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  A Medical Marijuana Casualty
Posted by CN Staff on October 30, 2007 at 07:54:58 PT
By Tom Daubert  
Source: Helena Independent Record  

medical Montana -- The nation’s DEA agents can sleep a little easier tonight. They now have one less medical marijuana patient to worry about policing.

That’s because Montana’s leading medical marijuana patient-activist took her own life last week, a direct result of DEA actions earlier this year. Today, as the sad news spreads, every patient in the state and all their relatives and friends grieve the loss of Robin Prosser.

It’s time for our federal government to end its anti-scientific and brutal war — a war not on drugs, but on sick people like Robin.

For 22 years, Robin suffered the ravages of systemic lupus, a chronic condition that causes the immune system to attack one’s own organs and tissues. For Robin, lupus meant a life of unrelenting pain and diverse, horrific side-effects. She was allergic to most of the prescription drugs her physicians tried. Only medical marijuana brought her the relief and comfort that made living bearable.

In 2002, Robin made national news by conducting a hunger strike to protest her inability to acquire and use marijuana legally. In 2004, she played an active role in Montana’s medical marijuana initiative campaign, appearing in TV and radio ads and writing letters to newspapers about the initiative’s importance.

Also in 2004, she attempted suicide. She had run out of medical marijuana and couldn’t find any. Plunged again to the depths of her body’s physical and emotional misery, Robin preferred death to the nightmare of ceaseless pain. Amazingly, Missoula police at the time helped her doctor save her life — and then promptly charged her with the “crime” of possessing a pipe with some marijuana residue staining its insides.

Several months later, 62 percent of Montanans — the highest percentage ever obtained in a public vote on the subject — made medical marijuana legal for patients like Robin. Today, people from more than half the state’s counties are legally registered patients in the program, based on recommendations from 130 physicians.

But the overpowering strength of Montana’s vote — more than voted for Bush, for our governor, for our congressman — wasn’t enough to resolve Robin Prosser’s predicament. While physician recommendations are confidential and fully protected by law and by court decisions, the federal government persists in its persecution of patients. Earlier this year, the DEA intercepted a shipment of legal medicine that was on its way to Robin. Since then, the living hell of her body’s condition reawakened, as many registered caregivers in Montana became too afraid of the government to supply her with medicine. Several began growing the strain of medical marijuana that worked best for her, but it takes months of careful work to produce it — time that Robin, in the end, couldn’t endure.

This is a state’s rights issue, and Montana voters deserve to have their policy honored. This is also a science issue, and Americans deserve a federal government that is intellectually honest enough to acknowledge the existence of hundreds of scientific research reports published in peer-reviewed professional journals over the last several decades, documenting the remarkable medicinal effects of marijuana.

And we in Montana have a special axe to grind, even without Robin Prosser’s passing. That’s because the only serious study of long-term medicinal use of marijuana is commonly called “The Missoula Study,” because its lead author happened to live in Missoula, Mont., at the time it was conducted.

Dr. Ethan Russo is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on cannabis (marijuana) and its use as medicine. His “Missoula Study,” published in 2002, reported on the experience of patients who had received and used eight ounces of medical marijuana every month since the 1980s. The patients got (and still get) their monthly marijuana from — are you ready for this? — the federal government, the same government that seized Robin Prosser’s medicine. Dr. Russo’s research documented that medical marijuana relieved all the patients’ suffering better than “traditional” alternatives, and allowed sharp reductions in their need for more expensive, riskier drugs at the same time.

It’s progress, at least, that all the Democratic presidential candidates and two of the Republicans have gone on record promising to end federal attacks on medical marijuana patients. And it’s important progress that Montana’s Congressman Denny Rehberg has supported this same position ever since his constituents adopted a compassionate state policy.

But we’ve had enough tragedies. Let Robin Prosser be the last casualty of the federal war on medical marijuana.

