Former Texas Longhorn football player moves to Colorado for medical marijuana
Diagnosed with “mixed dementia” and frontal brain lobe damage, former Texas Longhorns defensive tackle Greg Ploetz had been deteriorating since 2005. In January, he looked at his wife and said: “Deb, please help me. I don’t want to be like this.” By then, he generally didn’t recognize anyone other than his wife.
In February, Deb placed him in a memory care facility, where he continued on five “conventional” prescribed medications. The caregivers told Deb that Greg wouldn’t let anyone else touch him and was belligerent when the staff tried to give him the drugs.
He was bewildered to find himself among only people far older. The staff told Deb it was not working for Greg there, just as it hadn’t worked at a couple of other facilities Deb had tried temporarily before.
The former football player, a one-time renowned artist and a longtime art teacher, had just turned 65.
Deb was told her husband belonged in a state psychiatric hospital.
She couldn’t and wouldn’t do that to Greg.
In desperation earlier this year, she had given Greg a marijuana joint. Smoking it burned his throat, but calmed him. She remembered that. The next day, she walked in and told Greg, “Let’s go.”
She put Greg in her car and she drove from Dallas to Colorado, where Greg spent much of his childhood. Their son, Beau, lives in Golden. Deb hoped Colorado’s laws would allow her to legally and openly give Greg marijuana-based products.
“I’m trying to help Greg die with dignity and peace,” Deb, 63, said last week.
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