HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html How Pot Saved My Life
Pubdate: Thu, 30 May 2002
Source: NOW Magazine (Canada)
Copyright: 2002 NOW Communications Inc.
Author: Alison Myrden


I Was Wheelchair-Bound Before I Found Weed

Another day like yesterday. excruciating pain in my face. My head halfway 
down the toilet "praying." I have just finished vomiting for the fourth 
time tonight, and it's only 5 am. Nice life. This is a typical start to a 
typical day in the life of me. Thirty-eight years old and this is what I 
have come to. I have been better than most, though, because of medical 

Ten years ago I couldn't move from the waist down and could barely write my 
name. I was taking 32 prescription pills and 600 mg of morphine (yes, 600!) 
every day, enough to kill a horse, they told me, and spending most days in 
a wheelchair.

I was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. Doctors told 
me I would be in a wheelchair full-time by the time I turned 40. So far, I 
am on the right path to prove them wrong, with the help of some wonderful 
therapists, some very patient medical professionals and a few natural 
therapies -- including cannabis. I am able to walk by myself again.

The federal government doesn't seem to care, however.

Now, six other sick and disabled Canadians and I are suing the feds on 
behalf of all sick and dying Canadians who choose to use pot as medicine. 
We don't all have exemptions to smoke marijuana as medicine. We believe the 
Medical Marijuana Access Regulations drafted by the federal government are 

We want the government to release the medicine they've been growing in a 
mine shaft in Flin Flon to the many sick Canadians waiting so desperately 
for relief. The government refuses, saying the pot it spent millions 
growing was never intended for widespread distribution, but for clinical 

So we have no choice but to continue to go out on the streets to fill our 
prescriptions. It's an injustice to me and the many sick people like me who 
can't afford to continue living this way.

In the last eight years, my mother, Joyce, and my boyfriend, Gary Lynch, 
have spent over $14,000 each year to keep me in medical marijuana and out 
of pharmaceuticals. This has to be changed.

It's only because of medical marijuana that I now have a life.

Before I was reintroduced to the beautiful medicine, I was spending time in 
every pain specialist's office from Chedoke McMaster in Hamilton to Mount 
Sinai in Mississauga and beyond. No one could help.

I was trying every new medicine on the market, including getting tiny 
spoonfuls of cocaine put up my nose and losing 11 pounds in one week on a 
heroin patch.

Then one day, a friend offered me some smoke.

After watching me shuffle between three pain specialists and my bed over 
the previous seven days, my friend begged me, could I please smoke this!!

I wasn't convinced. I looked at the cannabis and explained very politely 
that it was something I would normally not use at a time like this.

I was left in my bed (in the total dark) with the marijuana cigarette and a 
lighter. Ten minutes after I'd smoked the whole thing I was up singing 
along with the radio and making my bed for the first time in a week! What 
was happening to me? I had no pain for the first time in seven days!

I cannot believe how much my life has changed because of medical marijuana. 
Please, Canada, help us win this uphill battle!
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