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MEMBER PROFILE: Richard Whitwell

By Hempology | November 8, 2003

When first asked to relate my own story and feelings on medical marijuana, I knew the challenge would, at the very least provide an extended moment for reflection. As I  remember…
In 1969 In London Ontario, I was sentenced to a prison term for trafficking with hashish. I pleaded innocence claiming “medical use”. I was nearly laughed out of court. I felt stunned and betrayed.
Over the next 10-12 years, I struggled with a myriad of prescription drugs to deal with everything from grand mal seizures to migraines, sleep disorders and digestive  problems, to name a few. I felt desperate.
My fear of chemical use (Dilantin, Phenobarbital, Diazepam, Morphine, etc.), was my initial argument in court to support hash use, I felt victimized. With a renewed vigor, which I can only attribute to spiritual intervention, I spent the next 12 -15 years using only herbal and natural (homeopathic) supplements and remedies. I followed a stringent diet and consulted a bevy of alternative practitioners. I felt determined. After numerous refusals over the years for employment and accommodation, as well as in personal  and professional associations, because of my one time “drug record”, I felt discriminated against.
Today, I watch the current debate raging, see reasonable court decisions sidestepped by politicians with ulterior motives, big corporate brother controlling the current

(dis)information on cannabis to secure the multi-billion dollar prescription drug industry, general public ignorance and apathy towards a half- century of research already proving medical claims. I feel appalled. Sometimes I see dedicated and knowledgeable individuals, like my friends at Cannabis Buyers Club, pushing the envelope, challenging the authorities, and putting their own asses on the line to break down the barriers of ignorance and discrimination. These individuals help supply medical marijuana to the thousands in our community alone, who choose this benign herb in lieu of the deadly alternatives, and I feel hopeful.
Perhaps this small effort in CANNABIS DIGEST will help to accomplish that end. And so I remain appalled and hopeful.

Topics: Cannabis Digest-1st Issue | Comments Off

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