Taking Marijuana Message Out West

Taking Marijuana Message Out West
Posted by CN Staff on February 07, 2008 at 05:10:49 PT
By Jason Claffey
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat 
Manchester, NH -- The rare form of muscular dystrophy Clayton Holton suffers from has chipped away at his body to the point where he weighs 80 pounds — even though he's 6 feet, 2 inches tall.Clayton has been in a wheelchair since he was 10. His disease, Duchenne's syndrome, has robbed him of his ability to walk, shriveled his arms to the size and shape of a baseball bat handle, and burrowed a 6-inch crater in the center of his chest.
One thing the disease hasn't eaten away at is his eyes. They're huge, blue, and full. Holton boarded a plane to California from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport late last month because he refused to die at the Riverside Rest Home in Dover, where the OxyContin he was taking caused him to lose more and more weight; where he'd sit around all day surrounded by people older than his grandparents; where, at 22, he was the youngest nursing home patient in the state of New Hampshire. He would not die in that situation. He would not waste away to nothing.Basically, Clayton went to California so he can legally smoke marijuana. He and his doctors say it's the only thing that alleviates his pain.He doesn't smoke marijuana simply for recreational purposes. He says it takes away the pain in his chest and in his back. It takes away the fatigue from sitting in a wheelchair all day. It relaxes him. It makes him want to eat.OxyContin doesn't do that for him. The drug, notorious for being abused on the street, takes away his appetite, gives him headaches, drains his energy, changes his personality. When he's on OxyContin, his eyes are red, his skin is white and he lies in bed for hours because he's so tired. He literally can't move. He doesn't want to be around people when he's on OxyContin. He can't eat anything. He's tried other drugs, like Vicodin and Percocet, and says both make him feel the same way.Tim White, a doctor and medical marijuana advocate, heard about Clayton from Elizabeth Kucinich, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. White paid for Clayton to fly to California and arranged for him to stay at a medical facility in Santa Barbara for the next eight months. Clayton plans on being a spokesman for a variety of medical marijuana groups while in California, where the drug is legal for medicinal purposes."I can't wait to get out of here. I need to get out of here," Clayton said from the nursing home two days before he left for California. "This is actually happening."He smiled. So much has gone wrong in Clayton's short life — his parents divorced when he was young, he was hit by a car while crossing the street in his wheelchair when he was 16, he says he and his mother don't speak anymore — that going to California is one thing that's finally gone right.The California trip was the culmination of a four-month personal campaign he started when he moved to Riverside. Medical marijuana is illegal in New Hampshire, and Clayton wanted to change that. He sent hundreds of e-mails to medical marijuana groups, presidential candidates, and anyone and everyone who he thought could help. He started a MySpace page. He posted videos of himself on YouTube.He worked with Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana, and a representative drove him around New Hampshire to town hall meetings before the primary so he could ask presidential candidates about their position on medical marijuana. A now-famous clip of him challenging a flustered Mitt Romney was broadcast on CNN and posted on YouTube.Clayton was supposed to meet with Dennis Kucinich, but the Ohio Congressman had to fly back to Washington the day he was scheduled to stop at the Riverside nursing home. Instead, Clayton got to meet his wife, Elizabeth, a tall, striking Englishwoman with movie-star looks. Clayton talked with her for an hour. It was one of the best days of his life.Clayton went to the Kucinich campaign's New Year's party, and he has stayed in touch with Elizabeth over the past few weeks. "She's the one behind all this," Clayton said of the California trip. "She's smart. She cares about people. She's an amazing woman."At 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, the day Clayton went to the airport, his father, Brian, and his cousin picked him up at Riverside. Clayton was already packed and ready go, and the three of them quickly boarded the elevator. Before the doors shut, a nurse waved goodbye."See you later ... for the last time, hopefully," she said.Brian hates that his son had to go to Riverside, but there was no other option. When Clayton left the home where he had been living, Brian couldn't care for him because his home isn't set up to accommodate Clayton and he has to work all the time to get out of debt.Brian say he has tried to do the right thing for his son, visiting him at the nursing home and supporting his efforts to legalize medical marijuana. He understands that the drug alleviates his pain, and wishes New Hampshire would legalize it for medicinal use. He's proud that Clayton is moving out to California."He's done all this on his own," Brian said at the airport, as Clayton was going through a security checkpoint. "(Going to California) will help him, if anything. It could keep him alive longer."Brian gave his son a hug and watched as he slowly made his way through the security line. Brian started to talk about what Clayton was like as a young child, before the disease ravaged his body."I bought him a three-wheeler. He rode that all the time," Brian said. "He was a normal kid."He said Clayton's had a tough life, that he's had to deal with too many awful things. He knows that getting on that airplane was the best thing he could've done — that it was the path to a better life. He wants to see his son live as long as he can, as comfortably as he can. He said he's going to furnish his home to accommodate Clayton when he comes back.Leaning against a railing near the boarding gate, lost in thought, Brian suddenly looked up. "Do you see Clayton? I think he's gone," he said, scanning the crowd in the restricted area of the gate."Yep, he's gone."Complete Title: Taking Marijuana Message Out West: MD Victim Heads To California To AdvocateSource: Foster's Daily Democrat (NH)Author: Jason ClaffeyPublished: Thursday, February 7, 2008Copyright: 2008 Geo. J. Foster Co.Contact: letters fosters.comWebsite: Staters Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on February 08, 2008 at 06:04:24 PT
A truly brave young man.
