An Open Letter to Jeff Sessions from a Young Medical Marijuana Patient

An Open Letter to Jeff Sessions from a Young Medical Marijuana Patient

Dear Attorney General Sessions,

You don’t know me. My name is Michaela, I’m 20, and I’m a college student with big dreams for my future. I like comedy writing, going to the beach, and studying topics such as media, public relations, and political science. I also depend on medical marijuana to do all of these things.

You see, Mr. Sessions, I was born with a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. This essentially means that my collagen, aka the “glue” that holds my body together, is defective. This affects my entire body and creates massive amounts of daily pain. Pain that, for years of my life, was quite debilitating. I also deal with a lot of side effects of having faulty collagen such as GI issues, including gastroparesis, a condition that causes nausea and vomiting after eating. This condition is only aggravated by opioids.

Michaela Sullivan

Now, I’ve been put on almost every pain medication in the book. Some more dangerous than others. When I was 12, I was told I could be put on methadone, despite the fact it basically turned me into a zombie. I once had a doctor tell me I’ll likely die in my sleep on these meds or become an addict, but then walk out of the room like nothing unusual was said. Just last week, after my latest surgery, a doctor was planning on sending me home on a combination of medications to help me including Fentanyl. She returned to the room 30 minutes later, white in the face.  She informed me that she had spoken to my pain management specialist and was told that based on my history and how my body responds to opiods, Fentanyl could have killed me.

Opioids clearly are not a good solution for me; or a good long-term solution that I have any interest in. But my level of daily pain doesn’t allow me to go without relief of some sort. Because of my condition, I sublux or partially dislocate joints, sometimes several times a day. If you think it hurts less because it happens so often, you are wrong. It hurts every time. On top of this, my entire spine is fused, which as you can imagine, is also painful on its own. In other words, I don’t have the luxury of dealing with the type of pain that you can just “tough out” and “take a Tylenol”. So, reluctantly, my parents agreed to allow me to try medical marijuana.

I take my medicine in the forms of oil, hard candies, and capsules. For acute situations (aka times where my pain is too much to wait 1-2 hours), I’ll smoke high-CBD flower or vape. It amazes me the relief I am getting, with no side effects. Medical marijuana has allowed me to have a fairly “normal” quality of life, I no longer rely on mobility devices, I was able to go to college out of state, I’m finally sleeping at night, and my gastroparesis has calmed down significantly. I do not get “high” from my medication, but more importantly, I don’t run the risk of accidentally overdosing and losing my life.

Here’s the thing, Mr. Sessions (can I call you Jeff? I’m gonna call you Jeff) — you can’t declare the opioid crisis a national emergency while actively trying to limit access to medical marijuana. In fact, the best thing you could do to solve this problem is to put time and resources into cannabis and research. Especially when it comes to chronic pain patients. Opioid dependency and addiction is a very real problem plaguing this country, that is not something I am denying or downplaying. With that being said, it just makes sense that medical marijuana should be legalized throughout this country. While I am lucky enough to live in a state where I have access to cannabis, I know many people with the same condition that are afraid to even try due to fear of getting into trouble with the law. Additionally, I can’t take my medication with me if I were to go on vacation, or even cross state lines for a doctor’s appointment or family visit. I’m left with the choice that nobody should have to make: either be in debilitating pain, or risk getting caught and charged with drug smuggling. My illness doesn’t disappear when I cross the border into another state. Why is it that highly-addictive and incredibly dangerous prescription drugs like oxycontin, fentanyl, morphine, etc. are considered legal, but a plant (with proven benefits) is not? Shouldn’t this safer and arguably more effective form of medication be available at a federal level?

I’m just a college student. While I am learning more each day, I’ll admit that I have a limited knowledge of both the inner workings of the government and the science behind all of this. So, maybe what I’m suggesting is too simple. However, I am writing to you as a young girl who is terrified. I am terrified that you will change the laws and make it so that myself, and millions of other chronic pain patients, no longer have access to this life-changing medication. I am terrified that I will become bedridden and debilitated without medical marijuana, and my only option will be to use opioids for pain relief. I’m terrified that those opioids will eventually kill me.

