A love letter to medical marijuana

Guest column by Danielle Shorr, junior creative writing major

Danielle Shorr, junior creative writing major

If I had a dime for how many bouts of nausea I’ve suffered from this past year, I could donate a building on campus. The kind of uneasiness that drains all color from your face while simultaneously making the room spin is what I deal with on a weekly, if not daily basis.

My long list of chronic pains and illnesses doesn’t register obvious on my seemingly typical physical appearance, something that is both a benefit and a disadvantage. The invisibility of my suffering, while conveniently hidden, is hardly courteous.

If I’m not splayed across the tile of my bathroom floor with a wet rag on my forehead at 2 a.m., I’m probably sitting up in bed, insomnia-ridden. This is where the romance comes in.

When I moved to Venice Beach at the age of 18, the wide availability of medical (and also some not-so-medical) marijuana was more expected than it was surprising. What did come as a surprise were the many ways in which it would change my life.

I have never been in perfect health, which is to also say that I probably never will be. With my infinite number of random food allergies, I am almost always destined for some sort of disaster. Topped off with a variety of internal malfunctions and discomfort, I’m a WebMD addict’s worst nightmare. I’ve tried everything for symptom management. For me, taking Tylenol and Advil have about the same helping effect as swallowing a single M&M. Prescription medications come at a cost, both financially and physically. While they may diminish some symptoms, they typically end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

For the sake of my credibility, I’ll limit my mention of my own marijuana use to its medicinal purposes, but believe me when I say that I wouldn’t be where I’m at without it. Medical marijuana helps me function on days when I otherwise might be unable to leave my bed. Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) helps treat physical discomforts with a lack of psychoactive effects. My accessibility to products containing CBD oil is important, if not imperative to my ability to successfully make it through my days. With this admission doesn’t exactly come relief.

Even though we’re making statewide progress to make medical marijuana more accessible, our federal government continues to vow its restriction. Employers can still legally discriminate against marijuana users, regardless of whether or not they are granted medical recommendation for it. While my peers drink vodka until it seeps out their pores, I wait patiently for the day Chapman welcomes my Mary Jane onto its campus. I ask you to evaluate your stance on the incredibly controversial plant, to think about the situations in which it may be beneficial, and how your views might change were you to need its help.


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