Kennamer (SBN 157844)
nissen (SBN 190848)
SCHUMACHER (SBN 217506)
troy sauro (sbn 224097)
Three Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, California 94111-4067
Attorneys for WAMM
Gerald Uelmen (SBN 39909)
Santa Clara University School of Law
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, California 95053
Attorney for County of
and WAMM Plaintiffs
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN JOSE DIVISION
I, James Daniel Baehr, declare as
1.1. I was born in
1946 in San Jose, California. I moved to Santa Cruz in 1966, when I was sixteen
or seventeen years old. Sometime around 1971, I moved to Seattle, Washington.
Between 1971 and 1994 I lived in Seattle, Washington, D.C., Vancouver, Canada
and the Bay Area.
1.2. In 1994, I
was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer. At that time, I lived and worked
in Seattle, Washington, where I was a driver of eighteen to twenty wheel freight
trucks. I had been in the transportation business since 1972.
1.3. For several
years prior to my diagnosis, I suffered severe back pain. In August of 1994 I
went to see my internist, Dr. Jeffrey Olliffe, M.D. because my lower back pain
had gotten worse. Dr. Olliffe did a medical evaluation that included a series
of tests, which revealed that I had prostate cancer. It took additional tests
to determine the severity of the cancer’s progress. My Prostate Specific
Antigen (PSA) levels were very high – over 600 – where the normal range for my
age was under 3.5. I was ultimately informed that the cancer had reached stage
D-4. Both Dr. Olliffe and the urologist who I saw at the time informed me that
this meant that the cancer was inoperable and terminal. I remember Dr. Olliffe
telling me that he predicted that I only had about eighteen months to live.
1.4. This news was
devastating. In terms of my physical health, the cancer had metastasized to my
spine, hips, and ribcage. The neuropathic back pain was excruciating, emanating
from my spine to my hips and ribcage. I also experienced an overall loss of
strength that substantially limited my ability to work. Employment in the
transportation industry involves a considerable amount of carrying, lifting, and
other manual labor that requires flexibility and mobility. The performance of
these requirements exacerbated the magnitude and amount of pain I experienced on
a daily basis and depleted any energy that had not already been beaten down by
the disease itself.
1.5. I began
taking numerous medications to treat the cancer, the excruciating pain that it
caused, and the depression I felt as a result of my prognosis and the profound
restrictions on my life. My medications included a daily dosage of 7.5 mg of
Lortab (a painkiller), .25 mg of Xanax (which combats depression and anxiety),
40 mg of Paxil (an anti-depressant), and 250 mg of Eulexin (which treats the
cancer by reducing the testosterone emitted from adrenal glands), and monthly
shots of 7.5 mg of Lupron Depot (a testosterone blocker/hormonal therapy). I
suffered various side effects from these medications, including persistent
exhaustion, general pain, a lack of mental focus, and overall body tenderness.
In combination, these side effects were quite debilitating. Also, my skin
became very sensitive. The hormone imbalance caused by Lupron Depot and Eulexin
resulted in my experiencing many of the typical symptoms of menopause, including
loss of body hair, frequent hot flashes and tenderness in and around my
breasts. The cancer and the side effects of the medications were more than I
could handle, and upon the advice of my physician, I stopped working.
my financial situation was imperiled. I depleted my savings quickly and was
forced to apply for public assistance. Suddenly I was living in poverty and was
at risk of losing my home. In November of 1994 I moved back to Santa Cruz,
California, my original home. I returned to Santa Cruz to die; and in the
interim, to be close to the health care I would need until I passed.
1.7. After moving
to California, I began to see Dr. Eric Small, M.D. at Mt. Zion Hospital in San
Francisco, California to treat my cancer. Dr. Small was the physician who Dr.
Olliffe had recommended to me before I left Seattle. I later transferred my
care to Dr. Fuad Freiha, M.D. at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California
because I found that the frequent drives to San Francisco were too exhausting
for me. Dr. Freiha, like Dr. Small, is a nationally recognized oncologist.
1.8. In 1995 my
condition deteriorated further. The medications did not appear to be helping me,
and I experienced shooting pains throughout my body. At times the pain was so
bad that I was confined to my bed because standing or walking was too painful.
Tests revealed that the cancer was spreading. Dr. Freiha recommended radiation
therapy. From September through December of 1995, I endured nine weeks of
radiation. The treatment left me with continued back pain, intense nausea, loss
of appetite, diverticulitis, sleep abnormalities, and digestive and intestinal
complications. It also left me increasingly depressed.
1.9. In late 1994
or 1995, a physician at the Radiology Department at Stanford University Hospital
prescribed Marinol to alleviate my pain and nausea from the radiation. I tried
the Marinol but did not respond well to it. Not only did Marinol make me feel
drugged and not in control of my thoughts or body, but it failed to relieve my
painful symptoms. In fact, Marinol just made me feel sicker, upsetting my
stomach, disrupting my mental acuity, and causing me to hallucinate. During
this period, I was also taking 7.5 mg of Lortab, an opioid analgesic, several
times a day and Ambien to help me sleep. These drugs alleviated the pain
somewhat, but also made me disoriented, constipated, and caused me to lose my
short-term memory and fine motor skills.
sensing that my hope was receding as my misery was increasing, a nurse at
Stanford Hospital suggested that medical marijuana could alleviate my nausea,
restore my appetite, and even help me manage my pain – all potentially without
the negative side effects I experienced with Marinol and other medications.
