Viewpoint

A mom’s story: Why medical marijuana is pro-life

Aaron Evans is battling brain cancer.
Aaron Evans is battling brain cancer. Courtesy of Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans’ tweet shot through the Twitter clutter.

“Being a cancer mom is tough, but nothing like what my son is going through. I pray we can get cannabis legalized here in NC!!”

In late 2015, a month before his 14th birthday, Aaron Evans was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Imagine it was you hearing the words, “Grade-three anaplastic astrocytoma,” and the brain scan you see was your son’s or daughter’s. Your entire being would be fired with the passion to do whatever it would take to save your child’s life – which is exactly what Jennifer Evans did.

Aaron went through brain surgery. Twice. He went through a month of radiation and a year of chemotherapy. The treatments were successful, until they weren’t. Last December the cancer was back.

Doctors told Jennifer that to fight the new tumor, Aaron needed to keep doing much of what he already had been. To what end, she wanted to know. She couldn’t see putting him through an already failed treatment plan, especially when she had learned there was something else they could try: Cannabis.

“Once your child is diagnosed with cancer you would do anything, go to the ends of the earth, to fight for them,” Jennifer told me. “That’s what my job is as Aaron’s mother.”

The National Institutes for Health states on its website cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells, and Jennifer learned of hopeful reports from patients. Even Aaron’s neurosurgeon and oncologist agreed Jennifer should have Aaron try the cannabis. But a mob stood in her way: The politicians running Raleigh.

Bills to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina have been born and buried multiple times the past few years. This session, House Bill 185 would have let voters decide in a referendum, but the powers-that-be weren’t taking any chances. They made sure it didn’t get out of committee.

These medical marijuana bills have generally been introduced by Democrats and intercepted by Republicans. There’s the irony.

Medical marijuana is pro-life. It is an attempt, often last-ditch, to save or improve a life. Yet it is mostly conservative, pro-life Republicans blocking cancer moms like Jennifer Evans. Moms doing their jobs, fighting for their children’s lives.

What’s more pro-life than that?

Jennifer went to Colorado to get Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) for Aaron, and did. As an out-of-stater on her own she wasn’t able to avail him of the best dosage or protocol. Still, she says he’s doing better right now. He’s back in school for the first time in a year.

While Aaron battles cancer, his mom battles Raleigh. She’s been there knocking on politicians’ doors, as have other moms.

Jennifer says House Speaker Tim Moore told her it’s going to take more people speaking out for medical cannabis before lawmakers will change.

A recent Elon University poll showed 80 percent of North Carolina voters approve of medical marijuana, including 73 percent of Republicans. Even allowing for some liberal slant in the poll, Mr. Speaker, that’s overwhelming support.

The people running Raleigh have a simple choice: keep standing with powerful interests opposed to medical marijuana and playing on ancient taboos, or, stand with cancer moms like Jennifer Evans.

Observer contributor Keith Larson can be heard weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on TheLarsonPage.com and followed on Twitter @ClubLAMA.

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