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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Examining Potential Benefits of Medical Marijuana

DAYTON -- In 1996, California was the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Supporters in Ohio hope it becomes legal in 2014. Critics claim the drug is harmful and addictive, but those with debilitating medical conditions say marijuana makes all the difference in their quality of life.

Grass, pot, ganja, weed... different names for the same substance, Marijuana.  Twenty states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Ohio hopes to become the 21st state.

A woman we'll call Mary prays it passes.

"It's scary because you feel like you can't take another breath," Mary says.

Mary is a 63-year-old grandmother suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
She has a hard time breathing, walking and suffers from very painful spasms.  Everyday tasks like gripping utentsils or drinking a glass of water are very challenging.  She takes 18 pills a days and says the meds often make her violently ill.

"Everything from headaches to upset stomach to projectile vomiting," Mary explains.

Mary was introduced to marijuana as an alternative treatment for her symptoms few years ago.

"Thought it's here and I'll try it.  And if it doesn't help, forget it, but it did," she adds.

And with no debilitating side effects.

"I could walk almost normal, like a normal person could walk. I could communicate better, I could breathe better."

Check out Mary walking before using marijuana and then after ingesting cannibus juice.  Look at her now just minutes later.

"I feel more balanced."

Here she's gripping a glass before and see how much steadier she is after using.

John Pardee of Columbus is on a mission. He is fighting to legalize medicinal marijuana after his son was nearly killed in a car accident and doctors said his son would be on pain meds the rest of his life.

"You know I as a father had to realize this was safest long term therapeutic product to ease his pain that will have the least amount of side affects for duration of life," says John.

John founded the Ohio Rights Group and is hoping to get an amendment on the ballot in 2014 legalizing medical marijuana in the state. 

But right now, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services is treating 400 people in Montgomery County alone for marijuana addiction.  Officials there don't support the amendment.

Dayton Assistant Police Chief Robert Chabali agrees, stressing right now his department is fighting a deadly heroin epidemic and doesn't have enough resources to go after what may be an explosion of marijuana abuse.

In 2010, the CDC reported more than 25,000 alcohol-induced deaths.    More than 38,000 people died from drug overdose 

Whereas there's not been one documented case of anyone overdosing and dying from marijuana.

And while studies have hailed marijuana's medicinal properties for relieving symptoms in a number of illnesses, other studies cite potential risks.  And the FDA states "marijuana has no accepted medical use".

However, don't say that to Mary, who say lawmakers opposed to legalizing medicinal marijuana are simply uniformed.

The Ohio Rights Group needs 385,000 signatures to get an amendment on the 2014 November ballot.  Right now they only have about 30,000. 

 
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