Delaware took a major step in closing one of the glaring holes in its medical marijuana legislation Wednesday, as Governor Jack Markell inked his signature on “Bob’s Law.” The new law will open up the state’s medical marijuana program to terminally ill patients and protect terminally ill minors suffering from pain, anxiety, or depression. Patients that fall under the new law will be able to apply for medical marijuana cards in three months.
Who’s Bob, you ask?
Robert Jester was a “big man with a big presence,” according to his family. Bob suffered from a terminal form of cancer, but could never freely use cannabis to manage his pain or other numerous symptoms during his lifetime. His son Rich struggled with the fact that more people out there might be dealing with the same dilemma; he knew a change was necessary. “Ultimately this is the best way I could think of to honor his memory,” Rich told the gathered press at the Helen Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute in Newark, DE.
Medical marijuana became legal in Delaware in 2011 but, like most of the initial marijuana bills that passed, there were flaws. Thankfully, the state of Delaware is flexible about adapting the marijuana laws to the ever-changing needs of the patient.
For example, the state’s original medical marijuana legislation contained language protecting only those afflicted with debilitating pain, certain forms of cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, or Alzheimer’s. However, the state allows anyone with a recommendation from their physician to petition for their illness to be included. It’s worth noting that Delaware didn’t open the doors on its first dispensary until June of this year, so the issue of total accessibility isn’t quite solved just yet.
Jester spent his 62nd birthday in 2014 receiving a stage 3 lung cancer diagnosis from his doctor. Jester endured over twenty chemotherapy and radiation sessions before passing away in January of this year. The former restaurant owner combatted extreme pain, nausea, anxiety, loss of appetite, and depression with cannabis oil at the recommendation of Rich, whose wife has a medical card for fibromyalgia-related pain. The oil worked wonders for Bob, as his tumor reduced in size by 33% and he began eating and laughing again.
Nonetheless, once Bob’s oncologist discovered his unprescribed marijuana use, he halted it in its tracks. The misguided doctor instead had Bob on large doses of fentanyl and oxycontin, which didn’t have the same positive outcome.
“I don’t wish that on anyone,” said Rich, who was overcome with anger over how the healthcare team mishandled the last two years of his father’s life. His mother Crystal Jester suggested he use the pain to do some good in his father’s memory. Rich started contacting lawmakers to inquire about getting terminal illnesses added to the approved list, and on Wednesday his vision became a reality.
“My heart overflows today,” Crystal proclaimed in reaction to the signing of Bob’s Law. We’re with Crystal.
Cover Image Courtesy of Mike Focus
Marijuana Related News provided by AZMMD.com. We can help you with your Arizona Medical Marijuana Card. Our fully licensed Arizona Medical Marijuana Doctors are a full compliance clinic within the Arizona Medical Marijuana Certification guidelines and the State of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws. Locate the nearest medical marijuana doctor in AZ now! Contact >>