Compassion for those who need medical marijuana

My wife is disabled. She is 58 years old, as am I. At one time, she was a wonderful teacher, sales associate for a large telecom and later a vibrant pharmacy technician and caregiver for her disabled father and mother-in-law. She has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She has seizures. They don't know why, but they are documented in a hospital study as not caused by epilepsy.

She can no longer drive nor would I want her to. She wears a morphine patch to get through the day, along with various other drugs. Many days are spent in bed, not because she wants it that way. Sometimes, the pain cannot be fought through, and the best way is not to resist, but other days it is the nausea that forces her to lie down.

The way Maryland law is now written she would have to go on the street to buy marijuana to help with the nausea and pain, and if caught, she could spend time in jail. Imagine if she had a seizure. And then basically defend herself with a doctors note! Does this sound like a reasonable course of action for anyone? Especially for someone married in a stable relationship for 20 years, owns a house, disabled and is 58 years old.

Please. I implore you. Think of the people that are suffering while you hem and haw about this vital issue ("Go slow on marijuana," Jan. 3). To say that more study needs to be done is preposterous. This is a natural, beneficial herb that I would certainly rather see my wife on then morphine. It is known to help in pain relief, increase appetite, decrease nausea, relax muscles and is proven through centuries of use. Studies have shown that cannabis can relieve muscle pain and spasticity in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and can control tremors.

We as a caring people must allow others who suffer to benefit from something natural known to help them. We fast track artificial drugs without knowing the side effects only to find out later that some of them are not beneficial at all. My wife has taken some of them. Yet to deny her and others with similar needs when the facts are known is just cruel and uncaring. Hopefully, we can come together to help the people who need without the undue hardship they are now facing.

What's required is what politics, in general, lacks: compassion.

Don Selig, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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