1.11. Towards the
end of the nine weeks of radiation treatment in
was introduced to Valerie Corral of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana
(WAMM). At that time, WAMM was in its infancy and only had approximately eleven
members. I decided to try a small amount of medical marijuana, and when I did I
found that it provided significant relief from the side effects of the cancer
medications and the radiation treatment. In addition, it helped reduce the pain
I was experiencing from the cancer itself. I soon became a member of WAMM.
1.12. When I
completed my radiation therapy, I began seeing Dr. Richard Shapiro, M.D. in
Santa Cruz, who was associated with Stanford and whose practice was located
closer to my home. During one of my early appointments with Dr. Shapiro, we
discussed medical marijuana and he mentioned that he had some patients who used
it and seemed to be helped by it. Upon his recommendation, I stopped taking
Marinol, which had caused me so many problems, and began using medical marijuana
on a regular basis.
1.13. This new
combination of therapies, which included medical marijuana, turned my health
around. Where before I had been doubled over with nausea, couldn’t eat, or
sleep, I was now not only able to handle my medications, but could sleep, eat
and manage my pain. I found that a small amount of medical marijuana taken in
the evening enabled me to sleep through the entire night so that I no longer
needed to take Ambien.
1.14. Over time, the
pain got progressively worse. In February 1997 I began to take morphine to help
with the pain. The amount of morphine that I need to take to adequately control
my pain leaves me utterly incapacitated, mentally and physically. Medical
marijuana helps me manage my pain, while limiting my dependence on more powerful
narcotics. When I smoke medical marijuana, I can achieve the same degree of
pain relief with a much smaller amount of morphine and with far fewer and less
harsh side effects. The coupling of medical marijuana with my prescription
analgesics has been one of the most significant and successful aspects of my
1.15. I typically
visit my physician once a month, to track my condition. In addition to the
symptoms of my prostate cancer and the side effects from its treatment, I
continue to suffer from a series of secondary conditions related to my cancer.
For example, in June 1999, I was diagnosed with mild spondylosis, a degenerative
condition of the cervical spine that causes neck and shoulder pain. In October
2000, doctors discovered that I had small axial type hiatal hernia, which could
have been caused by, or was at least exacerbated by, the radiation therapy.
This hernia caused severe sharp pains radiating from my groin.
1.16. My cancer has
now progressed to include major bone pain, weakness to the point that I have
been told by my physicians that I should not lift more than ten pounds. I tire
easily and I experience increasing bone pain. I also have been experiencing
involuntary shaking or muscle spasms in my right arm and leg that may be the
result of neurological damage. These symptoms have severely limited my mobility
to the point that I am periodically homebound and bedridden, cut off from my
Notwithstanding my current medical condition, my overall well-being was
considerably worse before I met Valerie Corral and became a member of WAMM. In
the months before joining WAMM I felt useless and lethargic; I was simply
waiting for death and struggling to come to terms with it. WAMM has given me
much more than access to medical marijuana. Through WAMM I have found a
supportive community where I can talk openly about the issues facing people who,
like myself, are dying. I believe that WAMM has helped me live longer. It has
also helped me live better, more comfortably and with less anxiety. My duties
as a WAMM member and my associations with other members have helped me not only
to get through the day, but also have allowed me to focus beyond my own troubles
and provide support for other persons who are sick and dying. When I felt
healthier, I was very active in WAMM: I recruited members, provided hospice
assistance, was a member of WAMM’s Board, and assisted with administrative work.
I taught other WAMM members how to use medical marijuana appropriately. I
especially enjoyed working with older members who, despite the medical efficacy
of marijuana, were worried about the stigmas of marijuana use. I also delivered
medical marijuana to homebound patients, shopped for them, and shuttled them to
and from their doctor’s offices and to appointments at a variety of social
service agencies. Over the years, I have watched WAMM grow from 11 to 250
members. In 2001, my involvement in WAMM began to slow because of my declining
1.18. I believe
strongly in what WAMM stands for and in the rules that have been established by
WAMM for its members. I abide by my member agreement with WAMM to the letter.
For example, I never give away or sell any of the medicine I receive through
WAMM, and I get all of the medical marijuana I use from WAMM. I also never take
any of my medicine outside of the State of California.
money is not a factor in deciding one’s membership to WAMM. Before my illness, I
was financially sound and earned $50,000 a year. I am now on a strict budget,
living check to check. Since medication at WAMM is free, I never have to worry
about whether I can afford my medical marijuana.
1.20. Lately, my
health has taken a turn for the worse. Some of my physicians suggest that I
undergo chemotherapy as a last resort to slow the progress of my cancer. I have
declined to do so because I know how devastating the effects of chemotherapy can
be and I do not feel I have the strength to undergo further, involved, invasive
and likely painful and debilitating procedures. In the end, there is nothing
that can save me from my cancer. All I can hope is to manage my pain and control
the circumstances of my death so I can pass in relative peace and comfort.
1.21. The September
5, 2002, raid of WAMM by the federal government was devastating for me, as it
was for many other members of WAMM. My health has deteriorated over the past
months. If WAMM runs out of medicine, I will be deprived of the one therapy
that offers me the greatest relief from pain and allows me to overcome the
debilitating side-effects of many of my other prescription drugs. I simply
cannot understand why I am at no risk of losing access to physician prescribed
morphine, which can be highly addictive and even lethal at high doses, yet I am
in real danger of losing access to my physician recommended medical marijuana.
For many WAMM members like myself, the fear of losing the medicine that helps us
most causes increasing strain and compromises what little strength we have left.
1.I declare under
penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America and the State
of California that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my
knowledge, and that this declaration was executed on this Twenty First day of
April, 2003, in Santa Cruz, California.
James Daniel Baehr