The Ottumwa Courier

January 1, 2013

Many have a medical need for legal cannabis


FAIRFIELD — Dear friends and neighbors in Iowa:

I have a pressing medical need for a plant called cannabis. Unfortunately, it is illegal in our state even though 18 other states plus the District of Columbia have legalized it for medical purposes. Conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, etc., conditions for which the medical community has no cure, respond to this treatment. I have multiple sclerosis and am paralyzed from the neck down. I am in terrible pain and discomfort. If you’re wondering why my doctor doesn’t prescribe strong painkillers, I will tell you. I do not want to become addicted to a narcotic even if it is legal. Medical marijuana, unlike many approved pharmaceuticals, has no bad side effects, and my neurologist said it would be very good for me. People want to believe that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” It is not. I am 60 years old. If it was a gateway drug, wouldn’t I be addicted to heroin by now? Please encourage your representative and senator in the Iowa Legislature to legalize medical marijuana for those of us who so desperately need it.

Thank you!

Marie Smallow