Marijuana has always been a marvel plant even though the world locked it away for many years during its prohibition. Now that it is being revived and people are learning that medical marijuana saves lives, it is a concern that there is still so much resistance, particularly on the medical front.
Historically, as far back as 2-3,000 years, marijuana was used as medicine to treat a variety of conditions – from surgical pain to movement disorders. More recently, particularly as the modern battle over prohibition played out, the advances against prohibition have been driven by the drug’s medical impact.
There are many people who have proven that medical marijuana saves lives due to the rising advocacy and use of medical cannabis (in some cases they are one and the same).
Up until now, we have been bombarded by ‘horrifying stories’ of people having bad experiences, and worst case, some leading to death. This is due to the media’s agenda. However, now the blinds are lifting and agendas are changing, we are finally hearing the positive stories, the stories where in fact, medical marijuana saves lives.
So today, I want to take the opportunity to share the following survival stories of where and how medical marijuana saves lives and changed them for the better, and the people who were involved.
Patients Whose Lives Were Changed with Medical Marijuana
Charlotte is more widely- known these days as the little girl who is changing marijuana laws across not only America but in many other places in the world.
Born in 2006, she was diagnosed with Dravet’s Syndrome (childhood epilepsy) at the age of 9. Her parents sought a literal “Lorenzo’s Oil” treatment and connected with some of the first marijuana as child-medicine entrepreneurs in the country, The Stanley Brothers, who were breeding a special, low-THC form of the plant to treat medical conditions.
Charlotte was featured in “Weed”, a 2015 documentary about medical marijuana use for children. The plant itself was also named after her. Charlotte’s Web marijuana is now used not only in the U.S. to treat Dravet’s but just became the first form of the plant to be used in Argentina as the country reforms its marijuana laws. The form of the drug they use is also imported from the United States.
Sharon was 54 when she began experiencing sharp pains near her ribs. After a few days of unremitting pain, she went to her doctor only to be diagnosed with lung cancer and given 9 months to live. She was also told that traditional chemotherapy was not an option.
Refusing to give up, she and her youngest daughter embarked on an internet research investigation.
She began taking cannabis oil orally. After noting that the drug made her tired, she began research on marijuana suppositories.
This seemed to work. She upped her dosage to 2 grams a day and paired the same with a clean diet. Within several months, her tumors had halved in size. In 7 months, she shocked her doctors who found that she was completely disease- free. She is another living testament to the fact that medical marijuana saves lives.
Steph Sherer, Executive Director – Americans for Safe Access
Steph was diagnosed with Dystonia – a particularly debilitating movement disorder that freezes muscles and causes chronic pain. After using medical marijuana to successfully treat her condition, she started ASA in 2002, today the largest patients’ rights advocacy group in the country. She has, in addition to becoming one of the foremost rights advocates in the U.S., also created the first standards for the industry in areas such as distribution, cultivation, analytics and labeling.
Read how I personally battled with Dystonia, my own personal testament that Medical Marijuana saves lives. You can find the full article here.
Ben Oakley Story
Ben Oakley, at age 17 was diagnosed with a unique disease of the nervous system, called Stiff Person Syndrome.
The disease sends painful shocks through the body and progressively stiffens the muscles in the spine and legs.
After a long battle of getting a diagnosis and trying different drugs, he finally found a treatment which improves his condition.
Every day, twice a day he uses Medical Cannabis Oil to find some relief from the pain and it enables him to live a better quality life. He wishes it was more readily available at the stage of his diagnosis.
He has explained that “Initially I said ‘no’ but it was the best decision ever it’s been a magic remedy that reduces my pain levels to the point where life is more bearable.”
Daniel Haslam’s Story
Daniel Haslam, in 2010 was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer at age 20. After chemotherapy, the only medicine to provide him relief from nausea and other side effects was Medical Cannabis.
He made history in Australia by publicly discussing the issue of Medical Cannabis not being readily available to patients like himself and others in his situation.
He moved many with his story and passed away in 2015, at only 25 years of age. His parents continue to advocate for Medical Cannabis and he has really brought it to the attention of the country and despite his story ending tragically, his impact on the movement is undeniable.
Haslam’s inspiring story has been the focus of the documentary film A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana which debuted last June.
The Heroes Who Fight to Make Medical Marijuana Accessible
Mary Jane Rathbun
The lady who helped challenge the Reagan Administration’s horrific clampdown on medical marijuana at the height of the AIDS epidemic is one of the many heroines of the movement. Also known as “Brownie Mary,” the grey-haired old lady worked as a hospital volunteer at San Francisco General where she oversaw a highly efficient tactical distribution network of home-made marijuana brownies to AIDS patients.
People donated pot anonymously to her to ensure that her work continued. She eventually became the recipient of California’s first de facto license to distribute medical marijuana. Her work also helped pass the first state initiative in the country, in 1996, to legalize medical marijuana in California.
Thanks to Mary, her work has gone on to impact and change the lives of patients, it has improved their state of well being.
Peron was an AIDS activist during the worst parts of the health crisis. He set up one of the most successful neighborhood co-ops to distribute medical pot in San Francisco. Raided by local narcotics officers, Peron went on to work with Brownie Mary and others to help pass California’s first medical law. By 1996, his Cannabis Buyer’s Club was the largest in America, consisting of over 10,000 patients.
Dr. Raphael Mechoulam
Dr. Mechoulam was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1930 to a Jewish family. After surviving a Nazi concentration camp and immigrating to Israel, he began to study chemistry and gained his first research experience for the Israeli army working on insecticides.
He is also the first person to identify the existence of the body’s endocannabinoid system – an important metabolic regulator system which allows the body to absorb cannabinoids. His work is the basis upon which all subsequent global cannabis has been based. He is today known as the “Father of Medical Cannabis.”
Light Amid Darkness
I have only covered a few stories out of hundreds of patients and advocates around the world. But just from this sample, it is easy to see that Medical Cannabis can indeed have the power to change people’s lives for the better.
The key difference between the tragic negative marijuana stories and the positive stories is the correct and responsible use of cannabis.
If used with no experience, no knowledge of its effects either medically or recreationally, it can have a negative impact on a person. However, as we are learning, with responsible use, knowledge, and care, we can all benefit from this plant.
Do you have your own personal story on how medical marijuana changed your life?
We would love to hear it, please share below or email us to get in touch if you would like your story published.