by Christine Stuart
Hertz Nazaire – CHRISTINE STUART PHOTO
Hertz Nazaire, 41, lives with sickle cell disease and while he says he’s never tried marijuana to ease his chronic pain, he hates the narcotics he because they make him dizzy and nauseous. He said he would like medical marijuana to be an option.
“The pain is as strong as any other disease you have on that list,” Nazaire told the state physicians board Wednesday during a public hearing.
Nazaire wants the board to add sickle cell disease to the list of 11 conditions that qualify a patient to receive medical marijuana in Connecticut.
“My pain is not being addressed in a legal means,” Nazaire said. “I’m sitting here today just to ask that patients like myself be given a choice.”
He said his pain usually goes untreated because he is viewed by the medical community as someone who is seeking treatment to “get high” because the most common treatment for the pain is addictive narcotics.
“I deal with strong pain, insomnia, and nausea from my prescribed medications,” Nazaire told the four member board.
Dr. John Roberts of Yale University, who has cared for adults with sickle cell disease for more than 20 years, said the “hallmark of sickle cell disease is pain.”
He said many people with sickle cell disease take many medications and he believes medical marijuana could help ease the pain.
But as long as marijuana is illegal, it’s difficult to study its effects on sickle cell disease.