Most doctors think pills are the answer to your problems. It’s not totally their fault; it’s what they were taught in medical school, the same medical schools that teach next to nothing about the medicinal value of cannabis.
But excuses only go so far. The fact is that there are mountains of information about cannabis that’s easily accessible on the Internet, information that many doctors are learning about. But even if a doctor knows everything there is to known about the therapeutic abilities of cannabis, many of them are in states where they can do nothing about it because of the laws.
The end result is millions of people taking pills that hurt them while avoiding the cannabis that can help them. Until recently one of those people was Connie M., who lives in Alabama. She has found the wonders of cannabis and is using it to try and get her life back.
The Marijuana Times: What ailments do you use cannabis to treat?
Connie M: Chiari Malformation, Scoliosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Migraines, Chronic Severe Insomnia, Anxiety, 4 Bulging Discs….just to name a few!
MT: How do these ailments affect your daily life?
CM: I have no life anymore. I’m raising my kids from my couch. I used to work full time and was real big into my hobbies, to which I can’t do any of that anymore. I can’t even go grocery shopping alone anymore due to severe pain.
MT: What were you told about cannabis growing up?
CM: I was told it was this horrible thing and to stay away from it. I was told it would make a person do bad things and it would make them lazy and worthless. However, when I started using it in high school, occasionally, I quickly learned that the information I had been given was very wrong!
MT: What do you have to go through to obtain the cannabis you use and how does it make you feel to have to rely on the illegal market?
CM: I have a friend who helps me find it and sometimes, there are long periods where it is just dry, which means you go without. I don’t like to break the law so I feel like a criminal when I use it, even though it’s only for medicinal purposes. I don’t like having to sneak around. We all know that cannabis laws are unjust, but I would feel much better using it legally!!! I can’t use it all the time because I get drug tested often by my pain management doctor, so there are times that I have to go weeks without using it and during that time, it’s a living hell. Knowing that there is something that helps so much and I can’t use it when I need to is maddening!
MT: What is your preferred method of cannabis ingestion and why?
CM: I’ve never had the opportunity to use it other than smoking it, but I’m not complaining. Smoking it helps my debilitating health symptoms immediately and that’s all I care about.
MT: How is your life different now that you have found cannabis?
CM: It’s not that I just found cannabis, but I didn’t start using it medicinally until about 2 months ago. It has changed my life. Like I said, I suffer from severe insomnia, chronic, severe pain, etc. When I use cannabis (all it takes is 2 puffs for me), I fall asleep instantly and stay asleep all night. It does not take the pain away, but it certainly dulls it. And as far as my anxiety goes, it’s non-existent when I use cannabis. The only time I use it is right before bedtime because of how well it helps me to sleep.
MT: What prescription drugs, if any, were you able to stop using because of cannabis? How does cannabis work better than the prescriptions?
CM: I have been prescribed too many medications to list, but I’ll say this, I had to stop all of them except for 2, due to horrible side effects. The only thing that I take now is Tramadol and Norco and when I use cannabis, I take less of those. For example, I am prescribed one Norco tablet at bedtime (7.5 mg.). When I use Cannabis at bedtime, I only have to use 1/2 of the Norco tablet. Some of the meds that I had to stop using due to horrible side effects are Lyrica, Gabapentin, Amitriptyline and Cyclobenzaprine…just to name a few. The cannabis gives me no horrible side effects at all! It gives me the desired effect, which is to help me sleep, take away the anxiety and dull the pain! It’s a Godsend!
MT: What strains have you found to be most helpful to your specific aliment?
CM: Unfortunately, I have to use what I can get and I never know what kind of strain it is, but I’m guessing it’s more of the Indica strains that work best for me, since those strains help with sleep and pain. Every time I have been given cannabis, it has the effects of the Indica strains.
MT: Have you had any encounters with law enforcement over your cannabis use?
CM: Thank goodness I haven’t. I am super careful, but there’s always that risk and that scares me. As I stated before, I don’t want or like to break the law! I’m not out in public using it and I certainly don’t go around telling people that I use it medicinally. I use it before bedtime and that’s it.
MT: Are you involved in any sort of activism in your area or state?
CM: Absolutely. I started a cannabis and hemp page on Facebook. I also share many studies, testimonies and stories relating to cannabis on my personal Facebook page. I talk to everyone I know about it and I have changed a lot of minds. When I show people the studies and testimonies, they begin to soften a little. I have personal friends who use it for their cancer, Crohn’s and chronic pain so I share that info with others as well. Minds are changing and I’ll never stop sharing info about Cannabis and its wonderful healing properties!
MT: Have you ever thought about moving to another state to gain better access to medical cannabis?
CM: Oh, all the time, but I can’t leave my state due to financial and family reasons. It’s just not possible. It would be nice to live in a state where it’s completely legal though….like I said, I don’t want or like to break the law!
MT: How important is it to you that legalization comes to your state?
CM: It is of utmost importance to me. We have 2 CBD only laws in Alabama, but we need the whole plant legalized. Some patients, such as myself, need the THC, CBD combo! I have quite a few friends in my state who are using it illegally but it is literally saving their life. Pharmaceuticals almost killed them. Cannabis gave them their life back. And just like me, they don’t want to break the law, although there’s a few who could care less. In my strong opinion, we should be able to grow our own medicine. A lot of people can’t afford to buy cannabis from a dispensary because of the high cost associated with it and for someone who is on disability or have low income, there’s just not enough money to purchase it after paying the bills.
Are you a medical marijuana patient who medicates illegally? I want to tell your story (anonymously, if you prefer)! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you our set of questions.
Your story could help others in the same situation and help spread the truth about the amazing abilities of the cannabis plant! Help me spread the word!