SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

October 12, 2012

Question 3 seeks to legalize medical marijuana

(Continued)

Former state Trooper Karen Hawkes, 45, of Rowley said she uses marijuana so she can lead a normal life free of pain after she suffered a stroke in 2005. Traditional medicines left her feeling tired, confused and living like a zombie for years.

“I was in a fog, and I was not there for my kids,” Hawkes said.

At the time of Hawkes’ stroke, her children were 3 and 4 years old. She tried a list of pharmaceuticals “as long as your arm,” but the side effects were worse than the pain, she said.

Hawkes wrestled with the ethical qualm of taking medical marijuana and searched for a legal pharmaceutical. She said the initiative would create regulations around its use as a treatment, making medical marijuana much safer.

Hawkes will not say where she obtains her cannabis, but she administers it using vaporizers or tinctures, the latter being alcohol extractions, rather than smoking it.

Ouellette points out that there is a drug called Marinol that has a synthetic form of THC, but Taylor said that THC is one of the most “psychoactive” components of marijuana, and it does not work for everyone.

Hawkes said she benefits from the various components of marijuana, not just from THC.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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