I was using marijuana recreationally when I first noticed the effects it had on my pain and my mood. This is when I started using it medicinally. The problem was, street dealers don’t usually place much emphasis on selection or quality control.. You take what you can get and hope for the best.
It took me a week to stop feeling guilt over seeking medical marijuana. I’m a recovering catholic and have OCD, so the feelings of guilt I have can get pretty intense. Also, it has been engrained in my brain since childhood that smoking pot was something you weren’t supposed to do. If my parents found out that I used marijuana regularly they would have sent me to rehab. So I’m not incredibly public about my smoking. My friends know, but I don’t really talk about it with the majority of my family.
I was feeling anxious about even calling to ask questions about this medical marijuana dispensary, but eventually mustered up all my courage and made the call. I have a lot of conditions and daily issues that marijuana helps, and I was still nervous that they would somehow accuse me of lying and just trying to take advantage of the system. Nervous but excited at the prospect of being able to go somewhere and consistently buy the strain of flower that works for my symptoms, I asked a million questions. (I talk a lot when I’m nervous.) I found out it’s located a three minute drive From my house. I would need to go in to have a consultation with their staff Naturopath, but then I would be ready to start buying from any of their dispensaries located across Canada.
My appointment was two days later. After showing two forms of government photo I.D., I sat on the gorgeous, high end sofa to fill out my forms. A short medical history, a conduct contract and a waiver…pretty standard stuff. Once the forms were completed, they took my ID photo and said the Naturopath was running late. So I lounged on the comfy sofa some more and read my book until they were ready to see me.
The Naturopath was very nice and well informed. She recommended some ideas for what type of flower I was looking for, but stated that these were just Band-Aids. She suggested I start to use CBD oil daily as well. She stated something about it being more of a treatment for the disease process. And something about cannabinoid receptors in our bodies… I was incredibly overwhelmed at this point and promised myself I would look into CBD oil more thoroughly as it is quite an expensive proposition. Also, I don’t do things that I haven’t researched and vetted extensively. So that is for another post….
I left the ND’s office and was given my new card and a number. When your number is called, you go to one of five or six dispensary counters to make your purchase. This made the experience very efficient and totally unrushed. At this point, I was incredibly overwhelmed. There was fifteen or more strains of flower as well as shatter, edibles, massage oils, lube… the list goes on and on! I was shocked and intimidated by the variety of choices.
The staff was amazingly helpful and told me to take my time. I asked questions and for some suggestions. Soon I was heading home with a small nondescript brown paper bag containing one strain of flower and two chocolate peanut butter cups.
I felt so liberated! I was able to purchase exactly what I needed with no hassle. The staff was educated and friendly. And when I saw the mix of people coming in for medications, I felt much less guilty. These were well dressed highly educated professionals, these were parents, these were the aged, these were the disabled. These people were just like me. I am not a bad person for using marijuana. I am taking control of my situation. I am choosing to use this to help me get through my days.
This experience has made me stronger. I feel more in control of my medical care. I also hope that this will open up the possibility of reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals I need to take daily. It has opened up a world of new possibilities and hope. People like me could always use a little more hope.
I found the inspiration to share my personal experience when I read Medical Cannabis: My Journey. I felt an immediate connection to this post as it reminded me of my own journey. Head over and check it out for another story of MS and medicinal marijuana use and hope.