Pubdate: Thu, 25 Dec 2003
Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA)
Copyright: 2003 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Author: Diana Lejins
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Opinion)


In 1982, my mother was diagnosed with liver cancer. Years earlier, she
had bravely survived breast cancer and removal of her eye for a deadly
melanoma. But at 64 years of age, this cirrhotic cancer would prove to
be her last valiant struggle. It was 14 years before Proposition 215
- -- the Compassionate Use Act for medicinal marijuana.

It tore my heart out to see her suffer through chemotherapy with the
sickening nausea. They pumped her full of morphine and other drugs
that lost their effectiveness over time -- her torment grew worse.
Twenty years have gone by since her death, but it still brings tears
when I think of her.

During my mom's illness, I felt helpless, unable to do more because of
senseless laws that denied access to medicine that could have eased
her agony -- marijuana. I become very angry when innocent victims,
afflicted with some dreadful disease or disability, are denied
anything that could ease their pain and suffering. To incarcerate
these patients is a cruel travesty of justice.

Such has been the case with governmental agencies bent on enforcing
their zeal upon the most vulnerable citizens of this country -- the
sick and dying. Their flagrant disregard for Proposition 215 shows a
disgraceful contempt for the will of the people. This heartless
persecution must stop here and now.

Diana Lejins

Long Beac
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