Mar. 28, 00
By Cynthia Linet
David Shapiro's March 11 diatribe against medical marijuana, and his implication that Big Island marijuana growers are behind the medical marijuana bills at the Legislature, is insulting. In June 1998, I went through surgery for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of my spine, then almost six months of chemotherapy. I tried prescription remedies for nausea and loss of appetite, but they didn't work. Then I told (not asked) my doctor that I would try marijuana. This was frightening for me because, as an attorney, I knew my use of the illegal substance could jeopardize my license to practice law. I used minute amounts of marijuana and found it not only relieved my nausea and loss of appetite within seconds, but alleviated my anxiety as well. I kept taking small amounts of marijuana, even when I wasn't nauseous. It kept me calm through a scary and difficult time.
When I was cured, I stopped taking the herb without any withdrawal symptoms. I haven't used it since. Shapiro has the right to think whatever he wants about allowing medical use of marijuana, and if he chooses not to try it for his own multiple sclerosis symptoms, that's his call. But if others with MS or other debilitating conditions find relief from marijuana, why deny them? Six other states have approved medical marijuana and the sky hasn't fallen. Give sick people in Hawaii this option.

Cynthia Linet Hilo
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