My friend threw a party with people from all stages of his life. Parents, siblings, childhood friends and study mates. Quite a few from his times abroad flew in.
Alcohol was the weekend’s main drug but since it was quite a continental party there was a lot of cannabis being smoked also. It wasn’t a problem until his mother found his little brother in an intimate circle behind the barn. She was horrified, disgusted, appalled and shocked. She was disappointed and angry and sad. As the anxious mother she is, she went around and complained to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately she didn’t get the sympathy she sought.
First she went to my friend.
– Oh, do not worry, mom. It’s no big deal.
– What? How can you say that? Don’t you realize how serious it is?
– It isn’t that dangerous. Let it be. Talk to him tomorrow.
Angrily she went in search of a more understanding person.
– It’s awful, she said to me. I caught him smoking marijuana behind the house.
– It’s better than him getting totally wasted on alcohol.
– He won’t get up to a lot of shit and although his brain might function a little slower in the morning, he won’t have a mass extinction of brain cells to deal with.
– You watch it, young man! If I hear anything more from you I’ll call your parents, she abruptly ended the conversation and hurried off to find a better person.
She found an Italian girl who wasn’t all that good at English.
– I found him smoking pot behind the house, she explained.
– You want smoke?
– I am so worried.
– I can roll. How strong you want? asked the girl and brought out a big bag of weed.
Cannabis is a hot subject that people often ask my opinion on. Every plant in nature has a purpose. I try to never make statements about which plants are good or bad, because plants just are.
When working with people that smoke marihuana very often I can note a grey cloud similar to that of a person that chain smokes. It is over and around the head. This is one of the reasons why some healers don’t like too much marihuana.
Why does too much marihuana cause these kinds of blocks?
Well, by smoking it the energy itself doesn’t really have the strength necessary to detox the body. In others words one seldom vomits with marihuana. Therefore the energies that need to be released accumulate in the head chakra, since that is where the marihuana is most active.
Is it possible to develop higher consciousness with this plant?
I have met the spirit a few times and once I managed to reach the center of it. What I saw was that the spirit of this plant helps us to get in touch with the information and knowledge that we have already achieved in our lives, but it won’t give us anything new.
This explains why some people start to take drugs – they are looking for knowledge. But sooner or later these people have reached all they have inside and their hunger for knowledge will drive them to find more with other substances or in other ways. Sadly in our society’s way of thinking there is not much difference between drugs and plants, so people can easily get confused in their search.
You can also understand why some people like artist and writers like this plant, since it helps them to easily access their own information. But if they for example would start doing diets, their abilities would increase and develop much more, in the same way as it would if they worked with such plants like Ayahuasca and San Pedro.
What about healing properties?
Marihuana can heal certain kinds of diseases, but we must be aware that not all diseases can be healed with this plant. In some cases marihuana only covers the symptoms, which is exactly what many normal medicines do.
So in conclusion – marihuana helps you access information that you already have. It helps break down the filters of the normal state of mind. That is why you feel relaxed, but it won’t help you to develop a higher consciousness. Also remember that this plant helps with pain, but doesn’t heal the pain. It only covers the symptoms that are causing the pain. If you for example have emotional problems the marihuana might cover the problems, but it won’t heal them in the way that for example ayahuasca does. At some point you will have to stop covering things up and start facing them.
This is a story of pain, frustration, hope and despair.
A story about the struggle for better health.
A story of medical cannabis.
This is my story.
I would say that I am a rather ordinary man in my upper 30s. I live in the countryside with my wife and our daughter. On weekdays I work as operations manager in health care. I have an interest in diet, exercise and health, both mental and physical. In my spare time I like to watch movies and series, travel, go to dinners, watch ice hockey and socialize with family and friends. I’m a typical average Joe I guess.
What separates me from most others is that I broke my neck in a motorcycle accident at the age of 15, which left me completely paralyzed from the chest down and partially in the arms and hands. Today I have been sitting in a wheelchair for 21 years and my need for assistance is around the clock. Despite my disability I have never seen myself as especially different. I have always had a positive attitude towards life and I have lived it like most others.
My spinal injury was a gigantic shift in my life and has brought with it a lot of hard work. In addition to the paralysis I have many problems that have to do with the complications of the injury. My biggest problem is neuropathic pain (phantom pain in the paralyzed areas), spasticity, inflammation and overworked shoulders, twisted stomach, sleep problems, urinary tract troubles and prostatitis. When these complications become too intense and protracted, it happens that it goes to the psyche in form of anxiety. And then sometimes the anxiety results in depression. These periods have been the worst in my life. They are something I never want to experience again.
At its worst my neuropathic pain feels like a tank ran over me, from my nipples down to my toes. Pain in varying degrees are a part of my everyday life. It has been so for over 20 years and the pain has gradually increased over the years. I rarely show my pain outwards, but it’s hard to hide it from the family. On days when you can barely get out of bed it is difficult to hide it from anyone.
