Multiple Sclerosis by John Precup

Julie Gardener

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Date of birth: 10/20/63. I am divorced 2/94. I have no children. I have been on social security disability since 11/93. I graduated from high school in 1982 and the Ohio School of Broadcasting 7/84. I used cannabis recreationally in high school, but my use greatly diminished after graduation. I wanted to move into the world of the adult and didn't have time or desire to "party" all the time. Even at that age I saw some of the hidden benefits of cannabis, i.e., appetite.
The following is taken from my testimony in front of the Ohio House Judiciary Subcommittee on January 1997:

I was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis in 1986, after waking up on the morning of April 5th with the worst case of the spins imaginable. I thought I was experiencing the aftereffects of alcohol. The next seven days were the worst in my life. On April 6th I was admitted to the hospital for seven days and the spinning continued for six days straight. When I was sent home the dizziness had subsided a little, but I still could not function well at all. I was prescribed the drug Compazine [prochlorperazine] by my neurologist from the onset. It had little effect on the nausea and no effect on the appetite even when the dosage was doubled after a couple of weeks of feeling sick and not eating, I had lost 15 pounds and no medication was helping. It was then that I decided to try smoking marihuana. I must admit that I did not have much hope, but something had to be done. At first I felt worse, but after the effects of the smoke were gone, I began to relax and, lo and behold, began to get an appetite. I think most doctors would agree with me that having a good mental attitude is very important in dealing with an illness. Being able to not only have an appetite, but actually to enjoy eating is one way to maintain a decent standard of living. I briefly discussed the benefits I had been seeing from the marihuana with my neurologist, Dr. Vilnius S. Ciemins, upon my initial office visit with him in 1986, but did not feel comfortable pursuing the matter any further. The fact that this was an illegal drug made it seem wrong, and I thought he might not want to see me as a patient any longer. Since that time I have used marihuana to try to maintain a healthy body weight. For a year I had prescription drugs sitting on the counter as the marihuana was more effective. I use marihuana daily as needed. With multiple sclerosis every day is different, so I never use the same amount two days in a row. I have never been in trouble with the law.

John Precup

Source: Comments and Observations
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