Jeff, you’ve been very open about the fact that you’re a religious man. So, let me level with you here. Why does it make sense that a plant, something that you believe was put on earth by God, should be outlawed? If a natural remedy works, and has the potential to keep people off of opioids, doesn’t it make sense to utilize that instead of chemically manufactured drugs?  Or at least further examine the benefits and drawbacks of using cannabis? I honestly understand your train of thought, you grew up in a time where marijuana was a street drug that came with a lot of negative connotations. But it’s 2018, and it’s time to start looking into better, safer options for Americans with pain and illness.

Respectfully,

Michaela Sullivan

Michaela has lived with chronic pain since the age of 12.  She has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and has undergone five spine surgeries over the last 7 years including three fusions, one fusion revision and tethered cord release.  She is determined not to let her pain stop her from living the life she wants to live. She writes and blogs in her free time and enjoys going to school, attending concerts and hanging out with her friends.

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Authored by: Michaela Sullivan

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Maureen M.

Dear Michaela, my heart goes out to you and I pray that your plea does not fall on deaf ears.
But, I only wish that you did not speak so negatively about opioids. Many of us use, need and get relief from them. We need to live our lives using them as you do with MM. We are dependent on the but not addicted. If our pain subsided, we could stop them.
Some of us have other conditions that MM is not effective let alone accessible nor covered by insurance/affordable.
Please know that putting that out there does hurt others in the CP community.
I wish you good results from ‘Jeff’ but I sure hope he doesn’t dislike us even more.

Valerie

I suffer from severe CRPS, complex regional pain syndrome and fibromyalgia.
I have no choice but to take what my unknowlegable doctors prescribe me. I am no better and have drug side effects on top of everything else.

How do I find a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana so I can see if it relieves my symptoms???
I am in southwest florida.
Thank you

Patricis McMeans

Pain Management people are not part of the “Opioid Crisis”!
You are targeting the wrong law abiding, contributing people of society!
We need your help@

Patricis McMeans

God Bless You Sweet Pea. I will keep.you in my prayers.

If your story doesn’t soften his’ heart. It is lost and politics is has taken its place!

The “Opioid Crisis” we are supposed to be having doesn’t purtain to us.
We take our meds as prescribed, dont sell or buy meds and lived good productive lives.

They made my world a very, very painful place to live.

Thank you to the pill police that has ruined my life!

Kel b

I’m glad you found something that works for you! I also commend you for writing to “Jeff”, but not all pain patients get relief from medical marijuana, in its many forms available.

In not downplaying thst there is a Carfentinil/Heroin/Illicit, Illegal Street Drug Epidemic either.

The pain medication/Opioids, that many many pain patients have used for over hundreds & hundreds of year s, which was also put on this Earth by the Good Lord above! In the form of the Poppy Plant/Flower. Works wonders for those who take it as directed!
Its called Patient Accountability & Responsibility!
Patients have to be honest & forth coming with their provider.
It takes quite some time to find the proper dose with medications. Each patient has different needs and what works for one does not work for all.
All pain and injuries is caused by numerous reasons. Therefore, remedies will be different for each patient.

T J

Happy to hear that you have found some​relief with medical marijuana medication, but don’t count out that some of us are not so receptive to that med with regards to pain relief
I have removed reduced in medication as in opioids.i went back to school after my accident ad finished two degrees.righf now I barely write this due to pAin I wish I could elaborate more but I’m having a bad day hope to write more soon not a good day due to forced taper

Ben James

Cannabis prohibition is a ridiculous waste of police, court and taxpayer resources. Cannabis prohibition enforcement is mostly just cops looking for low-hanging fruit and soft targets while major crimes like murder, rape and assault go unsolved. Data from the Center for Disease Control proves that cannabis is safer than alcoholic beverages and tobacco products which are completely legal. Based on that fact alone cannabis should be completely legal.

In the USA 9 states have fully legalized recreational cannabis including: Washington, Maine, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska plus Washington DC. Canada, Uruguay, Jamaica all completely legal for recreational cannabis!

30 states and counting have legalized “medical” cannabis! Cannabis prohibition wrongfully persecutes and criminalizes cannabis consumers for selecting a recreational substance that is MUCH safer than booze or cigarettes!

Celebrate democracy at work with FREE states ending government corruption! Citizens demanding the return of their rights and their freedom!

