Kill The Stigma: Get Well Not High

“Marijuana: It won’t kill you….Unless a bale of it falls on you” – Willie Nelson

I’m writing this blog from the front lines. The front lines of a Cannabis Clinic in Columbus, Ohio (Ohio Green Team) where on a daily basis we meet somewhere between 5-20 medical cannabis patients, applicants, their families and loved ones.  These people are: Male, Female, LGBTQ, Black, White, Hispanic, Doctors, Attorneys, Bartenders and Car Salesman – you get the picture – it’s anyone and everyone. I’ve met an incredible 3 year-old and 13 year-old boy who both are alive to this day because of cannabis just as I’ve met a spunky 83 year-old woman, who in her younger days, was a professional powerlifter. My point is, we’ve met every walk of life in the clinic. Cannabis does not discriminate and neither should YOU!

Best of the Best: our Vets!

One of my all-time favorite individuals I’ve met is a retired soldier who returned from Afghanistan having lost more than 10 of his comrades and has PTSD so bad he doesn’t trust himself in public forums. By all accounts, this young man has plenty going for him. In his mid 30’s; he’s happily married with 2 beautiful children and a nice home. However, the only thing that he has found to help him with his pain, PTSD and mental health is cannabis and CBD. It doesn’t sound that bad, but like he says, “No one gets it man; they all look at me strange – wondering under their breathe if I’m high or going to freak out.” He goes on to say, “I want a better life than opioids offer me – just want the stigma others have towards me and cannabis to go away.” So I asked him last night on the phone as we were catching up, “What do you say to these people, or what would you like to say to these people?”  His answer, “Don’t judge my choices if you don’t understand my battle.”   An awe-inspiring quote if I do say so myself; one that I think we can all rally behind

Q: So why medical cannabis? A: Quality of Life

This is the resounding response I get when I ask our patients about their alternative medicine choice. It seems really simple, but if you go a step further and ask them what they dislike about medical cannabis? Simple answer: The Negative Stigma  

This is where we, as a community, MUST. GET. BETTER. We must support our brothers and sisters of every walk of life. We must break down these barriers surrounding marijuana while allowing patients and users to heal and get better.

Much akin to remembering yourself as a kid and your mother or father offering you to taste something for the first time. Many of us decide on how this treat is going to taste or feel before trying it.  Once we’ve tried it, our response is already prepared: yuck. spit. eww.  

Health > Perception

I’m not suggesting everyone go out and try Cannabis or CBD, but what we should all be asking for is honesty and informed opinions. Do your research. Understand the benefits and qualifications to be a medical cannabis patient. Once you’ve done that, think to yourself, ‘is there anyone out there who could benefit from this knowledge and medicine?’  Reserve judgement the next time you hear or see of someone using their medicine to get better just like you would if it was a person taking an Advil with their orange juice.

Almost every patient we see is more concerned about the perception surrounding being a medical marijuana patient than anything else. This, in turn, keeps so many candidates from learning and gaining access to an alternative choice of medicine that can often save or improve their lives or someone they love.   

LETS KILL THE STEREOTYPE AND SOCIAL STIGMAS SURROUNDING CANNABIS.

To all of you that are dealing with these stigmas: we are here for you and stand in solidarity. Here’s to GETTING WELL not HIGH!

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