I'm an internationally-published writer, book author, and public speaker. My best friend and co-author, George McMahon, is one of seven patients who receive legal medical marijuana from the United States Government's Investigational New Drug program, administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. George smokes the federal marijuana to treat symptoms of pain, spasms and nausea related to surgical maltreatment, multiple accidents and injuries, and a rare genetic disorder called Nail Patella Syndrome. Prior to being accepted to the government program, George underwent 19 major surgeries, was declared clinically dead on several occasions, was taking 17 different pharmaceutical substances on a daily basis (including 400 morphine tablets per month), and used a wheelchair. Since being accepted to the federal marijuana program 16 years ago, George has had NO surgeries or hospitalizations, he no longer takes pharmaceutical substances (aside from the occasional antibiotic), and he swims, rides his bike, and travels the country to educate legislators about the medical value of cannabis. He even ran for Vice-President of the United States in the 90s, and is a recipient of the National Certificate of Heroism.
The other federal patients receive marijuana to treat symptoms associated with bone tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, and glaucoma. All of the federal patients, their doctors, and expert researchers report marked symptomatic improvement in these patients, with fewer side effects than pharmaceutical alternatives.
You were recently quoted in the Columbus Dispatch as saying, "Every place they try to do this, they say it's for medicinal purpose... I'm just totally opposed to that concept, which is why I'm not excited about having a hearing and will probably wait as long as possible to schedule one." I hope your comments merely reflect your lack of knowledge regarding the subject, rather than a bitter spirit bloated with power. Throwing sick and dying people in jail for using cannabis to treat their symptoms is morally repugnant and politically risky. A majority of your constituents support legalization and regulation of medical marijuana. It is your constitutional duty to represent them, not to threaten their sick loved ones with prison, or block legitimate attempts at receiving a fair and balanced hearing. Though you are ineligible to run for another four-year term, you must live by your conscience and your honor. The people you represent deserve better than misrepresentations, distortions, and obstruction of justice.
If your mother was undergoing cancer chemotherapy and could benefit from cannabis, would you really handcuff her to a wheelchair? Are you truly a conservative who supports smaller government and more liberty? Then take the time to educate yourself about valid scientific research from the international community. Search deep inside your heart, and then do the right thing.
Your Classic Iconoclast,
Author of Prescription Pot (New Horizon Press, 2003)
and JUNK (ENC Press, 2005)