A Wife’s Perspective: Living with a Licenced Medical Marijuana Patient

Article by Danielle Hogan, High! Canada

A Wife's Perspective: Living with a Licenced Medical Marijuana Patient

Cannabis is legally available for medical patients with a license. But are cannabis consumers ready to come out of the closet and become licensed patients? How many people are going to continue to live in the shadows and treat themselves like criminals? A system needs to be organized and followed through with that can educate people on the beneits of medical cannabis. One that will help doctors feel comfortable prescribing cannabis as a medication option. A system that will support and guide a person through the process of becoming a licensed cannabis patient. My point is people need help coming out of the shadows. If family, friends, and community members could be supportive and positive toward medical cannabis. Then, patients would be able to trust the system and not judge themselves as criminals. Cannabis consumers could be comfortable to step into the light. Maybe then the cannabis world might not be so grey anymore. I know many great people who consume cannabis; some are licensed patients and some are still too unsure and untrusting to admit they need a license. My husband, who I’ve lived with for 18 years, is a licensed medical cannabis patient. He uses it for anxiety. I have personally witnessed the journey he traveled through to get to this point. So, I sat down with him in his man-cave and asked him a few questions on the subject.

Me: “On average, how much cannabis do you consume a day and what do you use to smoke it?”

Ryan: “About 10 grams a day. First I grind it (cannabis) then I add tobacco. Cut it with scissors and remove impurities. Then, I smoke from a ½ gram bowl in a metal slide shaft glass bong. A classic nowadays. I occasionally vape oil and eat the odd editable.”

Me: “How does it make you feel when you smoke cannabis?”

Ryan: “Depends on the strain of cannabis. The time of day or the people I talk to. Sometimes I could be too burnt. Sometimes I’m balanced. Sometimes I have too much anxiety. I’m waiting for it (cannabis) to be tested and regulated so I know which strain make me balanced. When I’m balanced, I function normal.”

Me: “How did your friends and family react when they learnt of your cannabis use?”

Ryan: “Negative. Very unsupportive. They outcaste me. My friends don’t like the smell or they have kids they want to hide it from. So, I distance myself from them.”

Me: “How have you overcome your family’s reluctance to understand your cannabis use?”

Ryan: “I get over it because in the end I know I have to deal with myself. Worry about myself. I end up missing important family events that mean a lot to me because I’m afraid of their judgement and ridicule. You’re either with it (cannabis) or against it. I can’t change the way people think.”

Me: “Have you been arrested for cannabis? How has that changed things in your life?”

Ryan: “Yes, I’ve lost jobs. I’ve lost family. I’ve lost time and opportunities. No United States for me. I miss out on travel. I’m labeled a criminal and I’m not a bad guy.”

Me: “Have you tried to quit in the past?”

Ryan: “Yes, I’ve switched to prescription medication a few times but I wasn’t able to feel like myself and function through everyday life. I was different or slept too much or was too silly. I felt too drugged.”

Me: “Did you have any help or support while you were trying to quit?”

Ryan: “Nope. I’m a husband and father. I must take care of my family. I believe I would’ve been more successful if I had help caring for my family while I was trying to figure things out. I had to commute my wife from Burlington to Toronto with our 3-year-old son; I crashed with him in the car while on prescription medication because I fell asleep. I was guaranteed the meds wouldn’t make me drowsy because I had responsibilities. I’ve never fallen asleep driving while high on cannabis.”

Me: “How did you first react when you learned about medical cannabis being allowed in Canada?”

Ryan: “I signed up! I made an appointment with my doctor. I told her that I needed her permission to consume cannabis. I gave her the papers to sign and mailed them. I was happy, this might change things. I’ve already tried different prescriptions and therapies. I knew I could work with medical cannabis. I just needed it to be legalized.”

Me: “Do you feel comfortable using cannabis in public now that you are a registered patient? Why?”

Ryan: “Depends on the place. If children or people who dislike the smell are around then, I’ve no intentions of bothering them. Has to be accepted; then I’m comfortable.”

Me: “You’re married with children – do your kids know about you being a medical cannabis patient? How does that make you feel?”

Ryan: “No. I don’t want them to judge me. I don’t want them to think I’m a bad guy. I don’t know if they’ll accept it or understand it. I need society to accept it (cannabis) irst. I need society to teach not just my children but all children not to judge medical patients. Would you judge someone taking insulin for diabetes?”

Me: “How do you think you will react if one of your children start using cannabis?”

Ryan: “Negative but supportive. I’ve no intentions of letting them use cannabis in a recreational matter but would be supportive if it was for medical use. I believe in the medical properties of the cannabis plant.”

Me: “Would you quit smoking if cannabis was available in other forms? If so, how do you see yourself taking it?”

Ryan: “Yes, I see myself with an inhaler. We don’t smoke the Tylenol plant, do we? I’m waiting for an inhaler to be made.”

Me: “Do you believe you cause a threat while driving high? What about other people?”

Ryan: “Are you smoking while driving? Any physical smoking while driving is a distraction. Everyone should be focused on just driving. But medicated beforehand, I believe I’m not a threat because I’m focused and calm. As for other people; you’re only as strong as your weakness link.”

Me: “What’s your option on the effects cannabis has on people? Do you believe people can function through everyday life medicated on cannabis?”

Ryan: “If people had the proper strains for their conditions; I believe they could function with no problem. It’s when people smoke or consume a strain or dose that’s not for them it becomes a negative effect.”

I will admit, as a wife, I haven’t always been supportive or understanding towards my husband. His prescription trails were not easy. Some pills made him sleep all the time. He would skip meals and have mood swings. One pill he tried made him too goofy and gleeful; which isn’t part of his personally. A big part of my life depends on his support; our family needs him to be focused. When Ryan is medicated on cannabis he seems to be normal. If you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t be able to tell he was medicated. But when he has long periods of not using it his mood changes drastically. He experiences high levels of anxiety. He’s quick to anger and distract. He has too many thoughts and can’t talk quick enough to get them all out. Very hyper, which makes it hard to focus. Medicating with cannabis calms my husband down without the side effects pills have had on him. People should know they don’t have to consume pills for; chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, eating disorders, or sleeping disorders to name a few.

Now that cannabis is an option I hope we can learn as a society to not judge cannabis for its past. But see a positive future for growth in an industry that has so much to offer. There is potential for new health discoveries and job creation. There are promising new product ideas containing cannabis. Exciting cannabis events to organize. I believe the time has come to end being afraid and feeling judged. Cannabis is not a good reason for any of these feelings or thoughts. There is so many more harmful products to be worried about that are already part of your life. Alcohol, granulated sugar, household cleaning products, processed foods, etc. Cannabis is not the bad guy and neither are its consumers. Whether you inhale it or ingest it. Or maybe use cannabis bi-products for cloth, rope, or arts and crafts. No one should be judge negatively. We need more research and programs dedicated to changing the stigma associated with cannabis.

Let’s move forward and grow.

See original article here.

About High! Canada

Our content is exclusively about Cannabis as it exists in both Canada and its new place around the world. We provide news on current trends in Marijuana, reviewing pertinent products and informing the public about ongoing legalities of both medical and recreational cannabis use. Our High! Canada Magazine is printed in an easy to distribute (8.5” by 7“) full color format, monthly.

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