Letters: Bill C-7

CC Summer 1995: Letters: Medical Marijuana

Dear Sirs:

Read your January issue with so much interest, particularly the article on
Bill C-7.
We were prompted to write Mr. Szabo and get the minutes of the
sub-committee hearings. Very interesting reading. When one looks at the
questions being asked and the replies received some very interesting
deductions can be made.

Our interest in Bill C-7 is probably a little more intense than most
people’s. My friend and I are facing cultivation charges. My friend has a
condition known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). This syndrome has to do
with cell connectivity and elasticity. It affects the structure of the
collagen fibrils that compose the cell. This makes her structurally weaker
than most of us.

Those suffering from EDS are also prone to glaucoma and other
symptoms. With my friend’s type, arterial fragility may manifest as sudden
death, stroke, shock from retroperitoneal or intra-abdominal bleeding, or
compartmental syndromes, depending on the site of the rupture. My friend
has already lost the use of one eye and is legally blind in the other. She
also suffers with chronic severe muscle cramps.

We got busted last September. After not smoking for six weeks afterwards,
she went into what looked to me like a seizure. She stopped breathing, her
heart stopped beating, and I experienced the most fearful minutes of my
life as I frantically performed mouth to mouth and CPR while getting an
ambulance. We live in a small town twenty minutes from the nearest hospital
so I had lots of time to freak.

She was taken to the local hospital where her personal physician assisted
in opening her up when evidence pointed to her appendix. Her abdominal
cavity was full of blood. They closed her back up and shipped her to
University Hospital in London. She was found to have had an arterial venous
fistula, a blowout in the artery.

The very skilled staff here was stymied as to treatment because at this
same time she got a blood clot in her leg. This prevented them from giving
her the coagulant that one would normally give and blood clots are usually
treated with a blood thinner. So the only thing possible to do was wait and
see if her body was capable of repairing itself, maybe removing the leg if
necessary. Thankfully she recovered.

I have mechanical problems with my back that generate a lot of pain. The
two of us find that marijuana allows us to get through our day and take
care of ourselves in a way that just isn’t possible without it. Growing
your own medicine is much more satisfying than going to the pharmacy and
picking up who-knows-what, or going out on the street and buying from

We wrote to the sub-committee and told them our views; it was very hard not
to be angry and derogatory when putting that together. Dr. Fry wrote back
and thanked us for the eloquent brief so I guess we didn’t come off too

Sincerely yours,
Wayne F. Harms & B.A. Rochford


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