Just Don't Start?

Just Don’t Start?

Here we go again. Donald, you’re channeling Nancy. Only now, instead of just say no, it’s just don’t start. Wow. That’s so easy. Donald, do you understand that a significant part of the opioid crisis involves prescriptions written by doctors? I’m certain that most doctors don’t want anyone to become addicted, but to ignore this aspect of the problem is shortsighted at best. Plus, cannabis should be included in the discussion because it’s a safe alternative to opioids. But your Attorney General still lives in the dark ages and believes the government’s long held lies and propaganda about a plant that is safe to use and isn’t interested in removing cannabis from the federal registry, the truth of it be damned.

I don’t get it. With all the science that exists about cannabis, not to mention the plethora of successful anecdotal reports from patients, it’s clear that the government’s viewpoint of cannabis is simply wrong. So to keep a plant illegal that’s safe to use both recreationally and medically makes no sense. Parents with children suffering from life-threatening conditions such as severe epilepsy, cancer, and Crohn’s, are moving to legal cannabis states so that their children survive. And they are. So what’s the deal?

PTSD can be treated successfully with cannabis and veterans should have it available as an option but Republicans don’t seem interested in allowing VA doctors to sign off on patient applications. They’re more than willing to send them all to war but unwilling to explore every option available to them for healing when they return home. PTSD is horrible and the federal government shouldn’t prevent veterans from finding relief.

By lying to everyone when lawmakers made cannabis illegal, they created an unnecessary nightmare resulting in endless prosecutions and prisons full of people convicted of cannabis crimes. All for possessing a plant. Even patients in states where cannabis is legal medically aren’t safe from federal prosecution. And apparently, we’re not allowed to own firearms because we’re too dangerous to handle them. I had to laugh about that one before I became really angry. Since when does cannabis make anyone out-of-control or dangerous? Most people I know are calm and happy when they use cannabis. Never known someone to go off on a cannabis bender and shoot someone. I would think they’d just take a nap.

Had the government not lied about the safety of cannabis, then I doubt we’d have the current opioid crisis. Cannabis would be legal in all states and people would be far healthier for it. Dietary cannabis would be sold in grocery stores in the produce department where it would be considered a staple. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system with receptors waiting to interact with cannabinoids found in cannabis. In fact, there appear to be more cannabinoid receptors in the brain than other types of receptors. When our endocannabinoid system is fully functional and the receptors are firing properly we tend to stay far healthier than when they don’t. In fact, research is now showing that this interaction is key to our health.

Telling patients to just not start using opioids or other drugs isn’t helpful. No one goes out and decides one day to become an opioid addict. It happens when we have pain from all sorts of issues and then we see a doctor. Opioids are prescribed and sooner than later they stop working while the pain continues. If everyone had access to cannabis, then they would have access to a medicine that’s safe and effective and most importantly, not addictive. People could heal without adding addiction to their issues and then go on to live productive lives. And removing cannabis from the federal registry would also stop all the needless arrests and incarcerations which have destroyed the lives of so many.

And here’s the other thing. Controlling cannabis in the same manner that alcohol is controlled is ridiculous. In Oregon, the law decides how many plants we can grow and how much cannabis we can possess with patients having the highest amount. There should be no restrictions on how much you can grow or possess as long as you do not sell it. If you do, then it should be treated as any other product for sale and taxed accordingly. Otherwise, it’s no one’s business any more than how many green bean plants I grow in my garden. Either it’s legal or it’s not.

Lastly, the banking and IRS issues need updating. Cannabis businesses aren’t drug dealers taking in illicit drug money and they need to be able to make their deposits like any other business does. They also need access to the same deductions that all other businesses enjoy. To ask them to deal in cash is insulting and creates a risk that isn’t fair for them to contend with. These people are running lucrative businesses that result in massive tax revenue for their states. It’s time that the Feds backed off and let go of their control over this plant. No one is interested in seeing kids using cannabis unless it’s for medicinal purposes. So stop the histrionics about it. It’s foolish.

I realize I’m biased in favor of cannabis because clearly, it saved my life. I spent thirteen years with severe rheumatoid arthritis with no relief from any of the drugs I was prescribed. I walked with a cane and our entire life revolved around how I felt at any given moment. I never got better in all that time so when I was convinced that I was going to die from my illness during an extreme flare that lasted over a year, I applied for my cannabis card. My doctor at the time wasn’t interested in signing off on the paperwork, so I obtained a copy of my medical records and sent them to a cannabis clinic in Portland. After reviewing my records, they contacted me to set up an appointment. After I saw both a nurse and a doctor at the cannabis clinic, I left with my recommendation and forwarded it on to the Oregon Health Authority. I received my card a few weeks later and my husband began growing for me. I was too ill to do any of it at that time.

Six months later, I had enough dried cannabis to begin making medicine. I made glycerin tincture and I infused cannabis bud into coconut oil. I vaped and smoked and ingested raw leaf and bud in daily smoothies. I adopted the saturation approach and within 2 1/2 months, I was in clinical remission. Just like that. The years of misery were coming to an end.

When I began my own treatment I began discontinuing the medicines I was prescribed: Tramadol, Naproxen Sodium, Metformin (due to the meds and illness), along with two blood pressure pills (also due to the illness). I had retained fluid during the illness that no one thought to deal with despite my requests that they do so. That was gone by the end of the 2 1/2 months as well. I originally was injecting Methotrexate, later taking pills when pharmacies couldn’t get the injectable form, but I began having a reaction so it was discontinued after the first five years. Enbrel was discontinued after seven years into my illness and replaced with Humira which I stayed on until my last injection on September 13, 2015. I’ve had no return of symptoms and I’m doing well on cannabis and herbal medicines I formulate myself.

I published a book on Kindle titled, Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist, which talks about my healing process. I felt compelled to share my story so that others can know that healing is possible irrespective of how ill we become. I walk with no restrictions now, six miles a day, in fact. I have some limitations including numbness in my feet and a right middle finger with a knuckle that’s trashed. But that happened when a 66-year-old customer shook my hand at the last business we owned crushing my hand when he did so. He knew I was ill and commented on how swollen my hands were and how I walked with a cane, but because I couldn’t make a competing business complete the work he was having them do he decided to hurt me in response. That was ten years ago and the knuckle on that hand is still swollen with nodules and I have limited range with it. In other words, it’s useless.

Donald, I’m going to ask you to take a step back and consider the entire picture. The opioid crisis is not as simple as just not starting in the first place. And more importantly, I think you know that. Those addicted to opioids aren’t weak, they’re on a treadmill not of their own making. The answer will never be found in building a wall or arresting everyone with a bag of weed. We have to come at this in a new way. Trust the science about cannabis. People are healing with this plant. I promise you that cannabis is safe and effective and non-addictive. It’s an alternative that can work for people and can be instrumental in ending the nightmare of opioid addiction.

If you’re looking for a way to make this country great again, drop all federal restrictions on cannabis. The remaining states will follow suit and then we can all get on with healing our country. And there’s nothing greater than that.

We’ll talk again soon.


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