Condition/Illness: Depression, Anxiety, PTSD
Using medical cannabis since: 2009
Why did you start using medical cannabis?
I had anger and violence issues that eventually led me to be involved with the criminal justice and mental health systems. I was put on numerous pharmaceutical medications that had multiple negative effects on my health, resulting in me needing in-patient care multiple times per year. At the end of one of my appointments, as my doctor gave me a handful of trial size boxes of pills along with a written prescription for more, he asked me if “I had ever heard of medical cannabis.“ I had smoked a little as a teen, and never thought of it as medicine. I was on probation in a state that had no legal protections for medical cannabis, so I used the next few years to do as much research as I could on the subject. When I got off of probation, I sold all my belongings, left my friends and family, and moved to California. I am now pill-free and haven’t had any need for institutional care for seven years.
Did you try any other methods or treatments before cannabis?
Yes. I was on a multitude of pharmaceutical medications and was involved with therapy and counseling. Most of the pills actually made my conditions worse.
What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?
Educate yourself, talk to patients that use this medicine. If you can’t find a patient, the internet is full of good information. There is no reason to remain ignorant in this age of information. The truth is out there.