When David developed a large and painful cyst on his leg, Melanie (his daughter) was immediately worried. On top of his rheumatoid arthritis, David experience serious, debilitating pain and, after seeking medical help, endured several surgeries to remove at least 3 cysts from his legs. Many of the medications that David was prescribed had negative side effects; he found himself bedridden and paralyzed with pain. When medical cannabis was legalized in Arizona, David and Melanie discovered the plant’s amazing potential for improving lives. Both have been cardholders for nearly 3 years.
HMH: How are a few ways that cannabis has improved your life?
David: It has relieved intense muscle pain and tautness. I would walk for a short distance, sit down, and five minutes not be able to move. I use cannabis just to keep me on a functioning level.
Melanie: It keeps me even. I don’t want to take Prozac, I don’t want to take sleeping pills and I don’t want to be on pain pills. Cannabis helps me to take care of everything – including myself, grandpa, dad and kids. I would be in a very different place if I didn’t have the mental stability.
HMH: Were you skeptical about using medical cannabis at first?
Melanie: Not at all.
David: I was more skeptical about all the drugs that I was being prescribed for years.
HMH: What changes have you noticed in each other and your relationship since you have been medicating?
Melanie: My dad is definitely more mobile. There was a time when I would have to help him get dressed every day. He can move enough to have a little more independence. He went from us having to take care of every little need to where he can develop muscle and take care of himself more. He can take a shower and put his shoes on. After seeing the cyst in his leg, I was really scared. [Having this medicine available] has brought us closer together. We are both learning and growing. It gives me great peace of mind to know that my dad isn’t in the same pain that he used to be.
I’m able to protect him, and I do.
HMH: What, do you believe, needs to change in the medical marijuana industry?
David: There also needs to be a standard with testing. We need to live up to a specific standard, especially when we’re treating specific illnesses. Without a standard of quality, it would just be recreational.
Melanie: I think that we also need to focus on the top standard for dispensaries. Why aren’t all dispensaries on the same level for flower? We need to all be on the same page in the industry.