May God bless him mightily.
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Comment #8 posted by RevRayGreen on February 07, 2008 at 20:57:14 PT
I found it
please send this kid some CN love.....
Clayton Holton MySpace
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Comment #7 posted by RevRayGreen on February 07, 2008 at 20:47:41 PT
Clayton thank you
anyone know if he has a myspace ? I'll look. Your a brave soldier kid.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on February 07, 2008 at 12:59:37 PT
Bye, bye, Mitt Romney 
Bye, bye, Mitt Romney. You went down.McCain's next.Any politician that thinks it's ok to cage sick citizens for using cannabis but think it's ok to use Class A narcotics is a problem for human life.This issue will come up for McCain.Among other things, it will cost Him and He will not be president.
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Comment #5 posted by Dankhank on February 07, 2008 at 12:44:21 PT
I believe I have made MY personal feelings clear and suspect that most in here have, too. We're all pretty much the same in here, disgusted with the current administration for their evil persecution of sick people.Yes, the last administration was hardly better, and it behooves us to remember.However ... I see no hope from ANY Repug this time, including Rpaul, since, he will make life easier for million of so folks like us while making life hard for most everyone else, including us for many other reasons.That said, I welcome Democratic promises to end raids on the sick, if they materialize. There is a strong movement that can only get stronger that operates in spite of who is in charge and is progressing ... though not fast enough for us.I harbor no illusions about how hard it will be.In the local rag, today, here in SW OK.21 means 21 in Lawton the "more" section that requires registration:violators who sell to minors can be fined up to $500 AND/OR jailed for up to 30 days.andAlcohol is the No. 1 drug of choice for teenagers, and sometimes they are unaware of its impact on their decision-making abilitiesalcohol kills more young people than all other drugs combined.500 dollars ... 30 days ...anyhoo ...I don';t care if you blast Dems, they need it, too.Peace to all who educate.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on February 07, 2008 at 09:15:23 PT
hidden from view
You won't see this in the mainstream media. They don't want you to know that Kucinich is the only decent man (or woman) running for the Dem. nomination.This is the sad, untold story of medical MJ. The story of our cruel, compassion-less corporate and govermental culture.  The madness of the "Land of the Free" that jails people for picking flowers off plant.  Or forces them to suffer in needless pain.  Mr. Clayton's courage is astonishing, most people in his situation wouldn't even have the energy to pick up the phone to make a call.There are hundreds and thousands of desperate people like this in every state where med MJ is illegal.  These people are literally sacrificed by our government on a altar not much different from the ones the Mayans used to carve people up.All I can say is, to the people that criticize me for being against the Democratic Party, read this article. Read it again.  I've met dozens of people just like Clayton Holton.  People that come to hearings and beg their Democrat government masters for relief with tears in their eyes.  And people that get pissed on by those Democrats, ostensibly sent home to suffer for another 80 years of mindless Republican & Democrat-endorsed Prohibition.
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Comment #3 posted by museman on February 07, 2008 at 08:31:14 PT
Clayton, if you are reading this, I'm proud of you too. We're all proud of you. If Californias' dispensaries haven't got the fortitude to stand against the DEA terrorists, come to Oregon, we will.Somebody needs to rehumanize the AMA. Disband the DEA and charge all their superiors with war crimes (hey they declared the 'war'), and review, repair, and replace our current corrupted poitical system. Somebody. I guess it takes people like Clayton here who has no doubts about reality, and clear priorities unfettered by political rhetoric to show complacent americans where it's at.I raise my bowl in a toast to Clayton, and wish him all the joy and happiness he can find, and yes, cannabis will help him.
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Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 07, 2008 at 06:19:51 PT:
Good for Clayton
Sounds like he will be able to live comfortably for the next 8 months of his life. What a brave soldier this guy is. God bless him.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 07, 2008 at 05:22:48 PT
News Article from
Melissa Etheridge Talks About Using Medicinal MarijuanaFebruary 7, 2008NEW YORK (AP) - When Melissa Etheridge was fighting breast cancer, she turned to medical marijuana for help. Etheridge talks about it for the first time in an upcoming book, “Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life.” Etheridge says being in rock-and-roll, she had seen her share of drugs, but she was never a heavy user. When she got sick from the chemotherapy, many people recommended that she use marijuana to help. Etheridge says she used water pipes or ate the marijuana mixed with butter because she’d get too sick if she smoked it directly. She says it helped her with the nausea and enabled her to eat enough to keep up her strength, but she didn’t get high off it. She got her supply from a medicinal club in California. Now that she’s better, does she still partake? Etheridge says, “I smoke occasionally.” “Pot Culture” will be out April 20th.
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