The Madness is over, Legalize Recreational Cannabis Nationwide!

Terry

I’m sorry for your pain and suffering, I truly am. 🙁 Sending a letter to Jeff Sessions is not going to help. These politicians DO NOT CARE about you, or anyone else when it comes to pain meds, whether it’s cannabis or opiods. I’ve been fighting this battle a long time and find that if it’s politically bad for the politicians (in there view), then they will absolutely NOT help or even listen to our complaints. The general public thinks we are all a bunch of drug addicts and so pain medications are bad mojo to the folks in Washington. They’re only going to help if it benefits them. But I can guarantee you one thing, if any politician needs pain medication for some condition, you better believe that they will absolutely get whatever pain meds they need. It’s just the way it is. I’ve written my congressman and senators 10 times and they always have a lot of compassion for me but 100% of the time they will NOT take a stand one way or another, it wouldn’t be in their best interest. The government is the reason my life has gotten so bad to begin with. They will not walk anything back even if they were supplied with REAL statistics. Less than 2% of overdoses are from legitimate chronic pain patients with legitimate prescriptions!!! Their stats are clumping heroin and fentanyl together with chronic pain patients opiods. We’re swimming up stream and as long as we are the minority, they won’t do a thing. You wouldn’t want them to lose their precious votes would you?

Lynn M McDonough

Very well written. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. I believe only those who have such medical conditions understand what it’s like. . I have many issues too with chronic pain. Wishing you well.

I have suffered with migraine headaches my whole life. I was put on Butorphanol Tartrate by a Neurologist in 1993. This medicine gave me relief and lifted my depression. I am 68 years old and have had medical problems since birth. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Connective Tissue Disease, along with several other medical problems that causes me a lot of pain . I still take Butorphanol Tartrate Nasal Spray for pain and it has saved my life. Unfortunately, because of the New Laws I have been judged by Pharmacists and they have refused to dispense the medicine. I am now in Palliative Care and will be transitioning to Hospice. My disease has taken over my life due to Chronic Pain and exhaustion. I thank God everyday for the medicine and appreciate every minute I am without pain.

Lastly, my name is Linda and my email is: lberger153@gmail.com. I am open to any comments. God Bless

Michaela Sullivan

Hello all – I hear your concerns and appreciate the feedback, both positive and negative. Let me be clear about one thing: this post was in no way meant to vilify opioid use. This was solely based off of MY personal experience. I know many fellow chronic pain patients who rely on opiates and I am glad that they are getting the relief that they deserve. Everybody is entitled to pain control, no matter the source. When I posted this letter, I knew it would be controversial. However, I did not expect so much outrage. There was no ill intention behind this letter, and I was instead trying to open a dialogue about the benefits and drawbacks of MMJ. I fully understand that this is not the solution for everyone. I felt that I was clear that this was based on MY experience, but it is now obvious to me that I should have added a sentence or two explaining further. I was not claiming that all opioid patients are addicted, because that is certainly not true. However, narcotics can be addictive and can be dangerous, and that is just a fact. Personally, I react poorly to even a small dose of opioids, and was once unresponsive in the ICU after being given a starter dose of oxy after my first surgery. So, let me reiterate the main point of this article: pain control, in all forms, needs to be more accessible to patients. This was in no way an attack on those who have found opioids to be useful.
I stand with all pain patients and know that we are all doing the best we can to navigate this incredibly difficult situation. I truly appreciate the feedback, both positive and negative. -Michaela

Kristen

Michaela,I’m very sorry for all you have been through and are going through.I am happy that you found MMJ works best for you but I do have to agree with Tricia.As im sure you know what works for some,does not work for others.I am all for MMJ but like so many others that live in Chronic pain many can’t tolerate MMJ as some can’t tolerate opioids for one reason or another and many can’t afford it,especially those who have very limited income.That being said so many of us do find the only way to get any relief is by being prescribed Opioids.While it’s true people have abused and over dosed on them the majority of those suffering in Pain take our meds as prescribed.Just like you told Mr.Sessions that you are terrified of your MMJ being taken from you and many others.please keep in mind we are too.As I write this I can’t help but worry about my next Dr appointment! Will my dose be reduced again or will I be cut off completely suffering cold Turkey in pain.I also am thinking of those who have had their meds taken already and are confined to their beds crying in so much pain and agnony and moreover those who could no longer endure their pain without meds that have taken their lifes..Many of us like you do count on our meds in order for us to just get out of bed.We are not getting high off them or using them for recreational purposes.Many have found that opioids are the only meds that give us any relief that we are able to have some quality of a life .Im so glad you found what works for you but please if I can make a suggestion! Do not put us with those who have made the poor choices of using street Drugs with our prescription drugs.We Chronic pain patients need to STAND together no matter if your med is opioids or Medical marijuana etc. We are all in this together.I admire your courageous strength to speak out.I Thank you for writting and wishing you all the best and happiness!!!!

