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Linda Ellen: My son died — OK medical pot to help others with PTSD

Dear Editor: I am responding to Tom Meyer’s letter of Jan. 17 to address his statement of concern for our children.

The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act allows for medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2007 Dr. Christopher Fichtner, who has held the position of section chief for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Hines VA Hospital in the Chicago area, spoke at a state informational hearing in support of medical cannabis.

He told how when he first started working with veterans who had PTSD he was opposed to cannabis use until he realized that cannabis saved lives. Medical cannabis is harm reduction for those who self-medicate with alcohol. Abuse of alcohol kills; no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose.

My son, Mathonwy Snowdon, who had PTSD, died in 2008. In his late teens he was self-medicating with cannabis, was arrested for less than one gram, and was convicted of a misdemeanor. Over 10 years later, that charge surfaced and cost him a potential job. In his despondency, with his PTSD acutely active, he slipped heavily into alcohol abuse; within three years of that he died. The official cause of his death was alcoholism.

Meyer is concerned about our children and so am I. We have many veterans coming back from our wars afflicted with PTSD. Let us give them all of the tools they need to regain their health. My son is dead; please pass this law so harm reduction can start and fewer of our children will die.

Linda Ellen