I am very careful with my health. I eat healthy and controlled. Earlier I rarely drank alcohol and now I don’t drink at all. I exercise regularly. Having no synthetic drugs (which incidentally is very rare among people with spinal cord injury), except when I become seriously ill, as with a urinary tract infection which requires antibiotics.
I have during my years had very high standards for what I expect out of the health care system. I have always been involved in my health. I’ve talked, listened, proposed, nagged, argued and cried to get the help I need. Some doctors listen. Some understand. Some give out pills as if it were Easter candy. All doctors have had one thing in common – no one has yet been able to help me. I have tried most drugs and treatments for my pains and other problems. Lyrica, Gabapentin, Sobril, Tradolan, Tramadol, etc. The side effects of each of these drugs have been terrible and unacceptable when compared to the little relief they have given me. In a last attempt to help my pain I got a referral to a pain clinic. I was called by a senior physician who simply said: “We see in your journal that you have tested most traditional treatments. What we can do for you is to offer you a treatment with Methadone. There is unfortunately nothing else we can do.” That was the verdict. It may sound strange, but you didn’t misread that. All they had left to offer me was Methadone.
Somewhere around that time I felt that the health care system had reached its limits when it came to my pain problems. As they themselves came to the realization that they really could not help me, it was easy to lose hope altogether. For believe me, hell will have frozen to ice before I voluntarily slaughter my body with Methadone.
Since I have always been very careful with medicines that do not drastically improve my health or relieve my pains, I have been interested in alternative medicine and herbal remedies. I have tested herbs, roots, flowers and oils of all kinds. For my pain and my anxiety (that live in symbiosis), I have never found anything that gives me the relief I need.
Many years ago I read an article on Cannabis and the plants analgesic properties. After a bit of research I decided to try cannabis in pain relief. This was 15 years ago. Over a 10 year period I tested cannabis a handful of times. They were different types of “street pot” that I managed to get hold of. I have quite a low tolerance level when it comes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The same applied to cannabis. I was uncomfortable and generally felt pretty bad even in relatively small amounts. It did have some effect against the pain, but the side effects were too great. It is said that Cannabis is not for everyone. Cannabis was not for me.
A few years ago I was reading a discussion about neuropathic pain on a forum for spinal cord injuries in the United States. The thread discussed pain management using cannabis containing high levels of CBD. It was a kind of Cannabis without the, in my case, undesired side effect of being stoned. I was very curious and continued my research on CBD and discussed it with the people who use CBD-rich cannabis for their pain. These people used cannabis with a distribution of approximately 1: 1 CBD / THC. CBD unlike THC is not psychoactive and does not cause intoxication. CBD has for example been shown to have anti-epileptic, anti-depressants and anti-inflammatory properties. Together, the CBD acts as a neutralizer of THC’s psychoactive properties, which allows one to take advantage of both THC and CBD’s’s medicinal properties without experiencing any rush.
I came in contact with some people on the CBD Crew, a group of dedicated people who specialize in developing CBD-rich cannabis of that particular type. After long discussions with knowledgeable individuals in the world of medical cannabis and a deep moral discussion with my wife, I decided to make an attempt to medicate with CBD-rich cannabis. I grew my first plant in early 2013. I harvested, dried and cured it. I do not smoke so I made the oil which I planned to eat.
I started at low doses and slowly increased. The result was astounding and I must of course tell you what cannabis is done for me. I cleaned my mail recently and found a message that is written to my doctor at the end of last year that describes this pretty well. I have always had an open dialogue with my doctor about my use of cannabis as medicine. He has witnessed the health benefits I had with cannabis and he has also made notes about it in my journal. Below is the email.
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I am going through my medical records of recent years and thinking about the future and my health. Now it has been more than a year since I started self medicating with my green herbal remedies. It is quite clear when I read my journal what a positive impact this medication has had.
Before I started this, I had several periods of deep concern and on a few occasions it was so bad that I became depressed. XXXX was involved for a while and can certainly attest that I was not feeling great. One period was so bad that I had to be medicated with antidepressants for half a year (by family doctor). In addition to this, I have troubles with among other severe pain, insomnia, IBS and spasticity.
These years that I have had since I introduced my medicine have been the best years for a very long time. I have not had a single day with even a hint of anxiety. My pain is less severe. I have no trouble sleeping any longer. I am basically free from spasticity. My IBS is better. I have more endurance. I am a positive, energetic, happy, and see life with totally different eyes. I have increased my working hours. I have started exercising regularly. The relationship with my wife is wonderful. And the list goes on. My life took a radical turn and my surroundings – wife, daughter and assistants – all say that they see a completely new person in me.
However, my new life comes with a price. According to Swedish law I am committing a pretty serious offense medicating myself as I do. I risk a fine and maybe even prison. I risk my work. I risk my family’s and my reputation. It’s a very high price. At the same time I risk losing all of that if I stop with my medicine, because I dare not even think about how I felt 2 years ago. In addition to this, it is not easy to always have access to my medicine. It is becoming an impossible situation of trying to have enough medicine available. It is also a constant concern that this information ends up in the wrong hands.
