I think it’s important for people to really grasp that cannabis needs to be framed differently than just a drug that gets us high. That there is something powerful that happens on a medicinal level for patients. That’s why I want to share my personal story and the benefits of having your own medicinal cannabis garden.
I went to art school and became a sculptor. I learned how to create objects, put them into a room, and change people’s experience of reality by showing them something different than what they’d normally experienced. I did that for many years and also taught art classes to high school dropouts. Although I truly love art and feel it’s a powerful medium, I was not feeding my soul as much as I wanted.
Then one day, I decided to plant a cannabis seed in my basement. When that plant grew, I looked at it as an artist and sculptor. I thought, “This is something that is alive.” That’s very rare for sculptures. It’s not something usually found in a gallery space. The finished product of cannabis goes into the human body. It then transforms the audience – in the case of cannabis, the user – from the inside out.
As an art concept, this was a profound experience: To have studied objects that are designed to change people and their opinions, but to do so from inside the body.
That was really inspiring to me. I thought “This is a way that I can do what I love, which is to make art, to create an object that’s beautiful and meaningful.” But then I discovered how it fed my soul by bringing it to people who are sick.
Of course, I did all the research. I went into the scientific studies. I started seeing patients as a cannabis consultant. And I discovered how my sculptures could really help people increase their quality of life and reduce their usage of pharmaceutical pills.
I don’t have anything against conventional medicine. I think the Federal Drug Administration system is a really important and powerful methodology for delivering drugs to mass audiences. They want to make sure they have scientific proof that a drug is going to do what the pharmaceutical producers say it does.
You can grow 12 cannabis plants
In Massachusetts, the law says you can grow 12 cannabis plants. Here’s where the conventional FDA drug model diverges from the medical cannabis model. You can produce this medicine in your own home with only the skills of a gardener. You do not need to be a scientist, doctor, or chemist.
I know that a lot of people think, “How are we going to know if the drug really works? What is it doing for people?”
When you grow your own cannabis garden, you create what I call a closed medicinal loop. You nurture the plant. You then harvest and cure the plant. You create remedies from this plant and try it on yourself.
It is a trial of one person.
When researchers conduct medical trials, they sample hundreds or thousands of people to make sure the drug is going to work for as many of those people as possible.
Cannabis is different. We know that it’s a proven analgesic. It helps many people with pain and sleep issues. It’s anxiolytic, which means it can reduce anxiety for some people. It’s also a stimulant, so it can stimulate creativity.
A lot of patients that I see have already tried the FDA model. They’ve already seen what happens when they take drugs such as anti-depressant or opiates. We all know what happens to a society where you produce as many opiates as you possibly can then give them to people and just say, “Good luck, I hope your pain goes down.” We’ve had thousands of people die from this.
This is where my passion comes in. I really believe that when people are given a chance to grow cannabis and properly use it on themselves that they will have a more empowering relationship with their health and eliminate some drugs they don’t need.
It doesn’t mean the FDA should be replaced. It doesn’t mean that we should stop using medicines that work for us and make our lives better.
If we have a plant, one that has been used medicinally for more than 5,000 years, then citizens should be given the opportunity to grow it at home. Especially sick people. There’s an incredible feedback that occurs when you set out to nurture a plant. You decide that you’re going to grow it yourself and make sure that it’s healthy. In turn, it goes into your body and helps your own health. When you have this feedback loop you’re given a more holistic approach to medicine. That’s really important.