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Our readers speak out

Marijuana helps MS sufferer

I am a 45 year old granny, and I smoke marijuana for medicinal reasons.

I was 25 when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor told me it was a painful, crippling disease and I would end up in a wheel chair. He gave me prescriptions for the arthritis and pain and sleeping pills.

Some of the pills had side effects and I would have to change to different ones. My arthritis was getting worse and I was depressed all the time. I started taking anti-depressants. For years I abused codeine, anti-depressants and sleeping pills. I don’t smoke tobacco ro drink alcohol. My friends smoked marijuana but it didn’t interest me to try it.

I smoked my first joint when I was 30. One night I was in a lot of pain and feeling terribly uncomfortable. My friend Ed was with me and said he had heard marijuana helps relieve pain. I was willing to try anything and had a few tokes. After a few minutes I was relaxed and the pain seemed to have dulled. I was also more limber with my joints. I had a very restful sleep that night.

I have been smoking marijuana every day since then. I have also been happier and no longer need anti-depressants. I now control my pain with marijuana. Although my doctor knows I smoke marijuana, he will not help me because it is against the law.

I told my children that I smoked marijuana, and that it helped relieve the pain from the arthritis. I have never smoked in front of them and never left any paraphernalia around. My children are young adults now with families of their own. They do not smoke marijuana, but I have their support.

My friend supplied me with marijuana, and two years ago showed me how to grow my own. I now supply myself.

I have never been an activist before, but I want people to know that I am not hurting anyone when I smoke marijuana. I am trying to make my life with arthritis easier to manage. The pain is less and my grandchildren, family and friends see a happier me.

I spoke at the first National Medical Marijuana Day on November 15, 1994, in Washington DC, and I was at the Grasstown and Cannabis Canada Day rallies in Vancouver. I even went to a Harvest Festival in Madison, Wisconsin.

I have never been in trouble with the law, but because I smoke and grow marijuana, I am made to feel like a criminal. I should not have to feel guilty for smoking something that controls my pain and helps with my emotional well being.

We should be able to smoke marijuana freely, for whatever reason, and we must change the laws.

Sincerely and hempfully,
Margaret, BC

Thank you for your testimonial to the medicinal benefits of marijuana. We encourage other readers who use marijuana for medical reasons to contact us with their stories.


Pot goes to the dogs

I am from Yellowknife, and I once had the experience of running a dog team and caring for about 50 dogs. We often had the odd litter that developed a disease called Parvo. Parvo dehydrates the animal until it finally dies.

I had never seen a puppy with Parvo survive, until one day I had an idea. I would often smoke pot while feeding the animals, and I figured that these puppies needed something that would make them come down with a serious case of munchies.

So I got half of the pups from a litter that all had this disease. We got the pups high and it worked, they ate. So every day we would get them high until they were eating on their own. They lived, but only the half of the litter that we got high.

I just though I should pass on what I learned to other
animal lovers.

Always Wondering,

Steve L,
Yellowknife, Northwest Territory

Smoke ’em if you got ’em

High! My name is Eric and I have to say that I just started to read your magazine and I absolutely love it. It’s about time that the tokers of Canada have a place to be heard without the biased government twisting the story to their will.

I don’t know why most tokers try to stay hidden away from public places to smoke a joint. I used to do that, until the past few months when I said “screw it” and spark them up no matter where I am. If I’m walking down the street, or waiting at the bus stop, I just light one up.

Who cares if I get strange looks from people, I’m just smoking weed. The stuff has been around for thousands of years. I just wish that Canada could adopt the marijuana laws that Holland has.

If I want to have a beer or a glass of fine wine nobody gives it a second thought. But if I want to smoke a joint, I’m looked upon as some kind of junkie. What gives them the right to choose how I unwind at the end of the day?

Keep up the good fight!

Yours truly,
Eric F

Tobacco Wars Continued

David Malmo-Levine objected to two points made in my article on tobacco, (“The Other Demon Weed” CC#8). Specifically, David disagreed with Robert Parker’s statement, “the decision to smoke, or not, is one for informed adults to make”, pointing out that US tobacco companies spend “$4 a year for every man, woman and child” in the US on tobacco advertising.

I’m not sure about David, but glossy advertisements will never convince me that smoking cigarettes will get me laid. Despite the relatively tiny budget the US Dept of Health and Human Services dedicates to educating Americans, I doubt that there is a man, woman or child in the US who remains unaware of the harmful effects of tobacco use.

David also objected to my likening the dangers of second-hand tobacco smoke to chronic cookie consumption, citing a University of California study which concluded that second-hand smoke is, “the third leading cause of preventable death, behind smoking and tobacco.”

A contradictory study just published in the International Journal of Cancer has found that the risks associated with dietary sugar and fat are far greater than those attributed to second-hand smoke. The study, entitled “Dietary Fat and Lung Cancer Risk in Uruguay,” compared the smoking and dietary histories of 377 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients with 377 control subjects and concluded that, people who were heavy consumers of dairy products had a 185% greater risk of developing lung cancer. Heavy intake of fried foods increased the risk by 54% and desserts notched up the risk 152% more.

A report from the US Environmental Protection Agency shows only a 19% increase in the incidence of lung cancer among non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke, far less than the risks associated with diet that the Uruguay study reported and far less than the risks associated with living in urban areas with poor air quality.

David wrote, “people who are easily abused should be protected from second-hand tobacco smoke just as they are protected from … benzene and radon” To my knowledge, no parents or guardians have ever been charged with abuse for failing to test their homes for radon or for failing to provide an optimal diet.

I agree that parents should not expose their children to second-hand smoke, but in my opinion the risks of second-hand smoke are not grounds for state intervention.

Matthew Elrod

Well, Thank You

I wish to express my gratitude and congratulate the people that work for Canabis Canada in all its forms. I bought my first copy at the local book shop. I was delightfully surprised to see a copy of issue #6 in amongst some other magazines. I bought it to support the shop at first, and then I fell in love with the magazine.

Marijuana can be as simple or as complicated as you like, and I appreciate the way your publication reflects this. When I saw that you have back issues for public viewing on the internet, I was truly blown away. You have created a uniquely Canadian site that is rich and informative. The spirit of your whole organization shines through.


The Healing Flower

I am 75 years of age, retired from practice (psychiatry) and benefitting from the use of cannabis, to which I was introduced under the auspices of the wise and judicious Alan Watts. in Dallas, Texas, in 1966.

A younger friend from that era, while visiting me earlier this year, in response to my encouraging him to join or sup

port NORML, said “But Howard ? it just goes on, and on, and on.” We all have felt this ennui and frustration, confronted by the almost unyielding closed minds of those who support, although passively, the “war on drugs”.

We should not fail to assert, in any context or situation, that cannabis is not a drug (drugs come from factories or laboratories) but, “a flower”, as Willie Nelson said.

What got me started on this in the first place was your adage: Prohibition hurts, Marijuana heals. So apt!

Howard, [email protected]finis




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