420 Magazine Background




DOVER TOWNSHIP -- Cheryl Miller lost her battle with multiple sclerosis
last Saturday, but her fight to legalize marijuana for medical purposes
will be continued by her husband, Jim.

Cheryl Miller, from the Silverton section, died June 7 at age 56. She had
suffered from MS -- a debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous
system -- for more than 32 years. She found that marijuana eased her pain,
but often went without the substance because it is illegal in New Jersey
and has not been approved for medical use, except in a handful of states
and in Canada.

Jim Miller, a carpenter, has been on a 10-year crusade to bring about the
legal use of medical marijuana in New Jersey, to provide some relief for
his long-suffering wife and others in similar situations.

He has written more than 100 letters to legislators, protested nine times
near the White House, and once pushed his wife in a wheelchair from Seaside
Heights to Trenton, drawing media attention to her plight.

"If she had been allowed to use marijuana, she definitely would have
suffered less, and she may have lived longer," Miller said by telephone
from Oklahoma, where he had returned this week with his wife's cremated
remains to inter them in her native state.

He said he would continue to campaign for the medical use of marijuana on
the state and federal levels.

The Millers, invoking a state law passed in 1981, pressed the state to ask
Washington for permission to do medical marijuana studies involving doctors
and their patients. The state Department of Health and Human Services, in a
letter dated Nov. 5, 2002, denied the Millers' request, stating there are
viable treatment alternatives to marijuana.

Miller said he will try again, and has already sent a letter to state Sen.
Andrew Ciesla, R-Ocean, asking him to renew the request to Washington.

Ciesla could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Miller also supports legislation now in the House of Representatives to
allow states to decide for themselves on the legality of marijuana.

Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., whose constituency includes Burlington,
Gloucester and Camden counties, changed his stance from opposing medical
marijuana to supporting it after meeting Cheryl Miller about three years ago.

"After meeting Cheryl, I asked myself why should a government get between a
patient and her doctor?" Andrews said. "I have faith in physicians. If her
doctor was willing to prescribe marijuana for her, the government should
not second-guess."

Andrews said there is little hope that the current legalization proposal
will pass, but that the effort to get patients the marijuana they need
would, eventually, succeed.

Pubdate: Sat, 14 Jun 2003
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Webpage: http://www.app.com/app2001/story/0,21133,750969,00.html
Copyright: 2003 Asbury Park Press
Contact: yourviews@app.com
Website: Asbury Park Press NJ | Jersey Shore & New Jersey News
Top Bottom