Cancer patient: ‘I had to become an outlaw or die’

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Midstate man diagnosed with a terminal cancer says he was faced with a tough choice: break the law or die.

He chose to break the law.

ABC 27 is not identifying him. He says he was diagnosed with a rare cancer and given a two-percent chance of survival. While he decided to move forward with chemotherapy to give him more time with his family, he says he was presented with another option after the cancer spread to his lungs and liver.

“One of my doctors had suggested medical marijuana,” he said. “I was a skeptic. No way is this stuff going to work. It is all hype. It is all for the potheads.”

His wife started making marijuana oil for him. For almost three months he has been eating the oil containing THC daily and sometimes vaporizing it.

“I definitely guess I would be high, but if I was on morphine, which is what I had to be on before, I would not be talking to you. I would be on the couch drooling,” he said. “With this oil I am completely off pharmaceuticals and I can function. I can get up in the morning and make myself breakfast and walk my dogs. So, I think this is a lot better than sitting on the couch drooling.”

He says he was even more convinced the oil was working when he received his most recent CAT scan results.

“All the cancer in my lungs is gone and all the tumors in my liver have shrank, are gone, or remain the same,” he said. “I was shocked. I dropped to the ground. I could not believe it.”

“I thought it would be a miracle drug for him and it has been,” his mother said. “I do not consider it something illegal. I think of it as a medicine.”

He says he is on his fourth round of chemo and the oil has allowed him to keep his hair and gain weight.

“The nurses at the oncologist are asking him what his secret is,” his wife said. “I am sorry it has to be a secret. It should not be.”

#StillWaiting has become the most recent battle cry of those fighting for legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, but this family says waiting is just not an option for them.

“I think it is a crime that people are kept from this medicine,” he said. “It has helped me so much. It has given me an opportunity to have some hope and it has lead to extremely positive results for me, in conjunction with conventional medicine, as well.”

“This is my husband’s life,” his wife said. “[Lawmakers] can play games on their own time. If I have to be a criminal, so be it.”

It costs them about $2,600 dollars a month to make the marijuana oil.

Pennsylvania physicians still appear to be torn on the issue. While many support compassionate use of medical cannabis, many believe there needs to be more research.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society recently voted to ask the state to fund research on the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

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