Mr. Evans, who is not a doctor and doesn’t specialize in any of the illnesses he cites, overextends his expertise when he advises me and other readers that medical marijuana does not help me and others like me.
I have Parkinson’s disease, and I have used marijuana on occasion to relieve the uncomfortable stiffness that I suffer from time to time. It works.
Mr. Evans insists that “numerous safe and effective F.D.A.-approved medications are available for these conditions.” He’s right; I’m on several of them. But these drugs have unpleasant and, in one case, potentially debilitating side effects when used on a long-term basis. How easy it is for an anti-marijuana crusader to dismiss its medical benefits; how wrong he is to advocate denying me something that eases my suffering.
New York, Dec. 14, 2011
For me, this point really cuts directly through all the distracting nonsense people like David Evans keep peddling. Leaving aside the disingenuous arguments that the science doesn't confirm marijuana's medical efficacy (it does), that prominent medical associations don't support it (they do), that the drug's availability will cause crime (it doesn't), or that compassionate laws send the wrong message to children (they don't), the medical marijuana debate really comes down to a decision about how to deal with sick people who choose this drug as part of their treatment.
Does anyone think that this Parkinson's patient, Ed Sikov, should be put in handcuffs, dragged down to the police station and charged with a crime because he finds marijuana helpful for mitigating his stiffness?