Disease patients say marijuana helps them

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PARRISH--Thirty year old Ryan Roman has spent the last eight years fighting aggressive spinal and brain cancer.

Now confined to a wheel chair, he says there's just one reason why he's still alive.

"I feel strongly that the reason why I'm here speaking right now is because of the power that this plant holds," said Ryan.

He says daily use of marijuana keeps his appetite up and his pain levels at bay. Yet while the plant may help keep him living, it also keeps him living in fear.

"I constantly have to worry about if I get caught, the title of being a person that uses drugs or whatever like I'm a bad person because I'm just trying to live my life," said Ryan, "I dont know how that could possibly be wrong."

It's a fear that Bob and Cathy Jordan know all too well.

Cathy has survived twenty-seven years with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. She also says it's cannabis that's kept her alive, and that others could benefit too if only state leaders would listen.

"Hopefully we can get this done," said Cathym "and the House and the legislators right now...have the opportunity to do this and do this right."

Bob says there's the potential for change but only if people keep an open mind.

"We're trying to show them that the time for fear is gone, talk about this, get this out, this is legitimate medicine, study it," said Bob, "if it helps my wife stay alive, why can't it help somebody else?"

Ryan's dad David admits that before his son got sick, he wouldn't have given the thought of medical marijuana the time of day. But now he hopes others will take a moment to realize that pot may not just mean problems.

"The way I look at it, when you're talking about diseases like cancer and ALS we need all the arrows in our quivers that we can get," said David, "and this is just another way to possibly find something that nature has given us that we can turn around and use against these diseases."

Diseases that often move much faster than politicians, forcing those who are sick to make choices that mean the difference between life or death.

"If I have to get arrested because I'm doing something illegal because it's keeping me alive, then I'm sorry but I think Im going to have to keep on doing what I'm doing," said Ryan, "because I cherish every moment that I have now and I'm going to continue to do that until I die."