Marijuana and Crohn’s Disease

by Marilyn Loskot

My illness began when I was quite young. The symptoms were attacks of intermittent pain in my left abdominal area. My parents were very concerned about these attacks. During one severe attack they took me for an emergency visit to the hospital thinking I was having an appendicitis attack. The doctor couldn’t figure out what was causing the pain. I just had to learn to live with it until 1969. During one especially painful bout of intestinal pain and severe diarrhea I went to see my doctor. His diagnosis was ulcerative colitis. He prescribed Azulfidine and Gantrisin. These drugs helped some but the spasms and pain continued. During this painful period I began experimenting with the use of marihuana to ease the intestinal spasms. It worked better than the prescribed drugs. I therefore discontinued both of the prescribed drugs. I only had flare-ups when I was unable to find a regular supply of medicinal marihuana.

During 1972 we moved to Omaha and I began a new job that was stressful. I also could not find a source for my medicinal marihuana. During this time one of my favorite nephews had a painful death from a tumor on his brain stem. About three weeks after I returned home to Omaha I believe the stress triggered a severe attack of my colitis. I became so ill I began vomiting and had bloody diarrhea. I also began losing weight rapidly. My doctor became so concerned that he put me into the research facility and hospital at the University of Nebraska. They performed a battery of tests including a colonoscopy and biopsy of my intestines. The experts there diagnosed my illness as Crohn’s disease. After I was stabilized in the hospital I was released and given prescriptions for Azulfidine, steroids, and pain medications. I never did find a source for my medical marihuana and existed on pain pills and mood elevators (Sinequan). These pills helped me deal with the pain and spasms but did nothing to decrease the frequency of pain causing spasms. I wasn’t able to find a source of medicinal marihuana until 1975 when we moved to San Diego.

Using a regular supply of medicinal marihuana I was able to discontinue all of the prescriptions that had allowed me to just survive with the pain in Omaha. I felt so good that I obtained a new job as a computer programmer at a major bank. I moved to northern California in 1981 and have had very few symptoms. I had no symptoms serious enough to require a doctor’s care until 1996 when my husband and I were arrested for being at our connection’s house when they were arrested for marihuana. This arrest caused them to search our home and they found our nine baby medicinal marihuana plants growing in a photo-tron in our closet. This closet set-up provided us with about three ounces every four months. This amount was not enough to allow treatment of my husband’s paraplegia spasms and my Crohn’s disease. So, we had to buy just two or three extra ounces per year. This buying from the black market resulted in the arrest I mentioned earlier. Because of this arrest my husband and I are denied the legal use of our doctor-recommended medical marihuana by a draconian judge until the year 2000. So, until then my husband and I must resort to addictive narcotics and mood drugs, prescribed chemicals to dull our pain and spasms. When will the government realize the value of these natural herbs?

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