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An Open Letter From A Fresno, CA Medical Marijuana Patient

An Open Letter From A Fresno, CA Medical Marijuana Patient by Tommy Hawkins Jr. From the Fresno, CA KMPH (FOX) website's community bulletin board: I would like to ask those of you who have the time to please click the link above so I can increase my hit count on this post and show KMPH (FOX) that many people are interested in the topic of medical marijuana. You can also leave a comment if you want to. Thanks! I have a degenerative spinal condition, among other ailments, and I suffer severe, chronic pain to the point that my Pain Management Doctor prescribes me morphine and Norco daily. It took a lot of suffering before I finally broke down enough to start taking the morphine because I'm only in my mid forties, and when the doctors told me that I needed to start a lifelong regimen with this drug, I quickly realized that a lot of things needed to be taken into consideration. Things like the fact that in a situation where I would need the help of an ambulance crew, the strongest thing they would usually have on hand to give me when I could be in even worse pain would be morphine, and since I take that daily, it likely would not be very effective for relieving my suffering. And how about the next time I need surgery and will be faced with post-op pain? The addiction factor alone scares the hell out of me, too... I mean, I didn't grow up wishing that the doctors would make me into the basic equivalent of a "heroin junkie" one day, and it should be obvious what my fate will be when they have the technology to repair my spinal condition and it's finally time to go off the legal "smack." Can you say, "Horrible withdrawal symptoms", at the very least? I use medical marijuana to help alleviate some of the pain I'm in, and to help me cope with some of the symptoms of the Bipolar Disorder that came into my life along with all the other little gifts of puberty that we all know so well. In our community garden, next to the tomatoes and other vegetables, you will find a few more plants growing naturally in the sun. When they are ripe my friends and I harvest their flowers and consume them just like we do with all of our garden's gifts from nature. I have found that if I simmer dried marijuana leaves and flowers in olive oil or butter for a few hours in the slow cooker, all the beneficial compounds of cannabis are drawn out into the oil, changing them no more than to add a mild, pleasant aroma and taste, and a light green tint to these foods. I often rub the resulting cannabis olive oil on my arthritic knees when they hurt because it eases the pain better than any store bought remedy I know of. I like to eat foods cooked with cannabis butter because they taste really good to me, and when cannabis compounds enter the human body naturally through the digestive system there are very little intoxicating effects, yet I get all the benefits of the pain and muscle spasm relief that the cannabis compounds can provide. I also have found that I don't build up a tolerance to the cannabis like I do the morphine and other man made drugs, so I substitute some additional use of this natural plant to slow down the addiction/tolerance factor of the morphine. And, yes, I also smoke cannabis for pain relief and to relax my tired body sometimes, but I only do so in areas where cigarette smoking is allowed (as the medical marijuana laws say I must) and I make a conscious effort to see that nobody gets exposed to any of the second hand smoke. I try to be a responsible citizen... I follow all the laws that I am aware of except for federal medical marijuana laws (Oh yeah, President Obama said medical marijuana patients and providers are good to go on the Federal level, too, so long as we don't break any other laws, so is that really…), and I try to better myself and my community whenever I get the opportunity. I strive do these things every day, just as I try to do all things in my life, with the intention of "doing no harm" to others while enjoying my life to its fullest.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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