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Hi. I'm trying to think of another description to put here. Any ideas? I'll try again at 420.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Note: The following story has been taken from the Pueblo Chieftain, a Southern Colorado newspaper. As the whole point of the piece is for medical marijuana users to tell their stories, I have copied the piece in full.

The patients interviewed for this story requested their real names not be used for reasons of privacy and because of what they perceive as a stigma regarding the use of marijuana as medicine.

In the aftermath of sudden lower-body paralysis that struck nearly four years ago, Puebloan Jeannie M. found herself in a wheelchair, and in a drug-induced fog.

After more than three months in the hospital, she was sent home with prescriptions for Dilaudid, Baclofen, antidepressants, anti-convulsants and other medications that require mathematical genius to track correctly, she said.

Because some of the narcotic painkillers made her too drowsy to read or even watch TV, and affected her coordination during physical therapy sessions, the 53-year-old decided to try marijuana as a substitute.

She admits having been a recreational pot user years ago, but had read about the potential benefits of marijuana for patients with multiple sclerosis and other spinal diseases or injuries. She has transverse myelitis, a severe inflammation of the spine that often is a precursor to MS.

Two of her many doctors agreed that she might benefit from marijuana, and one of them wrote her a prescription for Marinol, a pharmaceutical that contains a synthetic version of THC, one of the components believed to be responsible for marijuana’s medicinal benefits.

She took the drug off and on for a year, and experienced some relief from pain and insomnia, she said.

“I’m on Medicaid. Sometimes they’d pay for it, and sometimes they wouldn’t, so I wasn’t on it that whole time. Then they stopped paying for it completely,’ she said.

“At $1,500 a month, I couldn’t afford it, so I decided to try some real marijuana.”

She got the drug through friends and family members who are recreational marijuana users and found it helped more than Marinol, especially with nerve pain that is comparable to the phantom limb pain experienced by amputees.

She said it also controls “toning” in her leg muscles — involuntary contractions and extensions that are painful and often occur at night, contributing to insomnia that’s been her companion since she became ill.

“I told my doctors I was smoking marijuana and asked them to sign papers for me to get it legally and none of them wanted to do that,” she said.

But they were willing to write letters in support of her wishes, and one of them recommended she go to a Pueblo West medical marijuana dispensary where Dr. James Satt of Rocky Ford evaluates and certifies paperwork for medical marijuana registry applicants.

Satt went over her medical records and signed her evaluation form and in December, she joined nearly 300 Puebloans who are on the state’s registry.

Then came the shocker: The cost of an ounce of marijuana at the dispensary was $375, compared with an average of $175 to $200 for what she said is a comparable product bought illegally.

“They said it’s higher quality, and they had so many different kinds of marijuana I couldn’t believe it,” Jeannie said. “But I didn’t think it worked any better than what I was buying before.”

So, she’s considering growing her own plants from seed or “clones” available at some dispensaries, or continuing to buy from illegal sellers — with the knowledge that her possession of what she buys is illegal.

“The whole thing is confusing,” she said. “I feel better having my card to be legal. But I can’t afford those prices.”

Sheldon has his own business as a construction contractor. He said he has used marijuana recreationally since high school and learned as a young adult that it did a better job for his back pain than the narcotics doctors urged him to take.

“I don’t do anything else for my back pain, which is pretty excruciating. And ( marijuana ) helps me sleep at night,” said the 43-year-old.

He disagrees that the higher price he pays at dispensaries isn’t commensurate with higher quality.

“When you get into the higher grade medicinal stuff, it acts almost like a prescription drug but without all the adverse effects of regular narcotics,” he said.

With the sales and production of medicinal marijuana having been legal since 2000, Sheldon said. Growers have had ample time to experiment with quality and purity, as well as specializing various strains to target various symptoms.

“Some are good for relaxing, some for pain, and some for sleep. They have different medical effects, just like different pills. There are 25 or more marijuana strains, and they’re not all alike.”

Sheldon said he doesn’t mind the increased cost because what he buys at dispensaries, or sometimes from a certified grower at a discount, is more effective for his pain.

He smokes about an ounce a month, sometimes an ounce and a quarter, he said.

He became a certified registry patient in December, in part so he could grow his own marijuana without fear.

He was evaluated by a doctor in Colorado Springs who “was adamant that she wouldn’t give me anything without my medical records,” he said. “She had the foresight that she wanted to have the records to prove that she was doing things right.

“She wants to see me once a year. I think a lot of people might not be legal after the law changes, when it comes to passing the true test ( for medical need ). They should start making ( exams mandatory ) every single year and have the same doctor, or another legitimate doctor, issue new certifications,” he said.

Sheldon said he never had a legal problem with marijuana before he decided to get licensed in December.

