Pubdate: Tue, 27 May 2008
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2008 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: John Walker


I am a U.S. Army veteran who was once stationed with the 101st
Airborne Division and Special Forces, so I know what makes a hero.
Heroes are noted for feats of noble courage and often risk everything
for a greater cause.

The medical cannabis patients who have come forward in support of this
year's medical cannabis bill are heroes.

Not only have these brave patients mustered the strength to battle
life-threatening disease, they have also demonstrated great courage by
talking openly about their cannabis use despite the fact that using
cannabis for any reason remains illegal under Illinois law.

Julie Falco, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two decades
ago, is the perfect example of a hero.

She has put herself at great personal risk by publicly acknowledging
that she uses cannabis. She has taken every available MS medication,
but none have worked as well for her as cannabis brownies.

Although thousands of Illinois doctors, the Illinois Nurses
Association, two former U.S. surgeons general and a majority of
Illinois voters, 68 percent, according to a recent Mason-Dixon Poll,
support Falco's right to treat her MS symptoms with medical cannabis,
she could very easily find herself in jail tomorrow if the police
decided to arrest her.

As you celebrate the nation's heroes this Memorial Day, please keep
local heroes like Falco in your thoughts as well.

John Walker,

Illinois Compassion Action Network
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