“I was 16 when I got in a really bad snowboarding accident. I tore my AC in my shoulder, dislocated it, and damaged my rotator cuff. I did not immediately go to the doctor, but when I did, they told me I would need physical therapy and possibly surgery. I was prescribed Vicodin for the pain, and after my physical therapy ended, [I was] told I would live with chronic pain for the rest of my life. When I was 19, a friend suggested I smoke with him at night to relieve some of my insomnia and sleep better. The difference was night and day.”
For a while, Ashley preferred smoking at night for sleep, and occasionally during the day to relieve any intense pain. Now, she prefers vaporizing CBD in her vape pen during the daytime and smoking flower at home before bed.
“Overall, my health is so much better than it was when I was in high school. The biggest factor in my health is depression. I usually spend a lot of time at home, in pain and in bed. [Medical cannabis] gives me accessibility to restful sleep, reduced pain, and a happier outlook on my life.”
“When you are constantly in pain, your defenses are always up to avert whatever pain could come your way. When I’m in pain I have no appetite, I’m irritable and irritated by really small things, and I believe that makes me scared of people too, because I don’t want to be hurt. Cannabis truly helps me [reconnect with] life and gives me the ability to live, and also the power to take back my life.”
“People everywhere should have the ability to access safe medicine. I believe it is our right to have transparency and compassion regarding our health and care. Dispensaries like Om and others provide [these things], which is very different [compared to] other pharmacies and health centers I’ve been to. It’s great to be asked what I’m actually feeling and what I’m looking for, and be prescribed flower and edibles that actually help, and to be treated like more than a customer, but a person and a patient.”