Attorney General Jeff Sessions is actively lobbying Congress to overturn existing law prohibiting federal interference in state medical-marijuana policy. As someone who believes in strong constitutional limits on federal power and the rights of patients to choose, I am deeply disappointed. And as a cancer survivor who wanted the choice for myself, I wonder: Does Sessions have any idea what it’s like?
In 2001, I was diagnosed with stage-four cancer. My doctor found a large tumor in my abdomen, and his initial diagnosis read like a death sentence. My wife and I quickly wrote a living will and accessed our finances in the hope that she could keep our home if I died. After many hours of surgery, biopsy results revealed that my cancer could be treated with a toxic cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, including cisplatin and etoposide. My death sentence turned into a chance to beat this disease. Finally, I thought to myself, my stubbornness might be put to good use, weaponized against the cancer in what would be a long slog through many months of chemotherapy.