Her Bout with Cancer, Emphysema & Glaucoma Has Ended, But Her Fight for Common Sense Marijuana Laws Remains
Lori Burnam, of Hamilton, MT, a much-loved and admired champion of medical marijuana patients' rights, has died. But the principles she stood for and the goals she worked for will not be forgotten or neglected.
"Lori Burnam's legacy is one of compassion for others and respect for scientific facts and reality," said Chris Lindsey, president of Montana Next, a marijuana education group. "Thousands of Montanans have been inspired by the kindness of her life and her effective advocacy for common sense marijuana laws, and all of us intend to continue working for Lori's goals."
Burnam, 66, died last Thursday afternoon in her home, surrounded by family and loved ones. She suffered from cancer, emphysema and glaucoma, and used medical marijuana successfully for years to reduce her suffering and prolong her life.
Lori Burnam is featured in the nationally renowned documentary film about medical marijuana in Montana, Code of the West. In the film, she reports that her doctor had expected her to die years earlier, and that her longer life and better quality of life were a direct result of using medical marijuana rather than opiates to treat her cancer. The marijuana also helped prevent her glaucoma from worsening.
Most recently, Burnam and her oxygen tank appeared in state court, where she testified before Judge Reynolds that the new medical marijuana law was preventing her from maintaining a healthy supply of the drug.
To her dying day, Burnam took every opportunity to educate her fellow Montanans on the scientific truths about marijuana and the failures of current state and federal policies.
"Lori Burnam knew that marijuana is safer than alcohol and safer than most prescription drugs," Lindsey said. "Lori Burnam knew that prohibition policies have failed and that they cause many severe harms, especially to sick patients. Lori Burnam knew that education and smart regulation are better solutions, and she exemplified the power of love and honesty in telling people the truth about marijuana."
"Rest in peace, Lori. We will never forget you. We will honor you and your mission," Lindsey concluded.
Montana Next is a public education and advocacy group focused on the subject of state and federal marijuana policy. The group believes that current prohibition policies waste tax dollars, divert law enforcement resources away from violent crimes, cause severe social harms in their own right, and even fail completely to achieve their objectives.