Medical marijuana backlash

By: Christy Dimond Email
By: Christy Dimond Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- A local Grand Junction woman said she is be ostracized after publicly speaking about her use of medical marijuana and her support of Amendment 64.

Ladonna Lee spoke with KKCO 11 News two weeks ago about using medicinal marijuana to treat her multiple sclerosis symptoms. She said since her interview aired, all of her physical therapy services through Mesa County Health and Human Services have been cut off.

"As soon as they saw my TV interview, they stopped all my benefits," Lee said. "The nurses who come to stretch me for atrophy stopped; the lady who comes to fill my pill box stopped. I can't believe they're going to crucify me for telling the truth."

Lee said for the last ten years, a physical therapist would come to her home three times each week to stretch her since she spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but not anymore.

Lee said she asked her case worker at Mesa County Health and Human Services what was going on.

"She told me nobody would help me, and I said, 'why?' and she said it's because of my choice of medicinal uses," Lee said.

Karen Martsolf, public information officer for Mesa County Health and Human Services said the department does not monitor the media to determine eligibility for programs.

"Eligibility for adult service programs is based on functional and financial eligibility," Martsolf said in a statement to KKCO 11 News. "The decisions we would make in Ms. Lee's case are no different than in any other case."

Lee, however, said she is concerned there's more to it and believes the community is trying to silence people in support of Amendment 64 and medical marijuana use.

"I thought this was America and I was safe, but if I say something and everybody else doesn't agree, apparently they really can harm me even if I'm not doing anything wrong," Lee said.

Lee has been using medicinal marijuana to treat her MS since first getting a license in 2000.

"I'm always, always in pain, and I did medical marijuana, and I didn't have the pain," Lee said. "I thought how can this be bad? How can something that stops pain I've been in since I was 24 be a bad thing?"


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