LEAH B

While medical marijuana is the cure-all for some doesn’t make it a cure-all for everyone. MMJ doesn’t work for me, I have a partial life because of my oxy, without it I am bedridden. We chronic pain patients need to support one another, not wage war within ourselves about what works. The long and short of it is we need the government out of our Dr offices! And maybe do more research before posting… Opiates came from plants too.

Jill

I have to agree with Tricia. I admire her activism and sympathize with her very difficult life. But in her enthusiasm for finding help for her pain, she has decided it will be more effective than opioids for others. I’ve tried marijuana. Didn’t work. It should be available for the people who get relief, but not at the sacrifice of those who need narcotics. ALL forms of pain relief need to be legal for ALL of our very different bodies and health issues. The “better, safer option for Americans in pain” Is the one that works.
.

Ellen

I am sorry about your pain but I agree with Tricia This will come out wrong but you are basically sucking up Jeff Sessions Mr take two aspirin and quit whining So many anti opiates want replace with a lot unknown about Marijuana All chronic pain patients should be allowed what works Tylenal if lucky or nsaids but that is rare Many chronic pain requires opiates and for a fellow patients to
Use addiction in the discussion makes me angry and disappointed
Opiates don’t have a ceiling dose when prescribed correctly which after a certain dose a pain specialist consult is understandable and follow few visits for stability; constipation in most is only side effect need management longterm provided no dose changes; why once stable sending receipe by specialist to PCP which was done In my case and he prescribed with annual pain clinic visit or if change needed related chronic pain
This is a hate crime I do not see why others don’t see it or say it
And going after Medicaid patients first in Oregan adds to hate crime
If you want chronic pain patients
More productive even if to their family help pain between patient and doctors Finally I have never
Heard a safe dosage marijuana chronic pain opiates as above
Tylenal will kill liver and nsaids your kidneys if take dose needed for most chronic pain
If as chronic pain patients we can not stick together we will never win this life or death battle ; death being pushed dangerous illegal sources as heroin or suicide due withdrawal and uncontrollable pain.

Calla

Brilliant letter. You’re a rockstar!

Trica
I fully agree with you. If marijuana works for some people that is great. But it does not work for me or a lot of other people. We are all not alike, what works for some does not work at all for others.
So we can not all be grouped together and say what’s works for some must work for all, that’s just not true. Is it wrong to have pain, or to be able to control ones pain the way it works best for them. How does anyone really know about someone else’s pain or just how much pain they are in. No human should have to endure chronic pain all day and night and not have a life at all, and no relief in sight. That is just inhuman. Even a vet will write out a dog or cat a pain prescription. Are people not more important. I have never heard of a dog going to work each day to support their family’s or pay Tax’s. What’s up with that. I guess the government needs to put animals to work and pay Tax’s sense they can get pain medication and not humans. I just can not understand that at all. Wake up government you need us people to pay your salary and pay taxes. Dogs and cats can not do that. Mabe I should have been born a dog, I would not be in chronic pain right now.
What a shame, no wonder people are comitting sucide.

Dale

I would never make blanket statements about a class of drugs that work for millions of people in our country in trying to promote the one that helps me. Cannabis works for you and I hope you always have access, Opioids work for me. May we all one day have access to the medications that allow us to live some semblance of life as those not afflicted by our diseases.

