From Publishers Weekly
Randall and his companion, O'Leary, cofounders of Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT) and coauthors of Marijuana, Medicine and the Law (1988), began their battle to make medicinal marijuana available in the 1970s after Randall, who has glaucoma, discovered that he actually saw better after smoking pot than he normally did. Told by his physician that he would be blind by the age of 30, he and O'Leary began growing the plant at home; in 1975, their apartment was raided and both were arrested. Narrated in Randall's voice, this memoir chronicles his personal battle to obtain the drug legally, which was granted in 1976 when he became the first U.S. citizen to have marijuana prescribed for a medical condition. Radicalized by this experience, Randall and O'Leary have devoted their lives to assisting others diagnosed with serious illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS. Research studies, described here, document the usefulness of marijuana in easing many symptoms, including the severe nausea resulting from chemotherapy. Although the authors don't set out the numerous court battles and political skirmishes with the greatest clarity, they provide examples of human tragedies that have occurred because people were unable to obtain marijuana. They blame uncaring government bureaucracy and the unthinking embrace of a "just say no" philosophy by both Republican and Democratic politicians for the fact that marijuana is not easily available for medicinal use. The authors scored a minor coup in getting Lyn Nofziger, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, to write a foreword. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Randall and O'Leary are the founders of Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, a nonprofit organization working to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Here they recount three decades of personal experiences that energize their activism. Randall was barely out of college when he was diagnosed with hereditary glaucoma. He noticed, however, that smoking marijuana significantly improved his vision, an observation that had been confirmed by scientific experiments in 1971. Drug use led to his arrest, but he defended himself with the revolutionary plea of medical necessity. In 1976, he became the first American legally entitled to government-grown marijuana. Cancer patients argued that the drug would bring them relief from chemotherapy, and the AIDS epidemic brought other claimants, including Randall himself. Slowly, in spite of official antidrug rhetoric, public opinion has begun to support the use of therapeutic marijuana. Libraries seeking a personalized and partisan account of the medical marijuana issue will find this a useful purchase.?Kathleen Arsenault, Univ. of South Florida Lib., St. Petersburg
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.