Tim Timmons

TIM TIMMONS

Texans, who benefit from medical marijuana (e.g. veterans, cancer/aids patients, diabetics, etc..) like Tim Timmons, are beginning to come out of the cannabis closet and speak up to their representatives in Austin with a voice of unison that says, "Enough is enough. Either vote medical cannabis in, or we'll vote your ass out."

In 1987, Timmons was diagnosed at 31 years-old with chronic, progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an auto-immune disease that leads to neuro-muscular dysfunction and degeneration, which means that both nerve and muscle function becomes disrupted and damaged. Symptoms are vast and include involuntary spasms, neuropathy (nerve pain), and in the final stages complete paralysis of the limbs and lungs.

Over the years, Timmons’ body went from bull-riding linebacker to frail and bedridden. He has spent the last couple years depending on the round-the-clock care from his wife, Lou-Ann. He constantly fights off bed sores and infections from his in-home hospital bed. Fortunately, he hasn’t lost everything. His cognition is strong, wit sharp, and hopes high. He also can still use a phone and laptop.

Despite his disablement, he's enabled himself in many ways to stand out in the forefront of medical cannabis advocacy here in Texas. Dallas Morning News recently covered his story and he’s been seen on several news interviews smoking his pipe, explaining the benefits, and challenging Governor Perry to come and arrest him. All of this can be found by quick Google and YouTube searches (youtube.com/Tabascocat4256). To those of us still hiding in the cannabis closet, Timmons is a prime-time example of courage and selflessness. He’s not doing all this just to get high. For him, it’s all about patient rights.

Cannabis helps Tim in many ways. He suffers from nocturnal leg spasms and nerve pain that keeps him up all night, nystagmus (involuntary eye spasms), bladder incontinence (caused by spasms), and drug-induced constipation and loss of appetite with subsequent weight loss. A life of confinement in one's body also lends credence to depression, but cannabis is famously known to life one's mood. The two main compounds of cannabis, THC and CBD, are patented as neuro-protective antioxidants with potent anti-inflammatory properties. This equates to a potentially very powerful medicine for Timmons. Seconds after taking a toke, almost all of his immediate signs and symptoms vanish with the smoke. He can eat, sleep fully throughout the night, and wake with less pain just from a couple tokes. Cannabis makes his life tolerable and preclinical research (in mice) suggests that cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) could potentially halt the progression of auto-immune diseases like MS.

Medcan Foundation, a Texas-based organization that offers educational seminars in an Oaksterdam-like model, has sponsored and co-authored the "Tim Timmons Compassionate Care Act of 2011." If passed, it would legalize medical cannabis for qualified patients and also regulate safe access to medical-grade cannabis grown by licensed professionals. However, no representatives sponsored the bill this year. In two years, we'll have another chance.

Tim’s dream come true, he says, would be to have Willie Nelson host a benefit concert that would raise the funds needed for a wheel-chair accessible van. If Tim gets that van, he’s headed straight to Austin to educate his representatives face-to-face. ~

 


TIM TIMMONS