Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My name is Ron, and I have dementia. I am in the final cycle of currently available treatment; my expected remaining cognitive lifespan is 2-5 years. Several years ago, I remember taking my children to visit with my parents who were then suffering from Alzheimer’s. They were beyond recognizing us. I want to continue to savor my children and grandchildren for as long as I can.

I have a strong background in research and have chosen to try to find answers for myself. Since medical journals are within my comfort zone, I started there. All of the available data points to medical marijuana as the most efficacious treatment for extending cognition for me and the 200,000 Pennsylvanians who share my plight. The trigger for each type of dementia is a buildup of plaque on the neurons that impedes the normal neural transmission processes. The only known means of inhibiting the development of plaque and reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient of marijuana.

My goal is to help my doctor have this treatment option available. In support of the campaign I have assigned myself as a liaison with the medical community.

Two weeks ago I fell and fractured two vertebrae. While in the emergency department and in the hospital before and after surgery I took the opportunity to speak with doctors and nurses regarding my involvement in trying to get medical marijuana legalized. One of the reasons I’m so at ease in this dialogue is that I like and respect the people who work in healthcare. They are smart, educated and compassionate. With all the research I’ve done, they inevitably know more. Physicians know that medical marijuana is coming and they are gearing up for it as they do with any new medical therapy so that they can dispense the treatment effectively.

In California the agronomists, organic chemists and high grade hippies have had 30 years to develop condition-specific strains of medical marijuana. Children with life threatening seizures are being treated with a few drops of oil under the tongue with no psychoactive effects. It stops or reduces the seizures. There are strains developed to best address dementia. The knowledge base grows daily. It is unfortunate it has to be done in spite of our government.

I urge each of you to do as I have and ask your physicians what they think about the legalization of medical marijuana. Around the U.S. medical marijuana is coming out of the shadows to assume its position as a legitimate mainstream treatment option, and it is unconscionable for lawmakers to withhold this treatment from Pennsylvania citizens.

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