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LETTER: Let medical marijuana work in North Dakota

Measure 5, the legalization of medical marijuana, will directly affect my family. I grew up on a farm in North Dakota and was taught that marijuana (cannabis) was a horrible drug that would destroy my life. Little did I know that as a 70-year-old...

Measure 5, the legalization of medical marijuana, will directly affect my family.

I grew up on a farm in North Dakota and was taught that marijuana (cannabis) was a horrible drug that would destroy my life. Little did I know that as a 70-year-old retired teacher and grandmother, I would throw caution to the wind and search for this drug to help my daughter find relief.

Karla was diagnosed 6 1/2 years ago with stage 4 colon cancer. Her treatments include high dose steroids, laxatives and anti-nausea and addictive pain meds, all to lessen the side effects of multiple surgeries and chemotherapies.

Our society is OK with doctors treating her with these important, although horrific, life-saving medications, but we deny her the right to use medical marijuana to bring relief.

I helped Karla find and use medical marijuana following her last chemo treatment in April. She'd been given all the above-mentioned drugs, but nothing was working.
But after she used medical marijuana, she went within minutes from being in wretched hell to sitting up in a chair saying, "If it wasn't dark, I'd go for a walk around the block." Do you believe in miracles?

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For us that night, medical marijuana was a miracle.

Herald readers, I urge you to educate yourselves. Search the benefits of cannabis. Think about all the children and adults with cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson's, MS, dementia, epilepsy and more who can, if they desire, find relief using it.

Let's not let one more patient or caregiver have to break the law or move to another state in order to help a loved one. Karla and I have already discussed both options should the cancer return.

I am personally asking for readers' help with a "yes" vote on Measure 5.

Linda Kersten

Newburg, N.D.

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