Parkinson's disease patient supports medical marijuana legislation in Virginia
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – It's a beautiful day on Smith Mountain Lake. And Larry Wood is taking it all in. At first glance, you may not notice something about Larry, but he has Parkinson's disease. His body shakes and sometimes he stumbles.
"It affected my way of life. When you retire you expect to have a good life and all of a sudden you find out it's not there," said Larry.
Larry was diagnosed with Parkinson's six years ago. When the shaking took a turn for the worse, Larry started looking for relief. After watching a video about the effects of medical marijuana on Parkinson's patients, he wanted to give it a try.
"If it would let me sleep then it would be worth it, so I did," said Larry.
He says the results were shocking.
"For 2 1/2 hours, I had relief that I hadn't had in two years," said Larry.
Relief from the constant, exhausting movement -- Larry says it was a battle between following the law and finally finding a moment of peace.
"I knew it was illegal but I was willing to do it because of the pain and suffering that I had been through and the sleepless nights that I had," said Larry.
Recent brain surgery and a little handheld device help calm the shaking, but Larry is hoping for more. He celebrated Friday as the Virginia House of Delegates unanimously approved the bill to make it easier for patients like him to get a form of medical marijuana. He hopes it's a sign that lawmakers will rethink cannabis oil as a hard drug.
"If they had one family member that had Parkinson's, they would do it. They would help them out," said Larry.
While he knows many people still have concerns about legalizing any form of marijuana, Larry is hoping to reveal the reality behind a legislative battle still growing across the country.
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