July 27th, 2009 | By erik
In 1991 when I was only 17 years old I was afflicted with a condition that plagues many Americans, migraine head aches. At the time I was attending a private boarding school and little was done for the condition. The answer for my pain was “ take a couple of aspirin and go lay down”. When these headaches began I was living a completely clean and sober life, the only thing I was doing differently was welding galvanized steel with out a respirator. I later found out, as an adult, that the fumes are toxic. Placing blame is not the topic of this essay, my personal freedom to safely medicate myself is.
After a year of suffering with debilitating migraines I decided to go to the doctor. I saw 3 different general practitioners and 2 neurologist. I took a multitude of tests including 2 CAT scans. The diagnosis I was given was basically we don’t really know the cause of your head aches but we can medicate you. I was prescribed a plethora of drugs including lithium, amitryptilin, wellbutrin, imitrex and many more. I am not going to go into the negative effects of these drugs as I would be quoting hundreds of pages of medical text.
The only relief I could find was through the use of cannabis and meditation. Three years after my pain began I finally found a clean and natural way to deal with my pain. My natural medication didn’t have any of the undesirable side effects that the drugs had and it actually worked! The only downside I could or can find is that marijuana is still illegal.
Not only has marijuana alleviated the pain from my migraines it has also helped ease the pain I have from back injuries. I have been diagnosed with a torn disc in my lower back and a displaced vertebrae with a cist on my spinal cord. 14 years of building houses took it’s toll on my body and left me with some very persistent pain. Once again the doctors put me through a large array of tests, treatments, and drugs. The final straw for me was when they prescribed 3 30 milligram pills of oxycodone a day. Having seen several close friends become addicted as well as overdose and die I decided that could manage my pain with, exercise, meditation, and marijuana.
I am not discounting the merits of western medicine all together. I am saying that medical marijuana should be added to the bag of tools a doctor has to work with. Many studies have shown that marijuana is an extremely safe and beneficial medication. I thank god daily for the medicine he gave us. I also pray that we can all make a political difference. Through political activism, protest, and voting we can change our laws. Everyone should sign petitions and write their local, state, and federal representatives. It’s time for us to stop being treated like common criminals. It is time for us to be allowed to practice our religions and to medicate ourselves with out destroying our bodies.