Medical marijuana issue to be decided Tuesday

February 21, 2007

Rebecca Trylch, WJRT ABC 12 TV

Next Tuesday Flint voters will decide whether to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the city.

While it would make using pot legal for medical purposes, it would still be illegal to possess it according to state and federal laws.

Thursday supporters of the proposal came together trying to educate people about the drug's medical benefits.

Supporters of the medical marijuana proposal say using the drug isn't criminal, but denying it to a suffering patient is.

Supporters of the medical marijuana proposal in Flint hope Tuesday's vote will change their lives.

"There is nothing worse than lying in your bed suffering like that, with no help," said Barbara Hoos.

Hoos does have help. Earlier this month she showed us how she smokes marijuana to ease her pain following breast cancer and a serious car accident.

While she doesn't do it legally, George McMahon from Iowa does.

"Every month I get 300 cigarettes," he said.

Those cigarettes are filled with marijuana and come from the government through his doctor. And he says he's been getting them for 17 years.

They come from a program once run by the Food and Drug Administration. While the program no longer exists, McMahon says five patients across the country still get their medical marijuana.

He says it's the only thing that works for them.

"Before, I was lying in a bed going, 'Oh, man, give me more morphine.' And you couldn't give me enough," he said. "They couldn't stop the pain."

Charles Snyder III feels McMahon's pain literally.

"Every second I get a shooting pain like George said, like somebody's stabbing you with a fork," he said.

He suffers from the same painful ailment, but is too afraid to smoke medical marijuana because it's illegal. That's why he's fighting to legalize its use in Flint by getting voters to take action on the issue next Tuesday.

People against this proposal have said it sends the wrong message to kids about drugs. Four other cities in the state have passed similar laws, including Detroit, Ferndale, Ann Arbor and Traverse City.

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