|Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin: “Politicians should not get in the way of people getting the medical relief they need”
Just weeks after a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland failed last spring, the state senator who sponsored the legislation — Jamie B. Raskin of Montgomery County — found himself with a very personal perspective on the issue.
His doctor told him he had a “worrisome” mass the size of a golf ball in his colon. Raskin, 48, learned four days later he had cancer, reports Ann E. Marimow at The Washington Post
“Public health is now personal for me,” Raskin said. “I know what it means for people to be living on the absolute edge of hope and despair, and politicians should not get in the way of people getting the medical relief they need.”
Raskin, a Democrat, will be a leading voice on several issues during the legislative session, according to the Post, but when he talks about medical marijuana he’ll add a compelling personal story to the debate over whether Maryland should join 15 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing cannabis for medicinal use.
Raskin said he didn’t consider medical marijuana during his chemotherapy because of a family history of asthma and cystic fibrosis. But he insists that he and his fellow legislators should work “to relieve suffering.” Medical marijuana, according to proponents and patients, can ease pain and nausea and stimulate appetite for those suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.