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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Medical or Legal?

January 1st, Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts has been in effect and the seeds have been planted, I'm sure. As we await the Department of Public Health to issue regulations, some patients and citizens are questioning whether to ask their physician for a written recommendation for an ailment of some kind. So hear me out..

Tommy & Niki Dawson of
In Massachusetts, decriminalization is still in effect. Continue to enjoy your recreation as I do. Sure, I may take a toke here and there for a tight neck and shoulder, but my needs are nothing compared to my husband's. Finally Tommy has the protection and validation he deserves for coping with the debilitating illness called Neurofibromatosis. A progressive neurodegenerative disorder that grows tumors on his nerve endings causing pain, bone deformities, and cosmetic abnormalities.

In Tommy's case, his left leg suffered the brunt of it. After being born with a deformed tibia and having it replaced with a cadaver bone, his 6th surgery to remove a tumor from his heel bone was a routine. His family helped prepare us for the surgery and his recovery.

A few days after his surgery, Tommy found himself more nauseus than relieved of pain from the Vicodin he was prescribed. His entire foot was throbbing from the trauma and fusion with the new bone matter. All he wanted to do was eat. He reminded me every few minutes of how hungry he was and how his headache that resulted from not eating was faring. Finally at 10:30pm on a Sunday night, it only took one puff and he was relieved of his pain and nausea. I spent the next half hour in the kitchen cooking rice, soup, hot pockets, and brewing tea. The color returned to his face and he cheerfully smiled as more small meals appeared in front of him.

Somehow, I find it hard to believe there are still folks out there that do not believe someone like Tommy deserves a choice. While he was attending appointments to screen for new tumors at the NF Clinic, I was out advocating for patients because my body was able and my heart was willing.

A lot of advocates in Massachusetts asked themselves whether or not Medical was the right path. Some even spoke outwardly against it. I knew in my heart that if I could walk through the State House doors by myself and without aid, my voice belonged to the patients who could not. I demanded that patients and doctors have the protection they deserved to choose a medicine that is right for the condition they are treating. "How could Massachusetts allow Doctors to sit across the room from their patient wasting from chemotherapy knowing that a little cannabis might help?"

I may have sacrificed my Legal for a few more years, but today I am so happy and proud that I did. I walk with my husband knowing he has a choice that we all fought hard and made sacrifices for.

Thank you Massachusetts.. Now let's get it Legal!!


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