Mark M. Ward – Profile in Courage

Full name: Mark M. Ward

Age: 32

Condition or Illness: 

PTSD, agoraphobia, general anxiety disorder, manic depression, cluster migraines, GERD, Diverticulosis

When did you start using medical cannabis?

I’ve used cannabis for well over a decade, but it wasn’t until 2014 when I joined NORML chapters that I really began to understand medical usage. I used cannabis recreationally without regard of different possible effects by different [strain] and potency. When I truly understood the different potentials, I was able to properly use cannabis as medicine.

Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?

I’ve been on a barrage of different benzodiazepines, mood stabilizers and pain pills. I used pharmaceuticals as advised and still became very addicted. Eventually, each medication became less and less effective, so the dosage was raised. I found this wasn’t treatment, but a numbing of all life’s feeling and emotion. It was apathy in a bottle, and it wasn’t for me.

What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?

Big business and big government are the biggest problems. CEOs that have no history with medical cannabis have no business playing “healer” with their dispensaries. Sub-par products are being sold to sick people with no concern of quality. Mislabeled cannabinoid content, mold ridden product, and product saturated with non-organic and even poisonous chemicals is not medicine. Also, the stamping out of recreation and medical patient growing by medical lobbyists is not medicine, but an attempt to monopolize a market.

What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?

It’s OK to be cautious of what you consume. And cannabis isn’t for everyone, but it’s never been directly harmful to anyone. And that cannot be said for any pharmaceutical prescription ever written. There’s a reason why so many patients fight for it . . . it works.

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