Amanda Ellis-Graham’s multiple sclerosis was once so bad she could barely hold a pencil.
She suffered from vision and hearing problems. Walking was nearly impossible because of terrible vertigo. Numbness and a sensation of pins and needles slowly spread through her body.
Ellis-Graham, now 37, was 18 when she was diagnosed with MS, a debilitating disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and eats away at the protective sheath that covers nerve cells.
The symptoms forced her to drop out of Weber State University and sent her on a path of frequent prescription drug use. Doctors told her she needed to cut back, she said, but she couldn’t.
Finally, Ellis-Graham said, she’d had enough. She’s been using medical marijuana for more than three years now, she added, and the difference is incredible.
“Before cannabis, I was suicidal. I didn’t leave my house unless I had a doctor appointment: That is not a life,” Ellis-Graham said. Now, she added, “I can walk straight. … I can drive a car. Medical cannabis has definitely helped.”
It stands to reason, then, that the Sugar House resident is in favor of a proposed 2018 ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in Utah. And a new Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll shows that 77 percent of Utah voters somewhat or strongly support it as well. [Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune]