Sunday’s edition of the Quad City Times had a large spread covering the real Iowans who are asking medical cannabis be legalized.
Directly refuting the Branstad administration’s Office of Drug Control Policy talking points, these seven stories are representative of hundreds of Iowans around the state who don’t care who profits — they just want help with their illnesses. From epilepsy to bipolar disorder, here’s highlights from the Quad City Times “Faces of Medical Marijuana in Iowa” series:
“McDermott, the mother of six, is sure her youngest son is in that body somewhere. He lets her know with his smile and his laugh.
McDermott has never used marijuana. She hadn’t considered it until she attended a medical marijuana conference in Minnesota last year on the advice of a friend.
She’s now convinced it is the only option for her son.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes,” she said. “That’s my son.” —See full article here
“Maggie suffers intractable epilepsy. On her worst day, the toddler can have up to 500 seizures, her mother said.
Selmeski described her and her husband’s beliefs as “very conservative.” They’ve never used marijuana themselves.
After researching the drug’s potential medical benefits, Selmeski said the choice was a no-brainer.
“It’s a plant. It’s God-created,” she said. “Our child is already severely addicted to pharmaceuticals. Now that she’s on cannabis oil, we’ll flush the pharmaceuticals out of her system. She won’t be high for once in her life.” —Full article here
“La France, who has never used marijuana, is advocating that Iowa change its stance on the issue after researching the drug’s medical potential. Her son, who had his first seizure at 5 months, was just diagnosed in October with Dravet syndrome.
She said the side effects of using marijuana “sound like a dream” compared to her son’s experience on prescription drugs.
“If a drug has a side effect, he’ll get it,” she said. “Quincy has had really bad luck.”
La France doesn’t want to leave the state.
“Our state can help its sick residents,” she said. “Unless you want every parent of an epileptic child to become a criminal, please legalize this.” —Full article here
““I was a walking chemistry set,” he said.
Once, he was on 18 different pills at the same time. He said he’s so addicted to his current meds that he gets sick if he ever misses a dose.
As an alternative, he bought a vaporizer online and started using marijuana at the end of 2011, after he retired from active duty. He spends $20 for a gram of pot on the black market, grinds up the plant material, heats it in the vaporizer and inhales the vapors, he said.
Using a vaporizer doesn’t produce smoke or create tar in his lungs, he said.” —Full article here
“I’m not going to sit here and BS you and say marijuana is the perfect cure-all,” he said. “But I’m able to separate reality from the lies I was telling myself when I got sucked into depression. I’m able to get my life on track.”
“If they legalize marijuana, I guarantee you that alcoholism among vets will decrease,” he said. “They turn to alcohol for their problems because it’s legal. But it’s more detrimental than marijuana.
“It’s a shame something that is beneficial to so many is slandered by those who are ignorant.” —Full article here
“Marie Smallow of Fairfield has multiple sclerosis and is quadriplegic and bedridden. The 60-year-old frequently smokes marijuana because she still feels pain.
“I’m in pain all the time,” she said. “After the very first hit, the pain is gone.”
For a woman 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 80 pounds, a little pain medication like oxycodone goes a long way. Smallow said it’s far more addictive than marijuana.” —Full article available here
“Morrison uses marijuana daily to treat a bipolar disorder, spending $10 to $20 a gram on the black market.
He tried marijuana in high school and started using it regularly during his freshman year at the University of Iowa after discovering he could use it to manage his bouts of mania and depression.
He said that as a result of using marijuana, he earned an entrepreneur certificate from the University of Iowa, painted houses and started a video production company.” —Full article available here
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