“After you’ve taken a lot of opiates and codeines, you remain in bed all day, you can’t get up, get any exercise, or get out of the house,” said medical marijuana user John Whitlock during last Thursday’s rally for Phoenix Pain Management at Parksville city hall.
He said finding medical marijuana to help manage his pain after an operation for a fused disc in his back, “opened up a door. It allows me to get out of bed and make it through the day.”
He said unlike pharmaceuticals, which “you are prescribed to take three times a day or whatever, no matter what the pain, you don’t take (cannabis) all the time, you take one when it’s necessary.”
“If it’s bothering you, can you still tolerate your pain level? Then you go and have a puff and that will settle you down. At night you take another variety and you can get to sleep.”
“We’re in limbo and we feel lost,” he said of the current changing federal laws which mean they are supposed to get larger quantities from a select few large scale producers who operate by courier.
“But I like to see the product and buy as much as you need,” said John’s wife Teresa, who said her condition has improved 200 per cent since she started using cannabis pills for fibromyalgia.
“We’re too old, we don’t go out to bars, or hang out behind the high school where we’d be picked up as perverts,” John said. “We don’t have many ways to get it.”
“A person can go into Phoenix (in Nanaimo), buy $10 worth and settle themselves down for a couple days and come back when they need,” John said.
The Whitlocks joined other patients of Phoenix Pain Management in asking the city and mayor of Parksville to let a compassion club, or dispensary, operate despite being illegal, pointing to the public support shown by polls, petitions and the intentional lack of enforcement by police in some bigger cities.