Pubdate: Sun, 15 Mar 2009
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2009 The Birmingham News
Author: Christie O'Brien


I write today concerning House Bill 434, which would provide
protection for physicians who recommend and patients who use medical
marijuana in Alabama.

I am a patient who suffers from constant chronic pain resulting from a
near-fatal motor vehicle accident nearly 22 years ago. In 2005, I
became unable to work and began taking morphine, which was prescribed
by a pain-management doctor. This medicine was horribly addictive and
completely destroyed my quality of life.

Medical marijuana is a natural alternative to narcotic pain medicine.
It is a plant that has many medicinal purposes and very few side
effects, none of which is as bad as the stuff constantly advertised on

In 13 other states, medical marijuana is a legal option for people who
are suffering from chronic pain and terminal illnesses. In Alabama,
however, those of us who choose to use medical marijuana are
considered criminals and face dangerous circumstances to acquire it
and prison if we are arrested for using it.

I am not a criminal. I am a patient. Does Alabama really want to
continue the practice of arresting and prosecuting people with
terminal illness and chronic pain? Only barbarians would engage in
such a practice.

Please contact your representative in Montgomery and ask him to
support HB 434, the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act, when it
comes before the House of Representatives for a vote.

Christie O'Brien

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