From: Scarlet Swallow
To: Deidre Henderson,
Subject: MADSEN SB73
Date: Thu Feb 18 01:16:21 MST 2016
Dear Senators, 

I am writing to you regarding medical Cannabis.  First let me say that I have been a member of the LDS Church since Birth.  I have never used Cannabis at anytime or in any form. After I saw my friends Daughter go from 30+ seizures a day to Zero, I became very interested in what it might be able to do for me.

In my own situation I have 2 serious medical conditions. 

#1. Spondylolisthesis- My spine is slipping off my hips.
Chronic L5-S1 Spondylolisthesis, Bilatereal, Stage 2 (50% alignment Slip),  narrowing of thecal sack Chronic degenerative disc disease L3 L4 & L5

This is a congenital birth defect called Spondylolisthesis. *see attached illustration. The hinging parts of my spine, which can be felt through the skin, never fully developed as bone, but are more cartilage like in strength.  I am disabled and cannot work.  I have been laying in bed for all but maybe 1 hour total a day since May of 2014. Sitting and standing are extremely painful and I can't do it very long before I have to lay down. The slipping of the spine, pinched nerves, degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, Chronic inflammation, Tremors, pain induced Insomnia, Depression, Anxiety are all factors and symptoms of this birth defect. 

#2. Diverticulitis- I have a serious colon disease, Called Diverticulitis, which is painful daily, causes loss of appetite, pain induced insomnia .  People with this disease also end up loosing to much weight becasue they have no appetite and are afraid to eat anything. This list gives reference to a study in which it helped people gain weight. Also note the neurological symptoms, in the paragraph on Multiple Sclerosis, which are also some that I experience!

Opioids, Narcotics, and Steriods and other drugs are taken for both conditions but the side effect is constipation which causes additional pain for both conditions, and is LIFE threatening for the colon disease.  I hope the following can assist you in making a wise decision on my behalf and many others in my situation;

  • Relieves pain.
    • Relieves muscle spasms (cannabinoids also can enhance the effects of other anti-spasticity medications like baclofen).
    • Safe and well-tolerated.
    • Doesn’t cause constipation. “In fact, cannabinoids have a weakly stimulatory effect on the gut,” Carter noted.
    • Doesn’t suppress your breathing (like opioids). (I have Sleep Apnea as well)
    • You can’t overdose (like you can with opioids).
    • There is no physical addiction in cannabis. “There is a psychological addiction if it’s being used solely for the intoxicating effect,” Carter explained, “but there is no harsh physical withdrawal like there is with opioids or even nicotine because cannabis leaves the body so slowly.”
    • Medical cannabis is low in THC and higher in other compounds that help with pain and spasticity, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN).

  • "Pain management is important. Morphine is acceptable for pain control and is preferable over meperidine given the adverse effects associated with meperidine. Although early recommendations for pain management favored meperidine based on a theoretical risk of affecting bowel tone and sphincters, randomized prospective studies comparing the narcotic options are not available. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids have been associated with a greater risk of colon perforation and should be avoided whenever possible"  

    • The Mayo clinic sites these as Adverse to Diverticulitis and in fact can be a causation contributor; "Several drugs are associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis, including steroids, opiates and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)." 

    So as you can see the very drugs which might give me some relief and some sort of quality of life for the pain in my broken spine, are not only horrible for my Colon disease but can cause perforation of my colon, which is life threatening!  

     have, so far, been able to avoid using opiates etc... by living my life in bed.  I am not pain free but I can tolerate it so far. I just have no quality of life. Beside the occasional doctor visit, 1 hour of church on Sunday, (which kills me!) and a grocery store trip once a week using an electric cart.

    This is no way for a 46 year old to be living life!  I just want some quality of life!  I have no answers yet from Surgeons at the U of U about Surgery, which COULD be life changing , but there is no guarantee of success, or of a pain free life post op!  I don't want to toy with opiate drugs which would be life threatening to me, causing my colon to burst and threaten my life!  Let alone addiction possibilities.  
    PLEASE let Doctors and patients decide what will work for their specific ailment, based on studies and findings of other Doctors and patients. 

    People need real options!  I've never even tried Cannabis. I don't care if it's in an oil, an edible form or to be smoked, whatever works! 

    With two options to vote for, I am concerned that by limiting the types of treatment, you are also excluding people who are in the most dire need!   So I am asking that you vote for  MADSEN SB73!

    (Please see example of my friends' before and after in photo below, illustrations of my spinal defect and colon disease, as well as as MRI of my spine)

    ​Respectfully, ​

    Lani Swallow

    Spondylolysis stages.jpg
    IMG7 - Circle.jpg