Stories from the Movement
Scott Ward is 24 years old and suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. He was diagnosed in November of 2006 while training for the Marine Corps Marathon. Scott went from running five miles everyday to relying on family members to assist him in and out of his bed and the bath tub.
None of the medication Scott’s doctors prescribed managed to alleviate his muscle spasms, pain, and nausea. In fact, the variety of available medications prescribed to Scott, including daily injections, actually complicated his struggle, at times making it impossible for him to move or eat. After losing a dangerous amount of weight, Scott was desperate for relief; he decided to try medical marijuana as a last resort.
Scott’s mother recalled, “I was originally skeptical of Scott trying marijuana; he had always been a straight arrow and against using any illegal drugs; however, the therapeutic effects were almost instantaneous.” Scott’s sister remembers the difference medical marijuana made in her younger brother’s life: “I was unprepared for what I saw. Scott had lost so much weight and it broke my heart to see him curled up in bed in so much pain. But now, using medical marijuana, Scott’s quality of life has improved drastically; this drug has helped him regain a sense of normalcy.”
Medical marijuana continues to alleviate many of Scott’s MS symptoms that before were unmanageable and consumed his life. However, because New Jersey is not among the states that permit the medicinal use of marijuana, Scott, his friends and family, are forced to break the law to ease his suffering. No patient, no family, no loved one should be forced to make such a choice.
Why should New Jersey allow seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana?
Because it’s the compassionate and the common sense response to suffering.