Tom Daubert is a writer who worked on Montana’s medical marijuana initiative campaign and helped create Patients & Families United: http://www.mtmjpatients.org

Robin Prosser: Forbidden Medicine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuxHvCDdNzc

Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)
Author: Tom Daubert
Published: October 30, 2007
Copyright: 2007 Helena Independent Record
Contact: irstaff@helenair.com
Website: http://www.helenair.com/

Related Articles:

Medical Marijuana Advocate Kills Herself
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23438.shtml

Prosser Commits Suicide
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23433.shtml

The Missoula Study
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread16656.shtml


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Comment #9 posted by Storm Crow on October 31, 2007 at 06:35:39 PT
This keeps going through my head........
If everyone cared,

and nobody cried,

if everyone loved,

and nobody lied,

if everyone shared,

and swallowed their pride,

then we'd see the day,

that nobody died.

I say amen,

Amen I,

Amen I,

I'm alive,

Amen I,

Amen I,

I'm alive...

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by The GCW on October 30, 2007 at 20:39:15 PT
I like Tom Daubert's jab.
I like Tom Daubert's jab.

"The nation’s DEA agents can sleep a little easier tonight. They now have one less medical marijuana patient to worry about policing."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by museman on October 30, 2007 at 12:56:51 PT
the verdict is in
"When greed is king over human life we need to have our collective heads examinded."

No disagreement to the sentiment, however I feel compelled to point out that not only has the 'collective head' been examined numerous times, in probably every culture ever to walk the earth, but the results have been widely published.

Greed for wealth and power has been the RULE in human society, just as the tendency of the masses to deny the obvious has been the tool of greedy men -since the first RULERS established their 'state.'

Humankind, and now the entire earth itself, has been immersed in the need for greed, since the first scribes started keeping records for their greedy rulers. This rule has been challenged over and over, but alas, usually only by individual 'leaders' whose followers (apparently) could not do so on their own- which has made the concept of law enforcement a viable tool in preventing spiritual growth in humanity; cut off the head and the body dies. That is the end result of every 'movement' that has been dependent on leaders to accomplish goals. Death is an ally of greedy men.

The 'collective head' has been up the 'collective butt' for so long it doesn't even know it exists. Fortunately for those who like hanging out in smelly darkness, waiting for some savior or something to yank them back out into reality, there is actually a collective consiousness that is embracing the truth no matter the fact that there are still a lot of lemmings who are quite content to maintain their lifestyles and support the greed of their masters.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 30, 2007 at 09:24:57 PT
More Articles About Robin
Liberty or Death

Monday, October 29, 2007

http://waiting-for-rain.blogspot.com/2007/10/liberty-or-death.html

***

The Immorality of Opposing Medical Marijuana

Oct 30th, 2007 by Michael van der Galiën

http://mvdg.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/the-immorality-of-opposing-medical-marijuana/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 30, 2007 at 08:31:29 PT
Robin Prosser
Robin Prosser Memorial Patients’ Legal Defense Fund

http://www.mtmjpatients.org/robin.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Truth on October 30, 2007 at 08:23:04 PT
the key
"and allowed sharp reductions in their need for more expensive, riskier drugs at the same time."

..the main reason that the professionally advised congress keeps cannabis illegal. Kind of reminds me of the tobacco companys. When greed is king over human life we need to have our collective heads examinded.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 30, 2007 at 08:13:22 PT
dongenero
Yes it would be a sweet tribute to MBC.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by dongenero on October 30, 2007 at 08:11:39 PT
Robin's legacy?
Wouldn't it be sweet tribute to MBC if her tragedy would become a turning point in this horrible war against US citizens by the Government?

Is there hope for America?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by dongenero on October 30, 2007 at 08:07:38 PT
POW!!!!!
This is a state’s rights issue, and Montana voters deserve to have their policy honored. This is also a science issue, and Americans deserve a federal government that is intellectually honest enough to acknowledge the existence of hundreds of scientific research reports published in peer-reviewed professional journals over the last several decades, documenting the remarkable medicinal effects of marijuana.

So simple and so blatantly true.

[ Post Comment ]


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