[Lots of text where I beg my doctor to let me try Sativex, one of the few approved cannabis medicines in Sweden.]
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CBD-rich cannabis works really well for me, to say the least. Thanks to cannabis I have an opportunity to live a life I never thought was possible. A life where I wake up every morning and look forward to getting out of bed. A life that no longer revolves around trying to cope and survive the day. A life where my health doesn’t hinder me and my family’s lives. A life where I can work, contribute and be part of society. Without noticeable side effects.
Two months after this mail, January 22, 2015, was the day when everything came tumbling down. I was eating breakfast when there was a knock on the door. Outside were two men in plain clothes waving their police badges. They asked to look around and began asking questions. I understood that lies wouldn’t help me, so I told them my story about how and why I use cannabis as medicine. They took my three plants and a small amount of finished medicine that I had left. A brief hearing was held and they left our home. I won’t go into detail about the encounter. The police were respectful and the whole thing was quite un-dramatic.
Once the initial shock subsided came the shame, anxiety and feeling of being very small and insignificant.
After a few days the pain began to come back, the spasticity increased and my sleep was disrupted, my stomach began to fuss and I began to be reminded of how my life actually was before. A life that I can no longer imagine for myself. After two weeks I caved. In sheer panic I called my doctor and said that I refuse to give up and I do not accept to live this way.
I now have Sativex on prescription, but not subsidized, which my doctor had tried to fix. Sativex is incredibly expensive. So I took from my savings, bought Sativex and hoped that it would work as well as I thought it should. I followed the entry stairs dosage and gave it a decent and honest chance. The effect I got was extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and total incapacity to manage my work and my life. For my health Sativex did nothing else than reduce my spasticity.
The disappointment was complete.
The neuropathic pain is worse now than ever, my IBS symptoms are out of control, I have urinary tract malfunctions, I have high levels of anxiety and my sleep problems reinforces all these ailments. Without reason. There is help to be had. I just do not have the permission to use it. 1 step forward and 2 steps back pretty much sums up my current situation.
Now I will be prosecuted. I will be tried and punished.
They are going to punish me because I have chosen to help myself to a better, healthier and more dignified life. I have chosen to defend myself against the illness. That choice is based on the fact that the healthcare system cannot help me. It is a choice based on the first hand knowledge that heavy narcotics cannot help me.
It’s not enough to take away my medicine, my health and my dignity. I should also be punished, at any price. There is something very warped and inhuman to it.
I have committed a crime, I know. A crime in which there are no victims.
But the bigger and more relevant question is, have I done something wrong?
Is it wrong to refuse to feel bad?
Is it wrong to relieve pain and other health problems?
Is it wrong to work, contribute to society and have a decent life?
Is it wrong to be a better father, husband and friend?
Is it wrong to think for yourself and dare to challenge?
Is it wrong to choose a good health?
Is it wrong to choose life?
Is it wrong to use medical cannabis in order to achieve the above?
My answer to the question is hopefully quite clear. I have finally found a medication that works for me. A medication that has given me my life back. For me it’s about survival and the right to a dignified and healthy life. I have been asked if I regret my choice. The answer is no. How could I? Now I know that there is help for me. After so many years of suffering, there is hope. The hope of a better life.
My battle starts here. I intend to stand up straight and do everything in my power for the right to better health. I choose to take the fight because I feel a responsibility to myself, my family and my friends. I also feel a responsibility for all the sick, persecuted, oppressed and vulnerable people who can or will not stand up for their right to a humane life. I am far from alone. There are too many of us suffering in silence. Without reason.
I risk being slandered, attacked, questioned, discredited and diminished. But I will never give up. Never.
What really matters and can make a difference in the end is what you think. Next time it could be you, your best friend or your loved ones who are denied the right to health. Your opinion, like mine, means something. I will be happy to answer questions.
Share. Comment. Tag. Mail. Call. Make your voice heard. Say what you think. Question. Criticize. React. Act.
Thank you for taking the time to hear my story and an extra big thank you to all wonderful people who have supported and helped me along the way.
For the know nothing cannabis opponents the world must really be turning upside down right now. Yesterday they were on top of it. All the pundits were on their side, the government propaganda was on their side and it all just seemed so simple.
Then all of a sudden there was the critical mass of people that knew better and the flood gates opened. Overnight several US states legalized the substance and real scientists got to study the direct effects of the change. So the world turned and wobbled and now the anti-cannabis lobby are clinging on to whatever they can find, as not to fall of altogether.
In Sweden we apparently haven’t reached the critical mass yet. A lot of people are raising their voices, more than ever before, but the political parties are even more feverishly dressing in the same attire as the naked king. These are times of polarization and dogmatism, among an ever more pragmatic and tolerant general population.
The more the Swedish political parties can feel the winds of change coming, the more they huddle together in their misconception that harsher drug laws will help end substance abuse. They have already invested so massively in the losing cause, that they refuse to back down until they are thrown out.
It is time to face the fact. The war on drugs is over and the drugs won.