The Faces of Medical Marijuana: Andrew’s Story
The420TimesStaff | Jan 18, 2012 | Comments 0
By Joe Klare
This month’s “Faces of Medical Marijuana” subject is a 24 year-old from Indiana named Andrew. He works for a major University and was kind enough to tell us his story.
As his young age, Andrew has had to battle Cancer twice. It would seem a reasonable thing to say that Andrew should be allowed to try any medicine to help alleviate his suffering; after all, wouldn’t any reasonable person agree that two bouts with cancer before the age of 24 is enough to deal with in life?
Yet many states in this country, including Andrew’s home state of Indiana, say that the use of cannabis is illegal, even in Andrew’s case. As Andrew told us, “[I’ve] used medical marijuana through chemo both times. Medical marijuana is illegal in Indiana so I had to use ‘black market methods’ to get the marijuana.”
In what dimension is it okay for a sick person to have to go out into the black market to get medicine? What justification is there for a person who is not hurting anyone and is seeking relief from an incredibly devastating disease being labeled a criminal?
Especially when cannabis works better than anything else. “I’ve tried all the prescriptions for nausea and pain associated with chemo and they failed in comparison to marijuana,” Andrew said.
Andrew started off like many medical marijuana patients, as a recreational user. “I had tried cannabis before getting cancer but after feeling the benefits, the frequency has increased quite a bit,” Andrew told us. “The light sensitivity, appetite, nausea and overall mood enhancer that cannabis was during chemo was life changing. Nothing else came close.”
Andrew’s story is same the same thousands upon thousands of people across this country. Those who suffer the most in our population, treated the worst. The word “compassion” does not spring to mind.
We asked Andrew if he was active in cannabis issues in Indiana or had thought about moving to a state more hospitable to his medical needs. “No, I haven’t been very active in the MMJ in Indiana process just because I’m not too sure where to start in the process,” Andrew said. “I would love to move to a state where MMJ is legal but it seems like even California and Colorado are being shut down.
“To be honest, it seems fairly grim for someone who uses MMJ for actual medical reasons, unless my Ron Paul vote in 2012 carries him to the top. But if I had a job offer in California, I would move and help fight the good fight. Because people that use MMJ need to be heard, and I’ve always felt if I had a chance to approach congress I would ask one thing, ‘How can people who have never used medical marijuana have an opinion on how effective it is. The voice on that matter should come from those who know.’”
Whatever your feelings on recreational use or legalization or whether or not some medical marijuana users are just recreational users who want legal weed, there is one thing most people agree on:
Someone battling a life-threatening disease like Cancer should be able to use cannabis, without drama or delay. And certainly without being labeled a criminal or being forced into danger by having to get their medicine on the black market.