I needed weed for the pain
How have drugs affected your life?
In this Stuff Nation assignment, we ask readers to share what impact drugs have had on their lives.
After several years of inactivity caused by poor posture desk jobs and a contributing back disorder, I began to experience acute chronic pain.
I tried everything, chiropractors, massage, heat packs, exercise, acupuncture, nothing seemed to bring relief.
Then a friend introduced me to cannabis and, along with other prescription medication I was taking at the time, I finally felt relief and had some control over pain from waking to bedtime.
While I still woke up to the pain everyday, at least I could manage it. In situations where it wasn't appropriate to use cannabis, such as when I left for work or when I needed to drive, I could use my doctor-supplied pain medication until I could get home and treat myself with cannabis and be pain-free for at least some of the day.
This new found freedom wasn't accepted by many of my friends, some of my family and more so my partner, whom I loved and cherished at the time.
Despite my many efforts to convince them of why I needed cannabis to control the ongoing pain as I had tried many other options, they suggested I should drink alcohol, ask for stronger pain relief from the doctor or try this or that exercise.
I was trying to avoid stronger pain relief as some of the medication prescribed to me was already having serious side effects such as bleeding from the intestines and the only other thing the doctor could offer was highly addictive.
I took this in my stride and told myself they were just ill-informed and put forth a lot of effort into cannabis law reform. I spent much time writing to MPs and trying to spread information.
This aggravated the situation with my partner even further, and due to the cost and difficulty in obtaining cannabis at times, it began to take its toll.
Eventually my relationship with my partner deteriorated and we parted ways.
I have given up using cannabis for pain relief and now, in combination with off-the-shelf medicines, use the highly addictive medicine given to me by my doctor, albeit only when absolutely necessary. This gives me a little control but I still wake in pain and go to bed in pain.
To this day I am still very resentful that we live in a society where people who require access to effective medicine are denied it and a person who grows a plant is often more persecuted that rapists or murderers.
I have to wonder what is worse: cannabis itself, or the fact it's currently illegal?
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