I am seventy nine years old resident of the City of San Diego. I am a retired Registered Nurse.
My son, Randy Wall, is a victim of AIDS. Randy lives with me and I am his primary caregiver.
Prior to Randy becoming a Compassionate User of medical marijuana, I did not condone use of marijuana. I did not condone recreational use of any substance because of my medical background.
About three years ago, my son’s condition was the worst it has ever been. The wasting syndrome caused by AIDS had reduced him to a skeleton. The combination of over thirty prescription medications he was on made him constantly exhausted, severely nauseated, and caused personality changes which made him short tempered, depressed, and flat out mean.
Randy was taking very addictive, strong pain and anxiety medication to which he was becoming addicted, such as Vicodine, Oxycontin, Percocet, and Valium. All of these medicines have very harsh side effects. In addition, Randy was still drinking at that time because even the strong pain medications were not effective for his neurological pain.
Three years ago, I went with Randy to see Dr. Kelly Freeborn. Together, the three of us made drastic changes to his course of medication.
Dr. Freeborn said that the only way Randy could have a better quality of life and deal more successfully with his symptoms was to become a Compassionate User of medical marijuana.
Since he became a Compassionate User, his medications have decreased by more than half, he no longer drinks alcohol, his pain has decreased, his general health has gotten better, he’s become stronger and more able to participate in regular activities, and his personality has returned to his normal, happy self.
His new attitude makes it far easier for me to care for him as he needs. It is tiring enough to be the constant care-giver to someone who is terminally ill. It is emotionally exhausting as well for me as a mother to care for my terminally ill child. But when that terminally ill child is angry and bitter, sharp tongued, and mean spirited, it’s almost more than I can bear.
Now Randy is active, he cooks again, and keeps on top of current events. He and I follow particularly closely the events surrounding the City of San Diego’s plan to close every Compassionate Use dispensary.
If Randy is not able to be a Compassionate User, our choices will be limited.
Our first choice is to put Randy back on the addictive medications he was on before which cause horrible side effects and do not adequately manage his pain, anxiety or depression.
Our second choice is simply to do nothing and watch him suffer from this plague every day.
Our third choice will be mine alone. I will not sit idly by and watch my son die in agony when I know that there is a simple, natural solution to the problem.
I am a seventy nine year old retired nurse, but rather than watch Randy suffer, I will go out and find an illegal drug dealer to try and get my son medical marijuana. Not only will this expose me to participating in a criminal transaction, a great risk in itself, but it will expose me to the possibility of arrest. It will also expose my son to medical marijuana from someone I don’t know and may not be able to trust.
The collective he is a member of now runs a Compassionate Use dispensary that has a qualified, educated nursing staff, is compliant with the State Compassionate Use Act, the Medical Marijuana Program Act, and the Attorney General Guidelines for Compassionate Use.
If the City forces all the collectives to close, my son will suffer, and I will suffer.