Pubdate: Sun, 31 Oct 2010
Source: Alamogordo Daily News (NM)
Copyright: 2010 Alamogordo Daily News
Author: Denise Lang


I worked for a cancer treatment center and often heard our 70- and
80-year-old patients share how cannabis helped their nausea, pain,
depression, anxiety and insomnia.

They told of how cannabis worked quicker and with fewer side effects
than pharmaceutical industry options. More recently, I learned that
the fastest growing classification of qualifying patients for medical
marijuana is returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffering
from post traumatic stress disorder.

When I heard that Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez
wants to repeal the New Mexico medical cannabis law because it
conflicts with federal law, I wondered why she didn't want to fight
the feds on behalf of our veterans (whether Iraq, Afghanistan,
Vietnam, Korea or World War II), as well as cancer patients and other
patients suffering from qualifying conditions. If she had attended the
New Mexico Department of Health hearings on medical cannabis, she
would have heard vulnerable patients express how much cannabis has
helped them.

She would know that these patients are not "hippies" and wouldn't find
smirking references to "pot heads" humorous as she listened to these
brave patients with so many diagnosed, documented horrible diseases
express how much their lives have improved. She would have also heard
some people explain how they got their lives back after having an
alternative to the extremely strong pain medications that left them
over-sedated and without their normal senses.

She would have listened to veterans explain how cannabis helped them
deal with their lives as they tried to reconcile the violence of what
they'd experienced in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam, with their
struggling attempts to work and maintain healthy relationships without
self-destructive behaviors.

Martinez's job has been to punish and incarcerate, not find positive
solutions to problems affecting ordinary citizens presenting real
problems. I want a leader in the governor's office who can relate to
issues experienced by regular citizens, returning veterans and
suffering patients a leader who is capable of understanding and compassion.

I'm sure that if readers have trusting relationships and they ask if
their friends and family know of people who have found quicker relief
from pain, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, depression or lack of appetite
without the side effects of laboratory produced, high-dollar
medications, they will discover that cannabis has helped someone they

Why won't Martinez support all of those in pain?

Denise Lang, La Luz
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