Victory! Well… sort of
Part 5 – June 16, 2017
With a warm, happy heart and a legally lit doobie smouldering in my ashtray, I am so happy to announce that my surgeon has signed my ACMPR! I am legally allowed to purchase cannabis from a government licensed producer, grow my own plants and medicate as I need to… as long as it’s a max of 3 grams of dried cannabis for three months.
I am considering this to be a step in the right direction. Now, I can be assured that when I am travelling back to the island after my hysterectomy, a police officer cannot take my medicine. If I am in agony on the ferry, I can medicate in my car so I don’t bother any families enjoying the beautiful decks. Plus, I don’t have to worry about what my car smells like if my driver is pulled over because I can back up my explanation. If I had kids, I wouldn’t have to worry about having them taken from me.
With an ACMPR license, the odds of staying off opiates through this procedure have drastically shifted in my favor. I feel like I have a serious chance because I have paperwork to prove that cannabis is my medicine. After six and half years of having to take opiates daily, I fully appreciate every minute that goes by where I don’t. My worst day using only cannabis as medicine is still astronomically better than my best day taking an opiate. For the next 3 months, no one can take my medicine away from me.
Here’s where they screwed it up
Having an ACMPR for only three months forces me to have to buy cannabis. I am going to be completely upfront when I say that I know nothing about growing and have actually killed a cactus in the past. Despite my brown thumb, I would love to learn. Growing my own cannabis would save me thousands of dollars and I could reinvest that money into myself and my healing.
The problem in this situation is that a grow cycle is usually between 2-3 months; so, I would be harvesting just after the time I needed the cannabis most. On top of that, I would be left with pounds of cannabis just as my license expires.
Advice to everyone, including myself – bring an advocate
I work in this industry and will fight for a patient’s right to access cannabis until we get it right for everyone. I have every cannabis fact fully loaded into my brain like a pistol but when I have to deal with my own doctor, I don’t always hit the mark. Health issues are terrifying because we feel so out of control and a doctor can have a way of feeling more like a parole officer sometimes.
If you struggle with talking to your doctor, bring someone you trust to help you express yourself and feel calm. Write down some key points as to why cannabis helps you, how much you take and how taking that amount specifically affects your symptoms. It will help you stay focused and at least make sure that your doctor hears the right points.
The Other Paperwork – Let me show how hypocritical this system really is by showing you how sick I really am…
I was given three booklets at my pre-op appointment, the itinerary of the procedure and two consent form packages, 8 pages each. The first one from UBC asks me to participate in a full-scale study on “Endometriosis and The Determinants of Oncogenesis” and the second is from the BC Cancer Agency for a research project on “Gynecological Cancer Tissue.” They want to take my saliva and blood before, during and long after the procedure for an undisclosed amount of time; plus, they will save my uterus, fallopian tubes and cervix on slides to perform all sorts of research on. I have no hesitation about signing these packages but I am pissed off.
I have had these issues for literally over 9 years and for over 6 years of that time, I took opiates daily to treat the extreme pain they cause me. I completely detoxed using cannabis and am proud to be opiate free, despite having the persistence of these health problems. The government and my doctors know without a shadow of doubt that I have an organ system that is really messed up and doesn’t work properly; to the point where they want to study it. This has literally been my reality for a third of my life and it has taken me this long to not have to worry about legal medicinal cannabis access… well, at least for the next 3 months.