Tuesday, December 22, 2009

medical marijuana helps many in pain!

SIDNEY — Richard Julien says medical marijuana gave him his life
back. Now he wants to be legal.

Julien, 41, of Rockford, who said he has hepatitis C and other
illnesses, said smoking marijuana daily has allowed him to give up four
high-powered prescription painkillers.

"When I'm medicated (with marijuana), I feel good. When I'm
not, I'm nauseated and I can't sleep," said Julien, one of
50 persons attending a meeting of the Mid Michigan Compassion Club on

Since he began smoking marijuana in 2004, Julien said it has helped him
cope with the side effects of the interferon he takes. It has also
helped him control his temper and lose about 100 pounds.

Since the state rules for medical marijuana were released last spring,
Julien said he has been ripped off by two persons who signed up to
become his legal caregiver.

As the father of two children with a third on the way, Julien said he is
hoping to find a reliable source who can legally supply his need for 28
grams every 10 days. Otherwise, he will grow it at home, he said.

Abraham Scharaswak said he also hopes to find a legal supply to ease his
chronic pain and muscle spasms.

In 2003, the 27-year-old Stanton resident said, he broke his neck in
four places when he was thrown out of a minivan that rolled over. He is
partially paralyzed and uses a motorized wheelchair.

Marijuana has allowed him to go from 14 prescriptions to five or six,
said Schwaraswak, who said he smokes from a pipe four or five times a

"I feel great. I'm not drugged down," the father of two
said. "I'm living a life and that's something I wasn't
able to do for five years."

Toney Smith, of Six Lakes, said marijuana has allowed him to reduce his
intake of Vicodin and Neurontin for pain brought on by arthritis and
three "blown" discs in his back.

Smith, who said he smokes two joints every evening, recently obtained
his medical marijuana registration card.

While he may grow his own supply one day, Smith said he currently is
supplied "through people I know."

Smith, who is employed as a maintenance man at a Remus manufacturing
company, said his employer is aware of his alternative treatment. He
does not smoke before work or during the work day.

"I want to do everything legal," he said. "That's the
whole purpose."

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