Steven B. Thompson
Address messages for this group to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ —
the poll that goes along with this article.
With 91% for the initiative
— Richard Lake <
> Newshawk: Please Tell Veterans about VMMA
Sun, 9 Mar 2008
> Source: Kalamazoo Gazette (MI)
> Webpage: http://drugsense.org/url/svX1yM3F
Copyright: 2008 Kalamazoo Gazette
Chris Killian, Special to the Gazette
> Cited: Veterans for Medical
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Marijuana
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?232 (Chronic
> Anything to Avoid the Pain
> NUCLEAR-BLAST SURVIVOR
HEADS VETERANS FOR MEDICAL
> MARIJUANA ACCESS
— The atomic explosions off remote
> islands in the South
Pacific seemed to turn night into day.
> They also turned Martin
Chilcutt into a marijuana
> Chilcutt said the drug
has helped him to ease the
> pain he says dates
> back to his
exposure to radiation during a 1956 U.S.
testing nuclear and thermonuclear weapons.
> A state ballot
proposal could allow voters in
> November to decide
Chilcutt’s measures to self-medicate should
> be legal in .
> The 74-year-old former intelligence officer with the
> U.S. Naval
> Force has used other medications to help him with
> psychological problems, but marijuana helps "so
> better," he said.
> "Sometimes I just want to die,"
Chilcutt said. "You
> can only take
> intense pain for so long
before you’ll do anything
> to escape it."
> He never
intended to put his health at risk.
> While part of the testing
> remembers, he donned
> large goggles and turned
his back to protect his
> eyes as the bombs
> exploded in the
> There was no protection, though, from
> doses of radiation
> that spewed from the explosions
> He has battled skin cancer three
> carcinoma, the most common form of cancer, with
> about a million
> cases reported in the United States each year. He
> has been
> remission for the past 10 years.
> Making Life
> Chilcutt’s four years in the military — he
> from the middle to
> late 1950s — also took a
psychological toll, he
> For 30 years, he said, he
has suffered chronic
> post-traumatic stress
> disorder, including
bouts of anxiety, depression and
> nightmares, arthritis
and debilitating migraine
> Marijuana helps
them all, he said.
> Although there are different ways to use the
> such as ingesting
> or inhaling it, there is no difference
in the drug’s
> effect based on
> consumption, according to the
Michigan Coalition for
> Care, which is
spearheading the state marijuana
> "It just
makes life so much easier," he said. "It
> allows you to be
> Chilcutt, a retired psychotherapist, said he
> learned of
> marijuana’s medical benefits in the late 1970s
> in . They
> the drug could help
> allay his pain, he said.
> He said he takes eight other medications for
> ailments the
> doesn’t help, including a thyroid condition.
Advocates for the medical use of marijuana say it’s
> also effective in
> easing symptoms from other serious illnesses such as
> glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
> Critics cite a
> report in 2006 that
> said "no sound
scientific studies" support the
> medical use of the drug.
> If the marijuana-use proposal is approved by state
would become the 15th state — and the first in the
> — with a
> law that permits marijuana use for seriously ill
> currently prohibits marijuana use for any reason.
> It’s estimated between 40,000 and 50,000 people —
> 1 percent of Michigan residents — would be
> to use marijuana
> for medical purposes. In states where
the law is now
> in place, it’s
> estimated the same percentage of
> qualify to use the
> drug, according to the
Michigan Coalition for
> Compassionate Care.
federal law, marijuana use is illegal in all
> states. That means
that even if Michigan voters approve the initiative,
> users under the
> law could still be prosecuted. But such prosecution
> has been virtually nonexistent, according to the
> Project, a national group that provided nearly
> of the $1.1
> million used to organize the campaign
> get the proposal approved.
> Taking Risks
> Chilcutt moved to Kalamazoo from four
> ago. He serves
> as executive director of Veterans for
> Marijuana Access, a
> Kalamazoo-based group he founded in
> advocates for safe and
> legal access to marijuana for
> therapeutic uses and
> encourages research on the
drug as an alternative
> "This is my life now
— to help patients," he said.
> His support of marijuana use for
> has prompted him to
> take chances to help those
with serious medical
> issues get access to the drug.
he lived for 15 years, Chilcutt
> joined the
> movement to legalize
marijuana for medical use.
> While campaigning for the
initiative, which became
> law in 2000, a
> marijuana grower
contacted him and asked if he could
> donate marijuana
Chilcutt to distribute to those in need.
> Chilcutt, who then was
leading group-therapy sessions for those close to
> death, including
> people with advanced cancers and ,
> "I took a lot of risks in the past," he said. "But
> believed so much
> in how marijuana could help sick people. I
> care how it helped
> the person, just as long as it did."
burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant." And so it was,and
God was pleased.
given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth for your food." Then God
looked over all that he had made,and it was excellent in every
Taken from "THE LIVING
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