I’ll never forget the moment cannabis entered the scene for me.
I was struggling with yet another migraine. Suffering in silence, laying in bed, clutching a wet washcloth to my forehead. The typical routine for me. I would have to wait several hours until the pain would pass as the three ibuprofen I had taken earlier had no pain-relieving effect at all. That’s how nasty these migraine episodes could be.
A friend of mine texted me, asking to hang out. I replied that I was seriously on my deathbed. This migraine would not subside. He wrote back that he was coming over anyway and that he had something that would help. Inquisitive, I told him to come over ASAP. I was hopeful that maybe he would supply me with a highly powerful pain reliever (prescription migraine pills are somehow easy to find, my mom’s coworker even supplied me Imitrex back in the day). And if anything, perhaps the company and laughter would cheer me up from my migraine-induced slump.
When he arrived at my place, he greeted me with a perfectly rolled joint. Perplexed, I asked him if he was serious.
“Serious as a heart attack,” he said smiling as he handed the spliff to my shaking hand (the excruciating pain from my migraines usually makes me tremble in pain, especially when I’m standing and attempting to live out a normal day).
I was not a pot smoker back then. I was, however, a social drinker, which in retrospect was kinda gross but normal. Most people in their late teens and early twenties partake in social drinking, accompanied by the several occasions of binge-drinking. Downing shots and sipping on vodka sodas (because they’re low-cal!) are all part of a normal life of a young professional. Somehow, as a society, we’ve allowed the copious consumption of toxic beverages to be the mainstay weekend activity. On the other hand, marijuana gets a bad rap for making people lazy. Someone who smokes is labeled a “stoner” while a drinker is considered a “social butterfly” or “party girl.” The discourse alone sways people’s opinion on this harmless plant.
Lighting up and taking a deep inhale into my lungs, I instantly felt the pain begin to dull. I relaxed, sitting on the sofa, and puffed away. Each inhalation drew the pain further away. I was able to sit up straight, something non-migraine sufferers don’t understand. When you’re entire head and face feel like they’re going to explode, merely sitting upright can be challenging.
Nausea and light sensitivity so commonly related to a migraine episode also began to dissipate. I was finally experiencing relief, all thanks to a plant which receives such unfair ridicule and subsequent illegality!
From that moment on, I have come to find solace and relief in cannabis. For me, it has worked wonders as far as pain relief and migraine symptom alleviation. The only downside, of course, is that many countries, states, whatever, do not consider marijuana to be a proper form of medication and it is therefore illegal. This causes issues in getting access to my medicine and forces me in a bind. I risk possible arrest and prosecution in procuring marijuana. I also have to put all my faith into a “drug dealer” to have access to it. I also cannot buy marijuana when I need it as it cannot be easily purchased. Overall, marijuana illegality is a pain (in the head, teehee).
Despite countless scientific studies and reports from leading researchers and peer-reviewed journals revealing the medicinal properties of marijuana (especially for migraine treatment), governments are slow to act. Under the guise of “protecting the public,” government officials are happy to approve dangerous pharmaceutical drugs which come with a hefty price tag and a long list of potential side effects. It truly is baffling how backwards our judicial system is, especially when millions of people can benefit immensely from the legalization of this plant.
As apathetic as I am about corrupt government and greedy politicians (because if I think about it, I become enraged), I choose to live my life focused on positivity, health, and happiness. I believe that perhaps one day we will witness marijuana legalization across the globe. Until then, I will rely on my friendly “drug dealer” (who is actually a nice clean-cut, professional) and the curative powers of cannabis on my migraine pain. For now, I have to embrace being a “criminal.” At least I won’t be a prisoner to pain anymore.