“I wanted to start growing my own. That’s the biggest reason. I’ve been a recreational pot smoker most of my life. I don’t drink, I don’t do any other drugs. I don’t get high at work. Just a little after I get home, and sometimes before I go to bed,” he said.

Sheldon said he’s seen evidence of “the criminal element” at some dispensaries, and that isn’t likely to totally go away no matter how the law changes, but he said he believes regulation, and making marijuana legally available to those who need it, remove much of the crime related to pot on the streets, he said.

“This is one of those bells you can’t unring. Until they get some regulations in place to weed out the people who just want to be able to get marijuana, people will abuse the law,” he said.

“On the other hand, I have a son in college and I’d rather have my son smoking pot than drinking, or smoking ecstasy or doing other drugs.

“I’m self-employed in the construction industry, I have a family and a good life and marijuana has been a constant. I’ve never drank or done any other drugs. I have friends who say, ‘When I drink beer, I get in fights. When I smoke pot, I make friends.’ Most people who smoke marijuana are really good people.”

Copyright: 2010 The Pueblo Chieftain

Medical Marijuana Laws State-by-State

Medical Marijuana Colorado


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Wednesday, April 06, 2011


...I'm boring myself and that's never good. It seems as though I have more fun dreaming than I do when I'm awake. Last night I dreamt about a particular Chicago Bear and it was, I must say, magnificent.

There's only one NFL player that I can accurately picture naked from memory. I think I'll have to do think of him more often, 'twas a goodly thing. A while back, maybe 2 months, I stopped seeing a guy who I had been seeing since last summer. I can't conjure his nude self right now but I'm sure that I could manage it if I were so inclined. He started calling me again and you know men, they won't take "bugger off" for an answer once they get ready to do the horizontal bop. I think I can help him get ready with that if I am so inclined.

Sadly, I've been avoiding that particular dance lately, not that I'm doing so on purpose but an air of celibacy has dropped upon me like a baton drops on Nancy Kerrigan's knees. I can't seem to avoid it. Should I decide that I absolutely MUST have sex, I can either call this guy and ask him outright or I could lower my standards and find a suitable stranger. Either way, no man is getting 2 orgasms up on me anytime in the foreseeable future. It took more than one cheating husband to teach me that particular lesson but I've learned it well. Of course, my rerun dude is even with me for now, we're love-love and that's a good thing. The only problem I see is that this guy isn't a young quarterback but rather a middle aged Irish dude from a Latin country that I shan't be naming as yet. You can just call him rerun dude, I do.

I don't call him rerun dude to his face mind you, but after decades and decades, I can't keep a bunch of men straight in my brain without a bit of a social tag and this guy is, actually, a rerun. I can remember that well enough. Of course, that wouldn't work in practice so I just call them all dude when I'm out with them. It may be a bit lacking in sensitivity but I promise, I don't ever abuse men to whom I am not related by blood or marriage.


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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Well... ...I got almost everyone in the family with the sink hose trick yesterday. It was so good that before the day was over, I got myself 3 times. You'd think I would remember setting up an April Fool's Day trick and avoid walking right into it but you'd be wrong. Immediately after I finished yesterday's post explaining what I had done, I walked right into the kitchen and doused myself. Later on in the day I did it again and then, just for good measure, I did it again last night. This morning the tape had been removed, most likely by my last victim. Had someone not done that, I would have been showered a 4th time, but as soon as I turned the water on, I remembered what I had done and turned it off so I could check the hose thingie. It was tape free so I did the dishes. Now I have to get ready to go to Tae Kwon Do so let's hope that my reflexes are a bit better today. With any luck at all, I'll find a 10 year old to spar with.


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Friday, April 01, 2011

Happy April Fool's Day!

This is the joke we're playing on the kid who keeps eating the cupcakes. It wouldn't be a bad thing if he admitted it, but he denies it, apparently wanting us to believe in the Cupcake Fairy.

We could sprinkle the white cupcakes with salt, but we had to put the salt under the frosting of the chocolate ones which just happen to be the Cupcake Thief's favorite flavor.

After I do the dishes, I'm going to tape the sink hose thingie together so that when the salt eater goes to get a drink of water, he'll get a shower instead. My only regret is that I can't be standing in the kitchen waiting for the sucker to some down and take a bite of the salt cakes. He's still in bed so I have time to set up some more of my adorable pranks.

I've already muted the TV, turned on FoxNews and hidden the remote...that'll annoy everybody and lord knows, I love to be annoying. I'll come up with more after a few cups of coffee.

Before I set up the TV for fun, I was watching the news and believe it or not, they had a segment on crying in the workplace. This wasn't an April Fool's joke, someone seriously did a study and, guess what? Women cry at work more than men. Duh. I'd bet money that stimulus money went to that totally useless study.

I suppose I should get some stimulus money to do a study on how many kids in this house actually eat the salted cupcakes. I really believe I could get a few hundred thousand for that.


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