Steve is a medical cannabis patient who has found relief from Crohn’s. Despite his initial bias against cannabis, he would now like to grow his own.
He didn’t want his last name used.
Steve is not the liberal you often find as a cannabis patient. On the contrary, he grew up in a conservative household where cannabis was taboo.
“I always thought marijuana was bad,” he said.
In addition, Steve is a fan of former President Donald Trump.
“Overall, I like him,” he said, noting he’s made mistakes. Nonetheless, Steve liked his pro-guns, pro-law enforcement, and pro-military stances.
He also noted that Trump was in favor of medical cannabis.
Steve never liked former President Barack Obama, saying, “he had a lot of policies that are like socialism.”
While prescription drugs in high school mostly kept his Crohn’s under control, he still suffered a severe attack in class one day.
“Everybody looked at me. It went silent,” Steve recalled.
He squeezed his desk and fell to his knees. While it passed, it was very embarrassing.
Steve initially found relief through CBD.
“It literally took me until I saw on the news about CBD coming out,” he said. “It kind of opened the door up. I started researching.”
Steve found numerous cases where it helped people with Crohn’s. He first tried CBD in 2016 after ordering it online. It produced benefits immediately.
“If I had stomach pain, I would smoke, and unlike my pills which take a long time to work, the pain would almost immediately go away,” Steve said. “This is a miracle plant!”
However, while seeing a friend, Steve had a severe Crohn’s attack later that year.
“Now, I had the attack before I left, and I figured I’d smoke some CBD, and it would be all right,” he said. “ It wasn’t helping, though.”
Even after smoking half a gram of CBD upon arrival, the pain did not go away.
“I’m getting worried now, holy fuck. Should I drive home? Should I call the hospital?” he said. He did not know what to do until his friend said, “Fuck that fucking CBD shit or whatever, here’s the real shit.”
“I took a big rip, dude. Even now, I wouldn’t do it,” he said.
Steve realized he had inhaled too much and sat down.
“And that’s when I realized; I said holy shit, my pain! My pain is gone!” he exclaimed. “And this was only not even five minutes later! I felt incredible!”
“When I got home, I did a shit ton of research,” he said, describing how he found out about Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), Fully Extracted Oil (FECO), and the merits of cannabis in treating Crohn’s.
“It changed my life for the better, absolutely,” he said. “I was so desperate that one night.”
He previously hadn’t thought of smoking weed to address the stomach pain before.
“Thank God man. It changed my life,” he said.
Being a New Jersey Medical Cannabis Patient
He immediately signed up to be a medical cannabis patient. However, he has faced the common issues of high prices and low-quality medical cannabis as a patient.
He first went to what was then known as Compassionate Sciences in Bellmawr, NJ before Curaleaf bought it, as a cannabis patient. However, he found seeds in their flower. Steve asked for an exchange, but they refused.
“I was spending $800 a month roughly on the medical marijuana. It was a lot of money,” Steve said. “You can’t do anything about this? And they said no.”
Then he went to Garden State Dispensary (GSD), where he knew more about cannabis than the budtenders who were supposed to be answering his questions.
“They’re hiring Joe Blow off the street,” he said. “I’m sure I could do better.”
Then around winter 2018, he found seeds in his flower again. GSD also did not want to exchange his cannabis.
“This is freaking crazy. Nobody can grow right. Nobody knows what the fuck they’re doing,” Steve said.
He then became a patient at Breakwater in Cranbury.
“Third time’s the charm,” he said.
In Support of Homegrow
Due to the issues of cost and quality, Steve is eager to grow cannabis himself.
“Add another fee and lets us go into the dispensary to buy the supplies and seeds we need and let us grow. Restrict the plants, do whatever you want, but we need to be able to grow,” he said. “A lot of people in the program are disabled and don’t have very good income.”
Regarding the fear that it would expand the supply of underground cannabis, he said, “If somebody wants it, they can find it, and they can get it. There’s worse shit.”
Even with a strict diet and medical cannabis, he still has had very bad flair-ups of Crohn’s that left him disabled. Growing sufficient cannabis to make into FECO would likely help.