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Medical Marijuana Should Be Judged Case-By-Case


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2014-12-04 / Letters to the Editor





Medical marijuana should be judged case-by-case


I feel the need to publicly address the recent arrest and overnight incarceration of my son, who was stopped for a burned out headlight.


Many residents of Houghton Lake might remember the 1999 auto accident that claimed the life of my 15-year old daughter and critically injured my 14-year-old son. One might recall that he was airlifted to Saginaw St. Mary’s Hospital where he was in the critical care unit, in an induced coma, battling for life with a closed head injury for three weeks. When stable enough to move, he was taken by ambulance to Grand Rapids Mary FreeBed Rehabilitation Center, where he underwent another three weeks of intensive physical, mental and emotional treatments and therapies. After returning home he continued his schooling with assistance provided because of his physical disabilities and the TBI (traumatic brain injury) label, which will follow him for his entire life. He continued with doctors, chiropractors, therapists, psychologists and specialists who, through surgeries, various prescription drugs, injections to his spine, nerve stimulant devices, massage therapies, exercises and chiropractic procedures, were only minimally successful in putting him back together again. His psychologist wrote, in his most recent report, that my son will likely never be a full functioning, gainfully employable individual. This is very hard to hear as he is a young adult with his whole life ahead of him. Through all of this he tries to remain cheerful and optimistic, and lead as productive a life as is possible for him.


What he discovered, after all the medications tried for his daily chronic pain, is that his doctor-prescribed medical marijuana made him able to function well enough to accomplish the tasks set before him. He is very responsible for his medication, keeping it in a locked case when at home or traveling.




My son does not drink alcohol, take any other prescribed drugs or smoke tobacco; he is not smoking to get a


“buzz,” get “high” or try and escape reality. He is simply using his prescribed medicinal marijuana to relieve his pain so that he can live and work to the best of his ability. My son regularly attends church, where he also volunteers in the toddler’s room. He attends a young adult’s prayer group, plays softball on the church team and makes himself available to friends, family or even strangers, as a designated driver if one is needed. He is honest, loving, respectful and inspiring to others. He is not a criminal!


When he was stopped for his broken headlight, he was also asked if he had marijuana. He was honest, cooperative and respectful, when he answered that he did have a locked case of his medical marijuana and had medicated earlier in the day. For this he was arrested, jailed overnight and is now awaiting a hearing to determine his fate. And what I find the most disturbing during his arrest was that the two arresting officers smiled at each other and gave a big “high five” in front of my handcuffed son to congratulate themselves on their “big bust!” I find this to be arrogant, unprofessional and inappropriate.


Now that marijuana has been found to be affective and useful, as another form of medication for people, I don’t believe that it should be judged by a legal/non-legal standpoint, but by a case-by-case assessment.


I pray that my son will be assessed, and found to be completely within his rights to use his prescribed medication. Or, I wish that those lovely officers would adopt him, and take care of his special needs in all of their wisdom and knowledge of what every person needs.


Carolyn Sutton


Houghton Lake

Edited by t-pain
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