NEW MEXICO: Essie DeBonet was 61 years old when she attended the New Mexico House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee in 2006, but she appeared to be much older. Frail and unsteady, DeBonet was clearly gravely ill.
The 18-year AIDS patient had come to the Roundhouse desperate for help. She was taking four medications to combat her disease, and another nine medications to deal with the side effects of the AIDS drugs, she told lawmakers. Yet, the only thing that helped her eat, she told committee members, was medical marijuana.
“My life has become degrees of nausea,” she said. She was one of several patents suffering from a wide array of illnesses to make the same claim. We are taking our prescription medication, but it doesn’t help, they all said. The only thing that allows us to keep food down is medical marijuana.
But the committee had made up its mind. Speaker Ben Lujan had sent the bill there to die, and they dutifully killed it.
It was at that point DeBonet let out a mournful wail that I’ll never forget. “Why are you trying to kill us?” she asked committee members as they hustled to collect their things and get out of the room.