Jay

I agree 100 percent with Tricia!! And if you are over reacting than so am I. I found myself getting upset because her letter is basically reaffirming to the government that opioids are bad. They will use it as another example for the promoting the so-called opioid crisis. Opioids work the best for me. I use medical marijuana also, it’s the one thing that helps my mental state while my doctors are taking away my pills. Unfortunately she doesn’t realize that she was very fortunate to have doctors willing to give her opioids while others have be forced off their meds for years. Happy you found something the really works and sorry you now feel the way you do about the one thing that does work for us pain warriors….Blessings to the Pain Warriors.

Fed up

This will hurt pain patients who need opiates. I don’t appreciate her comments about opiates at all. Most of us use them properly and without all this scaremongering.
EDS is nothing in comparison to the pain of CRPS. Just like any drug, pot doesn’t suit everyone.

Marilyn Pittman

Well said! I would never write to Jeff Sessions though. He needs to be fired! He is a do-nothing attorney general. Good luck in your endeavors.

Darlene

I have been a chronic pain pt. For 20yrs.plus, due to being injured in auto accident and then having 2 neck surgeries, I am fortunate to live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, although I haven’t signed up for it , I plan to. I have weaned myself off methadone and morphine, currently starting to wean off oxycodone. I recently hit a wall because my pain level to high and because now having issues with my lower back, but after reading Michaelas letter to Mr. Sessions I think if this works for someone they ought to have access to it! No one likes to take opioids because of side effects and risks that they pose. Also a lot of people can’t afford their medicine, and I know that the marijuana can be expensive. We have to do better for me and these patients.

June

Well Michaela yes a very well written letter but I take offense to you saying that anyone using opiods is or will become addicted. That is just what people that do not understand those suffering chronic pain that these opiods have given quality of life & just as you say the marijuana does not make you high those of us on opiod meds for over 20 years not increasing our dose just finding as you have what works to give us quality of life, this is the mentality that is causing those of us that opiods help to forcibly lose our meds & quality of life as there is some chronic pain sufferers that marijuana does not work for. Also there are some that I know that have used medical marijuana but cannot afford what you say you are on. I am so sorry for your suffering such terrible pain & thankful that you found help but please don’t ad to the misconception of opiods for other chronic pain sufferers

Marna

Totally agree and was just going to say the same thing as Tricia. Thank you dear heart. Signed, Chronic pain patient using opiods for moments of relief.

Jan Poole

I agree with Tricia. I am glad Michaela found something to work for her, BUT I AM OUTRAGED THAT SHE DENIGRATES OPIOIDS AND THROWS THOSE OF US WHO WILL DIE IN AGONY WITHOUT THEM UNDER THE BUS!

SHE IS JUST REPEATING THE LIES ABOUT OPIOIDS THAT THE CDC, KOLODNY AND PROP AND SESSIONS AND THE MEDIA CONTINUE TO PUT OUT THERE REGARDING OPIOIDS!!! Please, please, please don’t do to us what we would not do to you!

I advocate for marijuana—– WHY CAN’T YOU ADVOCATE FOR THOSE OF US WHO NEED OPIOIDS?? I am an Intractable Pain patient with CRPS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome caused by a crush injury to both legs and feet 19 years ago. It’s the highest rated pain on the McGill Pain Scale above amputation cancer and childbirth!! It feels like someone has poured burning acid on you and then the Allodynia feels like someone has peeled back your skin and rubbed salt in it!!

I have tried everything under the sun, nerve blocks, Vicodin, oxy,a failed spinal cord Stimulator operation and THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS FOR ME IS FENTANYL! Illegal/illicit Fentanyl is under attack, and with comments like yours about Opioids, you are just encouraging Jeff Sessions to take it away from everyone! Please think of others before you speak out, otherwise you sound very self-serving.

There are only 2 million addicts in the US, and 100 million Chronic Pain Patients PLUS 26 million INTRACTABLE PAIN PATIENTS! This is a fake “Opioid Epidemic”. I’m 67 and there have been addicts since the beginning of time. The Government is only manufacturing a crisis in order to get money and to kill off the elderly, weak, poor, and disabled because they can’t afford to take care of us! The Government has between 135-200 trillion dollars in UNFUNDED LIABILITIES due to the social programs like Social Security Medicare and Medicaid among others!!!

I am apolitical (I can’t stand either party), but you will notice that the Republicans are trying to eliminate, cut back or privatize these programs! PLEASE ADVOCATE FOR U

Joan

I really want to know if he has replied to this young lady!

