Pubdate: Thu, 11 Aug 2011
Source: Eufaula Tribune, The (AL)
Copyright: Eufaula Tribune 2011
Author: Anastasia Scarborough


Ron Crumpton, executive director of Alabama Medical Marijuana
Coalition (AMMJC), says he has used marijuana since 2005 to treat his
spinal stenosis, a condition caused by abnormal narrowing of the
spinal column.

Crumpton's group believes marijuana should be used in Alabama as
treatment for ailments that cause severe pain and discomfort. He hopes
to convince others to support the use of medical marijuana at a public
picnic tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 13) at Blue Springs State Park in west
Barbour County.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the third such
event in Alabama AMMJC has sponsored since its inception 2= months

Using marijuana for medical purposes is currently illegal in Alabama.
But Crumpton believes the drug could help Alabamians suffering from
illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, multiple
sclerosis and even post traumatic stress disorder.

He says marijuana can treat these and many other ailments and is less
harmful than some drugs prescribed by doctors.

"For nausea, there's nothing better, so it often helps cancer patients
suffering from the nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments,"
said Crumpton. "For those with epilepsy, it could reduce the frequency
of seizures. (Marijuana's) uses seem limitless."

Crumpton has been using the drug for six years to treat his

"At one point, I was taking 28 pills a day - many to combat the
side-effects of the 13 pills that actually treated my condition. Yet I
was still in pain and clinically depressed," he said. "But when I
began using marijuana as my primary form of pain management, I became
the person I once was. I wasn't suicidal or depressed."

Crumpton says using marijuana helps ease pain in patients, but can
also help treat mental disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder.

At the Saturday picnic, AMMJC will garner public support for the
Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients Rights Act, which will be presented
to the Alabama Legislature during the 2012 session. If passed, Alabama
patients of 24 conditions and ailments including anorexia, cerebral
palsy and bipolar disorder, would be able to possess and use marijuana
under a doctor's recommendation.

The act would also allow a limited number of dispensaries in Alabama,
created for the sole purpose of producing medical marijuana.

Crumpton says public support in the state is high for the use of
medical marijuana. He references a recent survey by the University of
South Alabama in which 74 percent of state residents surveyed approved
the use of physician-recommended marijuana.

"A couple years ago, you got funny looks if you walked around with a
t-shirt that said anything about medical marijuana. Now, when I'm out
in public, people are approaching me with legitimate questions," said
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