Medical Marijuana for Moms
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 05/13/2010 in Medical Marijuana
by Evan Nison
Evan is a Director of NY Patients Fist, the Ballot Initiative Coordinator for NORML-NJ, President of Ithaca College’s chapter of SSDP, and a member of the Volunteer Steering Committee for the California Tax and Regulate Campaign.
The general image our society has about marijuana users is that of a young burn out, wasting their life away. It’s a stigma that is hard to shake for many smokers. But the reality is that marijuana is an effective treatment for countless medical conditions which is used by patients from all walks of life—many of whom are mothers.
In fact, many of the patients that come to us at NY Patients First to fight for the right to choose cannabis over traditional prescription drugs are mothers. These mothers are well educated on the effects of both their currently prescribed drugs and marijuana. All of these mothers have tried prescription drugs and have found marijuana to be more effective and to have far less negative side effects than the medicines that they do have legal access to. But none of them can legally get medical marijuana in the state of New York.
One such example is Lisa Schroeder, a mother and nurse from Clifton Park, NY who suffers from pseudotumor cerebri (also called idiopathic intracranial hypertension) and could benefit from the use of marijuana.
“I see marijuana’s therapeutic advantages in my patients and I wish I could use it myself legally, without fear of being arrested or losing my job,” she said.
Her patients are using marijuana illegally, but most are not subject to drug tests like nurses commonly are. Lisa’s symptoms include 24/7 headaches (since 1996), and vision loss. Why does she have to face a decision between living in such pain or getting arrested and losing her job?
Even my own mother, who is currently going through chemotherapy, says she would use marijuana if it were a legal option to her. The shot she receives after each chemo session makes her severely nauseous and so sick that she can’t climb stairs. When I explained the benefits I have seen with marijuana in similar cases she rejected trying it out of fear of arrest, but suggested it would otherwise be an option.
On Mother’s Day, NY Patients First had a day of action to raise awareness for mothers like this throughout the state by writing letters and calling legislators. It is important to take every opportunity we have to remind our elected officials that we are no longer going to accept these laws that hurt us and our families. Our mothers—and all patients in need of medical marijuana—should be able to get their medicine from qualified medical marijuana doctors without the fear of arrest.
By keeping medical marijuana illegal we are taking away the right of patients, and our mothers, to have safe and legal access their medicine. This is something that I hope the recent passing of Mother’s Day reminded our legislators.