Pubdate: Wed, 11 Nov 1998
Date: 11/11/1998
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Author: Peter McWilliams

As I read your Nov. 5 editorial supporting medical marijuana, my eyes
filled with tears.

I was diagnosed with AIDS and cancer in March 1996. For 2 1/2 years I
used medical marijuana under my doctors' supervision to successfully
counteract the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and the AIDS
combination therapy. Last July, I was arrested by federal authorities
on medical marijuana charges. Since then, I have been denied medical

Without the ability to keep down my anti-AIDS medications, my viral
load (a measure of active AIDS virus in the body) is up 200-fold (from
less than 20 to nearly 4,000), my T-cells are down 26% and I have lost
more than 10% of my body weight. For the first time since my AIDS
diagnosis, I fear for my life. This is because the federal government
chooses to ignore the will of the people of California. Perhaps now
the government will turn at last from its "anachronistic and inhumane"

Los Angeles