As a person who has been in pain ever since I awoke out of my coma from a car accident 23 years ago, I understand that the pain can make you so desperate that you will seek anything to get some relief. In the beginning, I used opioids at the insistence of my physicians, because that’s all they had to call upon; alternative methods or medicines were just not options. However, after my husband left me with two small children to raise, I had to clear my head so that I could be there for my little ones. I slowly weaned myself off all the opioids and sought alternative methods to relieve my pain. I found that if I worked out enough doing housework or exercises, I would be exhausted enough to go to sleep. I also used meditation, but still there would be times when I would have to catch up on sleep and would take something so I could calm the pain.
It wasn’t until I became ill with an autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis that I had to turn to some rather harsh medicines, Prednisone and Methotrexate, to put that condition into remission. However, those drugs took a toll on my system and my liver began to fail. Luckily, I was under the care of Mayo Clinic physicians and they brought my liver back to health, but warned that certain drugs were no longer an option due to possible liver failure. Thankfully, I had just returned to California to care for my ailing mother who was dying of cancer, and so I applied for a medical marijuana card with the hope that I could use the drug to alleviate the pain that, over time, had gotten worse, due to aging and degenerative changes surrounding my initial injury.
I had to figure out on my own how much THC I could tolerate and what worked to alleviate my pain while still allowing me to function in everyday life. Smoking marijuana wasn’t an option, because my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, so I used tinctures and edibles, which worked well for me. I am telling you all this personal background to show that I have a pain history and that for people like me who need THC so we can function and live, it is downright unconscionable that some people are getting a medical card just so they can resell medical marijuana. What these people don’t realize is that they are ruining it for those of us who really need medical marijuana to have any type of quality of life. All I can say is, think about your actions in that you may be able to keep it a secret for a while but, eventually, someone will talk about your reselling.
Some disabled people see it as a quick way to earn extra money without having to leave home. I say don’t do it, because jealousy is an angry beast and when people around you see you living above your means, they could possibly report you to the authorities. The legal ramifications could be harsh; many disabled residents of California who were caught reselling had their disability payments suspended as well as being put on probation for several years.
On behalf of those individuals like me following the letter of the law and only consuming what they need to get by each day, I ask that those of you who are thinking about reselling medical marijuana think long and hard about how long it took for medical marijuana to be legalized in Florida. The conservatives who have been against legalizing medical marijuana will point to this ugly side of legalization and will probably use it to employ more restrictions on its use.
Quintana is a medical marijuana patient in Riverside.