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7 Iowan Featured Sunday in Quad City Times: “Faces of Medical Marijuana in Iowa”

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:

From Ryan McDermott: ‘You should see what I’m dumping in my kid each day:’

7 year old Ryan McDermott in stroller, being pushed by his mother, Tina.

7 year old Ryan McDermott in stroller, being pushed by his mother, Tina.

“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

From Maggie Selmeski: ‘She won’t be high for once in her life:’

Epileptic 17 month old Maggie is currently in Colorado getting low-THC cannabis oil to replace her poisonous pharmaceuticals.

Epileptic 17 month old Maggie is currently in Colorado getting low-THC cannabis oil to replace her poisonous pharmaceuticals.

“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

From Quincy La France: ‘Our state can help its sick residents:’

Maria la France, Iowan mother of a 12 year old with epilepsy, holds her sons prescription pills for an audience. Maria learned about cannabis and epilepsy after a documentary aired this summer on CNN called "Weed."

Maria la France, Iowan mother of a 12 year old with epilepsy, holds her sons prescription pills for an audience. Maria learned about cannabis and epilepsy after a documentary aired this summer on CNN called “Weed.”

“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

From Logan Edwards: ‘I was a walking chemistry set:’

Marine Corps veteran Logan Edwards suffers from PTSD. 42% of cannabis patients in New Mexico use cannabis to treat PTSD.

Marine Corps veteran Logan Edwards suffers from PTSD. 42% of cannabis patients in New Mexico use cannabis to treat PTSD.

““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

See also:

QCTimes Editorial Board Sunday Editorial: Don’t Imprison Benton Mackenzie! #FreeBentonMackenzie

UPDATE: Iowan Benton Mackenzie Clarifies How He Grew Cannabis Plants To Make Cancer Curing Cannabis Oil

From Edward Lyons: ‘For once I could leave the house without fear:’

Marine Corps veteran Ed Lyons lost his left arm in Afghanistan. " Lyons told the Quad City Times, “I had seen lots of terrible things and done things my peers can’t relate to. An 18-year-old gets vaporized by a bomb right in front of you. It’s hard to struggle with that on a daily basis."

Marine Corps veteran Ed Lyons lost his left arm in Afghanistan. ” Lyons told the Quad City Times, “I had seen lots of terrible things and done things my peers can’t relate to. An 18-year-old gets vaporized by a bomb right in front of you. It’s hard to struggle with that on a daily basis.”

“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

From Marie Smallow: ‘After the very first hit, the pain is gone:’

Says 60 year old Marie Smallow, who has multiple sclerosis: "So, basically, I've been going downhill for the last 30 years."

Says 60 year old Marie Smallow, who has multiple sclerosis: “So, basically, I’ve been going downhill for the last 30 years.”

“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

From Jimmy Morrison: ‘I choose to break the law:’

Jimmy Morrison, founder of Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana, suffers from bipolar disorder.

Jimmy Morrison, founder of Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana, suffers from bipolar disorder.

“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

Follow WeedPress on Facebook. If you’d like your story heard by legislators this next session, email me at jkarimi2007@hotmail.com, or write to me on the Iowa Patients for Medical Marijuana Facebook page. You can remain anonymous if you’d like. I’ll publish your story here on WeedPress and make sure politicians see it next year.

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