norml11 - Page 46
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prescribed for her° There were ]7 on the i ist. None of them has given.her the
relief from her multiple sclerosfs symptoms that marijuana has.
15. During the early stages in the development of her illness.Ms.
Hirsch found that smoking marijuana improved the quality of her life, keeping
'her.spasms under cont]rol. Her balance impr:ovedo She seldom needed to use her :
cane for support. Her condition lately has det.erioeatedo As-of May 1987 she
was experiencing severe, painful spasms. She had aim #ndwe11_ng catheter in her
bladdero She had lost her locomotive ab_l_ies and was wheelchair bound. She
could seldom find marijuana on the illegal market arid, when she did, she often
could noL afford to purchase _t. When she did obtain some, however, and smoked
_t, her entire body seemed to relax, her spasms decreased or disappeared, she
s_egt better and her d_zzy spells van#shed. The rela×ation of her leg muscles
after smoking marijuana has been confirmed by her personal care attendant's
examination of them.
]6. The personal.care attendant has told Mso Hirsch that she, the
attendant, treats a number of patients who smoke marijuana for re1_ef of mult#-
p|e sclerosis symptoms. In about 1980 another patient told Ms. Hirsch that he
knew many patients who smoke marijuan a to relieve their sgasms° Through him she
met other patients and found that marijuana "was commonly usedby many multiple
sclerosis pat#ants. Most of these persons had told their doctors about their
doing so. None of those doctors advised against the practice and some encouraged
17. Among the drugs prescribed by doctors for Ms. Hi rsch was ACTH.
This failed to give her any therapeutic benefit or to control her spasticity. I_
d_d produce a number of adverse effects, #nclud_ng severe nausea and vomiting
which, in turn, were partly controlled by rectally administered anti-emetic.
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