Enedina Stanger is a Utah mother of two who suffers from a rare genetic disease called Ehlers-Dalos Syndrome (EDS). This fatal disease caused her bones to move out of her joints, causing constant, excruciating pain. She is wheelchair-bound.
Here is how she describes the pain she is in:
(The pain) is excruciating! I hurt all of the time. I have to try and smile, otherwise I’d be crying all of the time.
I call this my “concentration camp.” I realize that sounds drastic, but I’ve studied history and identify with Man’s Search for Meaning and other people who have experienced horrible things. My body is my concentration camp. My joints are the SS guards. At any second, they’re going to turn on me, and I have to be able to brutally take it, pop them back in, and keep on going.
She has tried many opiate-based medicines to help with the pain, but they all have side effects and often do not work. The only drug that helps her get through the day and act as a mother to her kids is marijuana.
On October 1 she was using medical marijuana in a car by herself in a Wal Mart parking lot. She was there because she has to sell her house to pay her medical bills, and the Realtor was showing the house. She was given a citation, and today she was booked by the Weber County Sheriff’s Department.
Because of cases like Stanger’s and others in Utah, the legislature is considering laws that would allow patients to use medical marijuana. I would like to add my voice of support to legalizing medical marijuana in Utah to help people like Enedina Stanger.
I have had discussions with many friends who oppose marijuana legalization, and I can see their arguments and understand them and even agree with many points they make. The best point against legalization is that it normalizes a drug that is bad for you and more people will likely smoke marijuana if it is legal. I think this is true.
But remember: Utah is not considering fully legalizing marijuana, it is considering making it available for people with chronic pain. I cannot see any reasonable arguments against legalizing medical marijuana. Most people have no problem with addictive, harmful opiates being legal and available through prescription. Then why not another drug that is less expensive and in many cases more effective?
You can read more about Enedina Stanger at her blog here.