Pubdate: Fri, 16 Feb 2007
Source: Winona Daily News (MN)
Copyright: 2007 Winona Daily News
Author: Mark Martin


As a practicing physician specializing in physical medicine,
rehabilitation and chronic pain management, I applaud Sen. Steve
Murphy for authoring the medical marijuana bill currently being
considered by the Legislature.

In my practice, I treat patients whose chronic pain profoundly impacts
their day-to-day lives. Many of these patients have received very
little benefit from available treatments and have often experienced
serious side effects from conventional medicine.

To take just one example: a previous patient of mine -- a quadriplegic
- -- expressed to me that his medical use of marijuana resulted in
decreased pain, decreased spasticity and increased appetite, providing
him with better relief from his condition than any prescription
medication we had been able to provide him or recommend, all with no
adverse side effects.

 From a medical standpoint, I feel that doctors should be able to
consider all possible treatment options for their patients and
recommend the treatment option they believe will be of most benefit. I
also feel that suffering patients should not be threatened with arrest
and jail for following their doctor's recommendation. I support Sen.
Murphy's reasonable and compassionate legislation, and I sincerely
hope that this will be the year that it becomes law.

Dr. Mark Martin

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