Culture Magazine Profiles in Courage December 2012 Stephanie Annis
Patient: Stephanie Annis
Condition/Illness: Crohn’s Disease
Using medical cannabis since: November 2008
WHY DID YOU START USING MEDICAL CANNABIS?
In November 2008, I returned home from a 45-day stay in the hospital, weighing only 98 pounds. With the first joint, I started to eat again; I had struggled to eat while in the hospital, without medicine to help.
DID YOU TRY OTHER METHODS OR TREATMENTS BEFORE CANNABIS?
Yes, I was fed through an IV at one point and at another point was prescribed Marinol [a synthetic marijuana compound]. The IV feeding caused me to gain too much weight and had side effects. The Marinol had the side effect of making me feel as if I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach, and I would actually overeat which created a different type of problem. Marinol was far too strong for me in its lowest dose. Neither of these medical options worked as well as medical-grade cannabis.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OR PROBLEM FACING MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS?
Finding medicine which is safe and pure and finding a caregiver who knows how to truly produce quality medicine . . . Quality medicine which is free from these harmful substances can only be found in dispensaries which test medicine.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO FOLKS WHO ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT CANNABIS AS MEDICINE?
Until I [saw] it myself in my own life, I, too, was a skeptic . . . Seeing [marijuana] work in my life changed [my mother’s] lifelong held beliefs.
Our “Profiles in Courage” features are intended to highlight the problems—and solutions—that medical marijuana patients face every day.