Beate Moore: Our Journey with Medical Cannabis

March 1, 2016 – My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 primary liver cancer in April 2012 at the local hospital. We were sent home with hospice and he was on morphine and other opiates to control his pain. He had a really hard time with nausea and when two friends brought us cannabis oil, I gave it to him for nausea and pain relief – never believing it could do anything else than make his passing easier. The tumor was too large to operate, caused by Hepatitis C he contracted early in life, and chemo was not a good solution.

It has been 4 years since the diagnosis and even though he still has a small tumor – which shrank after 6 months from 11.5 cm to 5 cm and then 3.5 cm and did not spread but even went out of his lymph nodes – life has been good.

My husband has had much quality of life. We have seen our grandchildren grow up and even seen another grandson being born. We are thankful for every day, as even with this amazing medicine he still has to deal with some of the side effects of a bad liver. I taught web design at Sierra College and build a website including all the research I had found on cannabis and we have been contacted by people from all over the world. I learned which plants I had to grow as the cancer is smart and we have to change the strains and potency of the plants every season. We have been using 1 gram of oil a day as a suppository which has the benefit of hardly any high to speak of and we have been able to teach and give lectures to patients and doctors. Humboldt College invited my husband in January to talk to faculty and doctors together with other researchers and it has been gratifying to see this plant being used in so many sicknesses and in so many states.

We just got back from a Hospital in Mexico which has new alternative treatments, used in Europe but not yet FDA approved, and spend 3 weeks with 30 Stage 3 to 4 cancer patients and their caregivers. Brain cancer, ovarian, pancreatic, lung cancer, patients from 20 to 80 years old coming from all over the USA and other countries. Just about all of them had done all the conventional treatments and were doing this as a last resort. For some it was to late, but most of them looked much healthier leaving the clinic, many came back for checkups who had been there before. The main Doctor asked us to give a presentation about cannabis to the doctors and nurses and another one to the patients. Many patients had used cannabis and wanted to more information. The clinic just applied to the Mexican government to be able to use the medicine as part of their treatments and it looks like they might be the first clinic it will be granted too.

I did go to the first BOS meeting in January and have been in touch with Forrest, the father of the little boy Silas, and have felt his pain of not only having to deal with his son’s illness but now also with the problem of how to get his medicine. We have lived here in this county as property owners and tax payers for 40+years and like many long term residents, I also am troubled by the influx of unconscious growers like the ones Sheriff Royal showed.

I do not know why they don’t get arrested as it is easy to see the plantations using Google Earth. A doctor friend called the police department several time on a real unconscious neighbor, but nothing ever happened. I do feel if the Board would have been open to the new laws the state is proposing that would solve a lot of the problems – by taxing and licensing and keeping control on size and where the gardens can be located. It would be much easier to see the growers who are not legal.

Meanwhile, to keep kids like Silas and my husband with a very serious condition alive, this is what I like to see happening. Patients who have a life-threatening illness could use their well documented illness to send their paperwork to the Sheriff and they could be issued an exemption. The idea of growing it indoors was suggested by someone who does not know how this plant grows. Under lights, in an enclosed environment, you can not get away from spraying the plant with toxins to control all the bugs and diseases. Not to mention the expenses and extra work involved which – being 73 years old and taking care of my husband – I could not do. We also could not buy it, as we need different strains at different times. It would be at least $10,000 or more a year and our very good insurance does not cover it. It is also nearly impossible to guarantee the organic quality coming from a dispensary.

For any of you being so convinced that a ban is the right thing, I want to remind you: One in two men will get cancer and one in three women will. All of the patients we met in Mexico probably never thought they would seek cannabis as a way to relieve their symptoms or even  heal their cancer.