HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Cannabis Crusader Touts Medical Benefits
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Aug 2000
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2000 Calgary Herald
Contact:  P.O. Box 2400, Stn. M, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0W8
Fax: (403) 235-7379
Author: Kelly Harris


When she was 37, Nadine Bews was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She underwent a radical breast mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and 
massive amounts of medication.

For the next 11 years she took pills for pain, pills for nausea, pills for 
depression, pills to help her eat, pills to help her sleep and eventually, 
she says, pills that killed her liver.

Two years ago, after seeing a story about Grant Krieger and his crusade to 
legalize medicinal marijuana, the then 48-year-old mother of two smoked her 
"first bowl."

"For the first time in 13 years I slept that night," Bews said. "the only 
thing that woke me up was going through withdrawal with the narcotics."

Bews eventually tracked down marijuana and purchased it from her so-called 
street physician, a man in his late 20s with a chain hanging from his nose 
ring to his ear and a purple-spiked mohawk. Now Bews is part of the 
Universal Compassion Centre, a group that wants to legalize and make 
available safe medicinal marijuana.

On Thursday night, a sparse gathering at the Cedarbrae Community Centre, 
11024 Oakfield Dr. S.W. listened as the group called for support and new 

The group claims there are 118 different conditions that can be treated by 

For Bews, using marijuana to treat severe pain associated with her illness 
is something she will continue to do in hopes of living long enough for her 
young children, aged five and 10, to have a mother for at least 10 more years.

Despite the fact pot is illegal in Canada, Bews said she will continue to 
use it to treat her pain and suffering. She says the Canadian Charter of 
Rights and Freedoms guarantees quality of life, and that entitles her and 
others to use marijuana to treat their illness.

She questioned why medicinal marijuana isn't legal and why a theory of 
"reefer madness" made her believe the drug was evil.

The federal government is in the process of awarding a contract to grow 
medicinal pot to research its effects. As well it is allowing a limited 
number of people to use the drug to treat their illnesses.
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