Larry Quigley on why he won’t leave Iowa.

LARRY QUIGLEY: My name is Larry Quigley. I’m from Cedar Falls. I’ve lived in Iowa City for a while.
So I’m pro marijuana for treatment, medical treatment. I would say seven months ago I wouldn’t have been, but I have used various kinds of medications to treat lower back pan spasms, muscle tightness, tonic — catatonic spasms, and on my birthday in April, I was with some people who had marijuana, and I tried it, and not that I hadn’t tried it many, many years ago, but I’d never tried it for a specific treatment.
And what brought me to that was I went online and started seeing what other people in other states were doing. Apparently doctors in Iowa can’t recommend it. They can talk about it, but marijuana has been pretty effective in treatment of — with spinal cord injury, which is what I have, for certain kinds of spasms and pain. So I tried it.
The next day I had an appointment with my physiatrist. I went in and showed him that I was able to move my legs around without having that tightness, that spasms, and he said “I can’t recommend it.” And he said he couldn’t recommend Marinol, which is a derivative of marijuana, Page Break, because it’s — it’s — I don’t know the language that well, but it’s — it’s used to treat other kinds of conditions. So he can’t prescribe it for this condition.
He’s familiar with my history, the kinds of medications I’ve tried to use, why I can’t use oral Baclofen, diazepam, or Valium. It affects my cognitive processes. I don’t like that.
For some reason marijuana did not seem to bother me. The side effects of it did not seem to bother me. You know, I was concerned about paranoia, which of course there’s paranoia as long as it’s illegal. You’re going to be paranoid becase you can go to prison for using it, so you know, there’s a cultural aspect to using it.
Will, I tried it. I showed him, and he just looked dumbfounded, didn’t know what to say. And at that same time I was getting treatment from a physical therapist, and I went in, and I didn’t tell him about it, and he said “Wow, your legs are really much looser today. I can really get a much greater stretch on them.”
And then I told him that I’d been using marijuana. And — and so then I would go — when I would go in for treatment, depending on Page Break, 17 whether or not I used it, he could tell the difference in my legs without me telling him. And sometimes he would ask me, and he would just reter to it as the treatment.
And I asked him, and I asked the psychiatrist, to put this in their notes. Whether or not they did that, whether or not they want to do that, whether they would subject me to some legal ramification, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it works for me.
I’m not using it right now. I can show you what my legs — how stiff they are. Won’t prove anything, but if you give me some marijuana and I take it right now, i could show you the difference. Okay? But no one is going to do that.
And I”m sure that a lot of people here are going to be skeptical. You’re not going to believe what I’m saying, but it’s time that — that Iowa really looked at this seriously.

I’ve thought about going to other states. I would have to leave my 11-year-old son here. I’m not willing to do that. I’m not willing to use it illegally. So I’m going to suffer..

The way I can manage it now is I can spend a long period of time in a horizontal position. That will Page Break, 18 help my legs to relax, and then I can get up and move aruond again.
I have trouble rolling because my spasms tighten up, and I’ve been 28 years in a wheelchair, 28 years with a spinal cord injury, incomplete break, and up until 2001 or about 2001, I could manage it by myself, no problem.
But now I’m having secondary conditions from — from long-term effects of spinal cord injury. So this is the treatment that works for me. It doesn’t affect me mentally. Side effects are not a problem for me.
Other side effects — side effects of other drugs are. You know, morphine puts me to sleep. You know, so I think that we really need to look at this seriously, and we need to open our eyes to what we’re saying when we say we won’t legalize it. We’re saying we want people to go out on the street and look for it themselves and treat their own condition and be associated with people who are going to also sell other illicit drugs, heroin, methamphetamine. I mean this is a money-making deal for drug dealers. Okay? Marijuana is a gateway for them to more money.
So I don’t know what else to say. Ask me some questions and I’ll answer them. Page break, 19

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