To: The Wisconsin State House, The Wisconsin State Senate, and Governor Tony Evers
Wisconsin Should Legalize Marijuana
Many people, including myself, would benefit from the legalization of marijuana in Wisconsin in order to treat their medical conditions. In addition, other benefits for the State include the dismantling of the black market resulting in a drastic increase of tax revenue that can be used for education and infrastructure and a decrease in gang-related crime and fewer drug-related incarcerations allowing law enforcement and courts to focus on more serious crimes.
Why is this important?
Let me emphasize that I am not, and never have been, an ILLEGAL drug user, nor do I drink alcohol. As a matter of fact, I am proud to have spent my 63 years living a law-abiding, ethical, family and community oriented life. However, for the past sixteen years, I have suffered from progressive severe chronic pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, and rapidly failing vision from glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Several doctors have suggested I consume edibles containing marijuana to treat my pain and glaucoma. Obviously, I don’t have that option because it is illegal here.
I have tried every treatment available to me in hopes of finding some relief and slowing the progression of these conditions. Besides my local healthcare team, I have sought opinions from multiple providers, and travelled to Norfolk, Virginia on multiple occasions for consultation, extensive diagnostic testing, and treatment by Dr. Aaron Vinik, who at the time was the nation’s foremost authority on diabetic retinopathy, at Eastern Virginia Medical College. I have also tried alternative therapies including chiropractic, acupuncture, bio-feedback, electrical stimulation, injections, massage and relaxation.
In addition, I have taken numerous LEGAL medications which caused many negative side effects including drowsiness, dizziness and swelling, heart problems, constipation, weight gain, dry mouth, and nausea. As anti-seizure medications, and the combination of those drugs taken with anti-depressants to control my pain failed, my physicians agreed high doses of opioids were needed to provide significant pain relief for my neuropathic conditions so narcotics were added and periodically increased to maximum levels. Although my pain was relieved, this regimen, which I adhered to exactly as doctor ordered, made me non-functional and resulted in my spending nearly five years confined to my bed.
Three years ago, without any intervention or treatment, I found the courage to go against my doctor’s recommendation, and over a period of 4 months successfully rid myself of my dependence on LEGALLY prescribed medications. For the most part, I have tolerated living with the pain ever since. However, the first thought I have when waking and the last before going to sleep, and too many times in between to count, is about how bad I am hurting.
Likewise, I have lost most vision in my left eye and considerable in my right, despite eleven surgeries and multiple steroid injections into my eyeball. I haven’t been able to work or drive for fourteen years and I now fear I may go blind from worsening glaucoma.
Having exhausted every option, I feel I need to try marijuana to see if it would help. Studies certainly suggest it might. It couldn’t possible be as bad as what I have already endured. I already know firsthand the downside of taking LEGAL drugs and the damage they cause. If you had to walk with my feet or see out of my eyes, you would understand my urgency in the legalization of marijuana.
I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. Quite simply, I need something done before I either die or go blind. Finally, my government should not force me into becoming a criminal in order for me to obtain necessary medication.