and cannot digest food. I have obtained a medical marijuana permit from the state I live in (Colorado), but cannot grow any plants successfully. I have so many problems trying to find the drug, my permit seems useless. I can still be arrested for buying drugs. I NEED marijuana to sustain myself, not ease pain, yet the federal government would still label me a criminal if I get caught buying marijuana. HELP!!!"
Carroll - 4/14/03
PRO 4/10/03 - "I agree with all the people that marijuana should be legalized. There hasn't been anything proven with smoking marijuana that has been harmful. Smoking a little now and then should be a must. And besides it helps people in pain. So until the government can prove something negative about marijuana I think it should all be legal!"
Rebecca - 4/10/03
PRO 3/21/03 - "I have had glaucoma for 19 years and never had a problem until I stopped smoking marijuana. I was put on betopic then timoptic (glaucoma medicine that is possibly dangerous) then laser surgery twice. All very expensive treatments not to mention the discomfort. I started using marijuana again and my doctor told me my eye pressures were down (under 20) and I did not need to use the doctor prescribed medicine for now. No one can tell me I am doing anything wrong since I can still see and no one is affected by my using marijuana."
James - 3/21/03
PRO 2/25/03 - "I have glaucoma and am on the PEG infron treatments for Hep C. I smoke marijuana and it helps with my eye pressure, general attitude, and nausea."
Michael - 2/25/03
PRO 2/10/03 - "I am a person living with AIDS and currently residing in San Francisco. Medical marijuana turned around my depressions and persistent nausea and lack of appetite. It has returned me, along with the AIDS medications, to a functioning human being who can enjoy my life and my friends again. Please continue in your work. My physician and I have not found anything that helps as much for the effects of the drugs I take."
Harry - 2/2/03
PRO 1/22/03 - "I'm wondering how the U.S. Government justifies providing marijuana to seven patients under federal guidelines and at the same time arrests anyone else for obtaining the same substance for the same uses within a state sponsored program. But more to the point - why hasn't the legality of this obvious incongruity been challenged in a court of law?"
Michael A. Greene - 1/22/03
CON 11/23/02 - "The legalization of Marihuana will have a negative impact in our youth, and all across society. Marihuana's "less desirable" effects will be enhanced, magnified and suffered by "ALL" society spectrum, while now does the same only within the pot user community. When the "positive" of pot use weights against the "negative", my opinion is the last one is heavier. We SHOULD NOT legalize the use of Marihuana for any reason, nor the use of any illegal drugs."
George - 11/23/02
PRO 8/29/02 - "I had a car wreck in 1995 and was knocked into a coma, suffered traumatic brain injury and became epileptic. I have tried many other epileptic medications and I am taking two now: phenytoin and lamictal. They help, yes, but I always ended up having another seizure and I have found that ever since I began smoking marijuana, it honestly helps with my grand mal and petit mal seizures. When I do not have it, they begin again by themselves and it is impossible to stop them with anything else at the time with the same effect that marijuana can give. I promise you it is really the one thing in my life now that I am extremely thankful for because it has helped me to return to a more of a normal life."
Mindy - 8/29/02
CON 7/29/02 - "Cannabis is the most dangerous drug because everyone thinks it isn't."
Richard - 7/29/02
PRO 5/30/02 - "Medical pot should be prescribed, but not controlled by the govt, due to their lack of responsibility to the patients and the strength of the marijuana. I personally know a lot of people who use pot as their regular medicine because of no harming side affects, immediate relief of pain and nausea caused by pain. We as citizens should be allowed to grow and cultivate our own medicine so the street sales and bad situations with non medical persons can still be targeted as criminals while letting law abiding citizens have their medicine when they need it and not be looked upon as a criminal with criminal intent."
Brian - 5/30/02
PRO 5/21/02 - "I'm a specialist in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, particularly interested in Pain Therapy and in Phytotherapy. Because of my interest in these fields, I discovered cannabis. At the beginning the interest was only "academic", but the medical literature was convincing for me. Then I discovered a lot of patients whose sufferings were relieved only by this plant. I'm a member of "Associazione Cannabis Terapeutica," a group of physicians, patients and lawyers fighting for introducing cannabinoids in therapy."
Francesco Crestani - 5/21/02
PRO 5/18/02 - "If the actual smoke is the issue, it is my understanding (I am NOT an expert) that vaporizing the smoke in a water pipe neutralizes the risk, or at least lowers it. If this is true, then informing patients will reduce risk, and legalization in conjunction with education would benefit everyone, since prescription could be replaced with advice. Besides, don't we all really want to be treated like adults by our own government?"
Frank - 5/18/02