TEXAS – The irony of so many people losing sleep over marijuana is obvious, but for Tim Timmons, who primarily uses it to go to bed at night, it’s no laughing matter. He lives in Texas, a state that is not quite ready to recognize marijuana for medical reason, and he’s drawing support from many well respected community leaders.
Mr. Timmons suffers from chronic pain and has been relieving his symptoms, including neuropathic pain, for over five years. but doing so as a criminal. In a grassroots effort to bring that conversation to Dallas, prominent Dallas lawyer Brain Cuban, brother of Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner) hopes to “reach out to our representatives to show there are people suffering.”
Another community leader is Law Enforcement Against Prohibition member and 28-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department Nick Novello. “I’m all for the legalization and regulation of that narcotic,” said Officer Nick Novello, who believes the cost to society is too great and by having a legal market for marijuana it will reduce crime by reducing the power gangs and cartels have over a community. He supports ending prohibition because he believes it would mean fewer unnecessary arrests, “The cost to society is great. We lose productive people. The cost to that life is simply unacceptable.”
For Timmons, who can go to sleep with safe medicine and wake up with less pain, and for patients like myself who do the same, it’s truly insulting when compassionate takes a back seat to opinion.
Dr. Donna Barsky is quoted on channel 11 CBS affiliate in Dallas that “it’s a fad” and goes on to suggest it may decreases a patient’s quality of life. She goes on to make blatantly irrational statements like “not only are they taking in THC, but they’re inhaling… carinogens that can create cancer and lung issues.”
This conversation has become so loud across America that even informed doctor like Ms. Barsky certainly must know there are many ways to ingest cannabinoids, one being available to her in pill form made by a pharmaceutical company and prescribed by doctors like her (Marinol).
Furthermore, Dr. Tashkin has repeatedly proved smoked cannabis does not cause lung cancer. In fact, cannabis is known to help heal cancer cells, including in cases where lungs are concerned, and while further research needs to be done on this claim, we cannot allow our doctors to continue making false statements, intentional or otherwise.
We tried to contact Dr. Barsky on numerous occasions but our attempts went unreturned (although someone from her office did acknowledge our body’s endogenous cannabinoid system and was aware of the potentially healing properties within the plant).
The medical community needs to take a close look at some of the illegitimate practices that have become commonplace amongst a small group within the medical community. Most doctors want to help us heal. Obviously Dr. Barsky is misinformed about our endogenous cannabinoid system, but that’s no excuse.
One patient, Irvin Rosenfeld, has written a book called My Medicine, where he has detailed accounts of what it is like to participate in the IND Program, along with Elvy Musikka, who are both very vocal participants of the program, and deserve our respect, compassion, and certainly our open minds. Irvin’s book highlights the tribulations he has experienced as a federal program participant, and his book begs the question: “If marijuana is prescribed to citizens in a federal program because of the healing properties of the plant for their medical conditions (Irvin has many tumors throughout his body while Elvy has glaucoma), how can doctors like Barsky deny the evidence?
If it’s a fad, it’s a 5,000 year old fad. Funny that the backwards thinking people on the other end of this struggle can only see back roughly 60-80 years, omitting the many stated uses for cannabis throughout millenniums, right up through the early twentieth century when the U.S. official policy was reefer madness, yet the madness is what they hold on to. And if they saw the future they would see where medical marijuana is going, yet they resist fact and information and want to deny others the right to a better quality of life. For patients like Mr. Timmons, it’s a good thing forward thinking people like Mr. Cuban and Officer Novello are out there helping to grow this grassroots conversation, pun intended, ironically.