Medical Pot: One Patient’s Plea

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PHOTO: Jim and Cheryl Miller. A heroic activist to her last breath, Cheryl passed away without legal access to medicinal cannabis. Source: Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey

An open letter to NJ Governor Chris Christie:

Please understand that patients don’t count compromises, small steps and delays in days and months. We count them in seizures and suicides, in agonized deaths and painfully shortened lives. We measure them in gallons of vomit, pounds of dangerously dropped weight and crippling muscle spasms. If you or your bill fail, you can regroup, maneuver and come back next session. We can’t say that for certain about ourselves. The stakes are a bit higher for us.

Even the noble Governor can’t make death compromise or take a small step. In urging me as a patient to accept small steps and compromise, you are asking me to trade my life for a gold star and the comfort that, some day, someone will eventually get the medicine which would have kept me alive.

Making a sacrifice of life by choice for a noble cause is one thing. But do not believe for a moment that I will ever agree to sacrifice my life to deliberate ignorance, beef-witted stubbornness, petty cruelty and political malfeasance. That’s what we’ve got in New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Program.

Patients need a political posse to take science and sociology in hand, track down and cage the marauding bear of a Governor who damages us, cradled newborns to death-bed seniors, in the name of something other than truth, reason and governance, we know not what.

Terry Stern, 62, is a homebound patient and cannabis activist. He also writes theory of politics, economics and cognition. He lives in Pennsauken, NJ with his wife, Marci.