Pubdate: Mon, 30 Jun 2003
Source: Courier-Post (NJ)
Copyright: 2003 Courier-Post
Author: Jim Miller


The medical marijuana movement lost one of it's most visible proponents 
June 7. My wife, Cheryl Miller, lost her 32-year battle with multiple 
sclerosis that day, and I lost the light of my life.

Cheryl lived a life that few of us could. She could not even move her arms 
or legs for the last 10 years of her life. Still, when she found out in 
1991 that marijuana relieved her spasticity and resulting pain better than 
her legal prescription medications, Cheryl felt that she had an obligation 
and an opportunity.

Together, we did whatever it took to see that everybody with multiple 
sclerosis knew of the possibilities so the choice would be theirs.

Along the way, Cheryl even ate marijuana in a congressman's office in 
Washington, DC, and was arrested on national television. The rest that 
Cheryl accomplished, too much to mention, is still on her web site,

Since the federal government does not recognize marijuana's medical utility 
under a 1970 decision, we sought an appointment with our representative in 
Congress to discuss the outdated nature of this federal law. From that time 
in 1994 until the present, Rep. James Saxton, R-N.J. has replied to our 
requests for an appointment with a letter summarizing his opinion of what 
was wrong with the concept of medical marijuana.

It didn't matter that Cheryl would show up at his Washington office, laying 
down in her reclining wheelchair after a painful trip from New Jersey. No 
appointment. No matter how many faxes, calls, or trips to his office, 
Saxton refused to give us any of his time.

Saxton did not represent Cheryl. He ran from her. He outlasted her.

Eighty percent of Americans support patients' right to medical marijuana, 
but most are willing to let seriously ill patients like Cheryl fight for 
herself. That example will be best demonstrated if Saxton gets no calls of 
dissent. You never know though. Perhaps Cheryl can accomplish in her 
passing what she couldn't accomplish in her lifetime.

Jim Miller, Silverton
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