Medical marijuana should be legalized

Published 3:19 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of HB434, The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act. In February 2007, my father was diagnosed with cancer of the liver and the lymph system. He had a grim prognosis: six months with chemotherapy, or less than six months without. As a teenager and a then-high school senior, this was devastating. Not knowing whether my father would live to see me graduate was worse than knowing he would never get to walk me down the aisle or see his grandchildren.

Once Dad started the chemo, he began wasting away. The pharmaceutical medications hardly helped his pain. My mother and I felt helpless. Then we heard about medical marijuana.

Looking at me, one wouldn’t suspect anything beyond a typical college sophomore at the University of Montevallo. But in Alabama, I am a criminal, a willing participant in obtaining marijuana for my cancer-stricken father. For helping my dying father, I could have been arrested, jailed, and lost my college funding. I’d risk it all again to help my dad.

But I shouldn’t have to. Neither should anyone else.

My father passed away in October 2007 at the premature age of 53. I was 18, and while he saw me graduate, he spent more than eight months suffering of cancer, with only illegally-obtained marijuana as relief.

Please make this drug more accessible to those who need it.

Cases like my father’s are why legislators should vote yes on HB434.