After 15 years teaching arts, science and humanities to teens and people of all ages, I pursued the medical marijuana field when Massachusetts voters ushered in the new law. Unfortunately for patients, there were few professionals who could guide them in the proper use of cannabis and how to grow their own medical marijuana. I now fill the education gap as a medical marijuana consultant.
I spoke publicly on the subject, was interviewed by media, and began educating medical practitioners. I research the science on marijuana intensely and although I don’t have a medical degree, I feel my education and teaching background places me in a more objective role about use of the herb than much of the medical field. I also didn’t have a relationship with the recreational culture, so I reside in the middle ground between the medical model and pot culture.
For over two years, there were no dispensaries open in Massachusetts so I fulfilled the role of educator and caregiver for many patients. The patients that came to me were often the least informed and the most ailing. I have advised hundreds of patients in their use of cannabis. I have studied and tested strains in order to provide the most relief to my patients. I often change the name of a strain to more properly fit it’s usage in an attempt to bring a more healthful approach to strains.
As I discovered what worked for patients in terms of dose, type of product, and ingestion method, I became even more patient focused. It has always been my goal to reduce symptoms in patients and minimize their use of conventional medications that have unwanted side effects. I also advise parents on safe marijuana use for teens and young adults. I believe the “abstinence-only” philosophy delivered to teens on marijuana use is ineffective.
In September, 2015 I was raided after a National Guard helicopter spotted cannabis plants growing on an upper deck in back of my home. Although I was summoned to court for distribution, the outpouring of community support, as well as my testimony, resulted in no charge, and a clean record. Having over 40 patient letters to submit to the prosecutor helped change the District Attorney’s mind on medical cannabis.
I still consult and advise patients on medical efficacy. I also treat patients as a caregiver, and make whole plant CBD products. I also write on the subject.
I realize there is a whole world and culture of marijuana out there already, but approaching it from an educated, objective angle helps me to disregard status quo stereotypes of shadiness and criminality, misogyny and lowbrow, and acknowledge that it has called me to help bring knowledge to the people in an informed, educated, and professional manner. I believe marijuana is not only less dangerous than alcohol – (a ubiquitous and visibly harmful drug in our culture) – but has clinically proven medical benefits, and has the potential to shift an adult mind toward more positive, altruistic pursuits.
Like alcohol, TV, sugar, coffee, etc. cannabis can be abused and can be addictive. For those smokers who spend 24 hours a day stoned – and who aren’t addressing debilitating health symptoms such as pain – they are no longer accessing marijuana’s benefits. They are not creating nearly the harm to themselves and others as a similar person addicted to alcohol, yet they are not criminals. They should not be punished for being addicted to a drug in a culture and economy driven by addictive tendencies. But if they want health and balance, they also need to take a break once in a while. I personally recommend patients, if they are able, spend time away from cannabis in the form of biannual health cleanses, in order to purify and re-calibrate my nervous system.
It is my goal to answer the unique calling of being a Medical Marijuana Consultant by being as health conscious and informed as possible.