Pubdate: Tue, 05 Aug 2014
Source: Traverse City Record-Eagle (MI)
Copyright: 2014 The Traverse City Record-Eagle
Author: Carol Thompson
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Michigan)
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


TRAVERSE CITY  Daniel Reid's life changed more than a decade after he 
was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease that 
can lead to vision problems, pain and paralysis.

An MS researcher told Reid about using Cannabidiol, a compound in 
marijuana, to treat the disease.

"Within a few days it had an enormous effect on me," Reid said. "Over 
time I weaned myself off of other medications I was using, and now 
that's how I am treating my MS. I've had it since 1997, and I'm 
perfectly healthy. It's not progressing."

The experience sparked Reid's career in medical marijuana and pain 
management. He is opening a clinic in downtown Traverse City, 
Liberate420, for patients who seek help for pain, chronic disease or 
medical conditions, or who want to reduce their use of narcotics. He 
plans to open the clinic on Aug. 31, then open it periodically based 
on appointments.

Michigan allows residents who suffer from diseases such as cancer and 
Alzheimer's or conditions such as nausea or seizures to receive a 
certification to use medical marijuana.

Reid's no novice in the medical marijuana field. He opened the first 
clinic in Illinois, lobbies for medical marijuana laws and is opening 
clinics in 10 Michigan cities, including Traverse City, and expects 
to open more in Florida and Illinois.

Marla Gendleman will be the physician at all of Reid's clinics, 
though she expects to hire more physicians if demand increases. She's 
a Michigan native and anesthesiologist who will help patients get off 
prescription narcotics and avoid pain.

General anesthesia lost its appeal for Gendleman. She believes she's 
more connected to her pain management patients, and prefers a job in 
which she makes a bigger difference in patients' lives.

"These people are desperate," Gendleman said. "(Medical marijuana) 
amazed me as a physician. The problem is there's not very much 
research being done on it because there's been no availability to get 
the drugs because it's a schedule one narcotic."

Liberate420 won't sell marijuana - just give patients a place to meet 
with a physician. Insurance reimbursement forms are provided at appointments.

Reid considers marijuana a medicine and doesn't want to see it 
legalized for recreation.

"For people that are suffering with pain there are better 
alternatives than traditional narcotic medication," Reid said. 
"That's really, at the end of the day, the most important. To have 
someone of our caliber practicing in Traverse City is a godsend to 
the community."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom