I am writing to express my growing level of annoyance in the perceptions surrounding medical marijuana, and the actualities of the MMAR program. Ignorance breeds contempt, and I am beyond tired of being labeled as a degenerate stoner, while being left out in the cold with little to no support.
I am licensed for relief of neuropathic nerve pain suffered as a result of cancer surgery, and other side effects from chemotherapy. I also suffer from celiac disease, IBS, chronic tendonitis, psoriasis, several food allergies, and go figure, stress and anxiety. I use marijuana because I find it provides better relief from symptoms suffered with fewer side effects than conventional medications.
I am fed up with the stigma that I am a fried drug addict trying to somehow pull the wool over the eyes of our social and justice systems, and getting high on the taxpayer’s dollar. Nothing could be further from the truth:
- I’m an intelligent, hardworking, and social tech professional – not constantly staring into space with a glazed look;
- marijuana is in no way inherently addictive – the only craving involved is my body relief; and
- I have never received any form of financial support, discount, or benefit for having an MMAR license. It is not a prescription, and is not covered by insurance or social assistance. Just off disability and on EI, taking in less than $1400/month, the $1000-$1200/month expense is mine alone to bear.
MMAR licensees are not drug addicts and degenerates, or a financial drain on any social system. Collectively we are some of the sickest people in Canada, and want nothing more than relief – debate the merits of decriminalization or legalization all you want, but do not look down your nose at those who are suffering.
Cut the red tape, and help those in need. Patients should not be subjected to wait times in the order of months, simply to have a public servant rubber stamp applications already approved by a doctor. Secondly, the MMAR program must be modified to incorporate the potential for financial support. I don’t know what the answer is, but I have a major problem with having to choose between: A/ taking handfuls of discounted, affordable pills whose most common side effects are suicidal thoughts, becoming malaise, feeling anti-social, and loss of appetite; or, B/ solely shouldering the cost of marijuana at the expense of all other aspects of life.
I have no want for sympathy, but I’ll take all the support and understanding I can get.