Increasingly Desperate

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 16, 2004

Dear Editor,
   I want to thank you and writer Jordan Smith for another courageous, well-researched, and most enlightening story, this one on medical marijuana ["The Supremes Take a Hit," News, Dec. 10].
   I have MS, intractable pain from a life-changing spinal injury, and unfortunately a true allergy to narcotic analgesics. With intense pain radiating down both legs, agonizing muscle spasms, and nerve pain from the MS, I typically sleep a very interrupted two-to-three hours a night, but I still have to work or lose coverage for the $1,800 MS medicine I need monthly. I work hard in physical therapy and have endured 12 epidural cortisone injections (so far) for my spinal problems, but there's no way to fix me, so this is it.
   As a (native) Texan I’m a medical marijuana patient "wannabe," who finds, after 54 years, that she's been living in the wrong state. (Maybe the wrong country, especially since the last election.) Doctors agree I’d likely benefit from cannabis, but they'd lose their licenses if they even suggest it in Texas.
   Obviously many people have much worse problems than mine; I'm always grateful that I'm not homeless or starving, and nobody's shooting at me. But it really pisses me off that I have more pain and disability because I’m a Texan, and because of an unconstitutional, politically motivated prohibition that helps virtually no one and literally hurts millions of us. Financial limitations and the inevitability of further medical deterioration preclude relocating to a medical-marijuana state, much less to Canada, because I’d be leaving my family, friends, doctors, and insurance coverage behind. Plus, as your article pointed out, the feds could still bust me in a medical marijuana state anyway.
   Something needs to change, and I thank you again for your help in that direction.
Appreciatively, and increasingly desperately,
Cathey Thomas
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