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Dialogue With A Medical Marijuana Patient

By Dan Mage  Posted by Dan Mage (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 11/2/11

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To all of you who say "Stand Behind Obama" because the alternative is so much worse:

I ask, is it? Let the war-mongers, the champions of greed, financiers of professional sadists and killers stand in plain sight and assume the helm of the useless state, so hopelessly befouled with corruption, so entirely under the thumb of international finance and global corporatism that we may as well regard it as just another private security firm. At least with George W. Bush we knew where we stood; with Obama the killing continues, and the most pernicious domestic program of our time the "War on Drugs" has escalated. If the administration succeeds in shutting down California's cannabis dispensaries, a day of rejoicing will be at hand for the drug cartels, and the law enforcement agencies they depend on to ensure their obscene profit margins.

On August 31st of 2010, I suggested the use of medical cannabis to a good friend. I had not yet started my 9 month stint as a dispensary janitor, and was strictly speaking about my own experiences with this uniquely versatile medicinal herb.

The Obama Administration's sadistic and cowardly assault on the medical cannabis industry has a direct and measurable cost in human suffering. While I have no illusions about appealing to the humanity of the global elite, and its mouthpieces, I will do what precious little I can to give voice to the good and real people in my life, now facing fear, pain and suffering as a result of the administration's policies.

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Leaving my commentary to the very end, I give you this unedited Dialogue with a Medical Marijauna Patient:

On October 23rd, I received this message:

Things are bad here. My local dispensary closed yesterday. They are closing all's not just San Diego. It's everywhere. No one is safe and many people are not in compliance so...what will happen? Will I end up having to take road trips to Oakland? OMG.

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My Response was as follows:

I wish I could tell you that would be an effective remedy, but even the future of Harborside [Harborside Health Center of Oakland California] is in question, although Steve has[Stephen R. DeAngelo] made it clear through his public announcements that they are not going down without a fight. My advice to you? Try to travel to the civilized world, which this country can no longer be considered part of, while you can, if you can. The only reason I don't leave right now is because I can't.

Within the next couple of months, I'm going to have to learn to do without most, if not all of my medications (unless by some miracle I come up with a lot of money). I had a feeling about ending up here in DC, exactly what I'm doing here remains unclear, but I'm starting to get a picture. I tried to warn people before I left, it's all I could do...although there's not much I can do except continue to publish the occasional article, if I can be of any help to you in any way, let me know, I'm always ready to talk about things and open to new ideas".

And then, in a separate message:

I have an idea for an article featuring the impact of the Holder Memo's actions on real people with serious medical cannabis needs. I need your permission to use your words, anonymously (or with your name attached if you want, it's up to you). Anything more you could tell me about your illness, symptoms, and the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating them would be helpful "The irony of it all is that I just had a Dr. from India cheerfully increase my clonazepam from 2 to 3 mgs per day with 2 refills today, but what I wouldn't give for a [edible cannabis product, brand name withheld]....

After obtaining my friend's permission to anonymously quote, I received the following:

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I have daily chronic migraines. They can come at anytime, but are the worst around 3-4 am. They cause nausea so severe I often cannot eat. I also have insomnia--sometimes I am so afraid of waking up with a migraine I cannot get to sleep. They also cause me severe anxiety. Before MMJ[Medical Marijauna] I was in and out of the emergency room a few times a month and in and out of urgent care weekly--for pain shots and antinausea shots. Now I use MMJ before I go to sleep and usually sleep through the night. It also allows me to eat. I still get migraines, but I no longer have to go to urgent care or the emergency room. Think of the savings in terms of medical care and cost to the system. I can only use Indicas[cannabis indica strains] because of the anxiety and because I need to sleep if I get a really bad migraine. My doc wants me to use it to prevent migraines, but I can't concentrate on school work if I do so I am limited to how much I can use it during the day.

I am fully disabled by SSDI[standards]. I have trouble staying in school because of the migraines--I keep dropping out. After 4 or 5 hours under bright lights in a classroom I get a horrible migraine. I often can't go on vacations or do other things like if we get invited to a party or something because of the migraines. If I do go, I usually end up having to leave early. The MMJ did allow me to visit northern California on my own for about a week. It has helped me in terms of being more autonomous and functional. It will get rid of the pain from most migraines, but sometimes they are so bad I have to take a triptan along with the MMJ.

I take far fewer of the medications for migraines called triptans like Maxalt and Frovatriptan than I used to take. They are dangerous especially to the heart and can only be taken 2 times daily and not every day. Since I have been taking triptans (many years) I have problems with blood pressure (high and sometimes erratic) and have to take heart medications now. The triptans can cause rebound headaches if taken for too long. I get muscle spasms, cramps, and sharp pains in my joints when I take triptans. The MMJ helps with this side effect of the triptans.

Funny you mention clonazepam. I take it to prevent migraines and for the anxiety. I only take 0.5 mg daily. I once got up to 2 mg daily, but it caused tolerance and I needed more and more so I went back down to 0.5 mg. It also causes me to have problems with short term memory.

Also, the typical preventives for migraines like Topomax, beta blockers, Depakote, and other drugs do not prevent migraines for me. I have pretty much tried everything. I do use supplements like co-enzyme Q 10, magnesium, flaxseed oil, and fish oil to lessen the severity of the migraines and try to prevent them--but nothing really works. They just come. I am also on a migraine diet where I have to avoid certain foods like chocolate, any form of alcohol, certain aged cheeses and processed foods.

I am given a very small amount of synthetic opiate called stadol monthly (a nasal spay). I use it when the migraines become unbearable in conjunction with MMJ.

At this point my friend's letter ends. The relief from pain and increased ability to function come through clearly, as does the fear of returning to life before medical cannabis. Hysteria, political ambition, greed and dogmatic tunnel-vision of the powers that be have brought pain and fear back into the life of a good person, a real person who harms no one.

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I was born in NYC in 1959. I grew up in the DC area, the product of suburbia and liberal parents with doctoral-level educations. I dropped out of the public school system in eighth grade, and from all schooling by the age of 16. My life rapidly (more...)

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