Barbara

First, I wish this young lady all the luck in the world with her letter to Jeff Sessions. It’s great that she has found something that really helps with her pain. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to bash opiates to get her point across. Millions of people take them for pain and have their lives greatly improved. It’s the abusers that run into problems. They’re not perfect but they’re all we have that really help. What works for one doesn’t work for everyone. We are all different. These blanket policies do NOT apply to everyone. I’m glad medical marijuana works for some people but I’m not one of them. Please reconsider what you’ve written and don’t do harm to your fellow pain sufferers. Affirming Sessions negative opinion on opiods will only hurt the rest of us. Again..Good Luck on getting through to him re medical marijuana because no one else has. God Bless

Molly Canfield

Huzzah grasshopper! So well written that even ancient government toadstools can comprehend. I support you wholeheartedly and hope this provides another alternative for those of us who are struggling to find a way to cope with a daily chronic pain.

Marjorie Booker

I read the letter and sad for your fight. I am glad you found something that works for you. But please don’t suggest that marijuana works for everybody. Everybody has different chemical processes. In general we function the same but at the organic levels we differ. I have had 4 spine surgeries in 3 years. I had a crushed nerves that cause significant pain on both sides. My low dose percocet allows me to function at work but not much more than that. Now only 4 months out from surgery to fix the major CSF leak the government is forcing pain doctor to lower my already low dose of pain medicine. Ridiculous. Before anyone gets on the high horse, already do PT, epidurals, massage, TENS, etc. This dosage keeps my pain at a level around a 4. You see I know what a 10 really is, if the nerves are not severed but crushed it is so painful , in my case, felt like my leg was being torn from my body. I was in the hospital and they could not provide relief until surgery. This took it from 10+ down to a 6. Now I pray everyday that I will be able to make it 8 hours at work. For me MMJ is not an option I live in Georgia and does not work for nerve pain. So we should solve the problem of crazy opioid crisis but not just generically across the board replace with MMJ. Also not replace what works for some and force on all. Some of us have documented injuries and disease that opioids help us live. I wish that there was a way leaders could endure our pain without leaving them injured so they could know what it is like to live without relief.

Amanda Murray

All I can say is I’m blown away by the intelligence of this young woman. She’s both informed on her medical condition and how well medical marijuana works.

Kim

So we’ll written! Your family must be proud! Thank you!

cindy

Wow. What an articulate young woman and what a great idea. Sessions “logic” is incredibly illogical, and I”ve written letters to the editor and I’ve contacted my Senators and Congressman on this issue, but we all should send letters like this to Sessions with our stories.

And what a courageous young woman to still want to live after all she’s gone thru and even if she loses her access to MMJ.

Opioids do work for me — not enough to have a full life by any means, as I am mostly housebound and still in pain, but it works enough that I dont’ think about suicide to escape the pain. Without them, I really believe I’d have killed myself years ago.

I tried MMJ once for some months and it cost a lot of $ and didnt’ work and so I gave up; but now I have someone to help me make better decisions how to strains and dosage, and plan to try again, as I do believe that they are my only chance to have a life again beyond my condo and medical appointments. I live in Florida and it’s still very controversial here; became law due to a voter referendum overwhelmingly in favor, but the state and county gov’ts have been doing their best to stall; not allowing dispensaries to open and more. And doctors allowed to dispense dont’ know anything. They take a 2 hour class and fill out forms so patients can get licenses. Then the patients are on their own.

Michaela, I can’t believe how much you’ve suffered and from such a young age. You are an inspiration. All the best.

What neither Sullivan nor Sessions realized, is that Sullivan has always been on the natural opiate Morphine. It’s made in our bodies from the tyrosine in our food.

By relieving the gastroparesis, cannabis allows Sullivan to get a stable amount of tyrosine, and every other necessary nutrient, by eating like a normal person. Sullivan’s body adjusts the morphine level on it’s own.

Research is badly needed into how the body regulates morphine production. People whose intestines make too much morphine become violently nauseous if given an opioid by mouth. Such research has historically been funded by the NIH. In competing for attention and budget money, the CDC has ignored all the rival experts at NIH and pushed a crackpot theory that pain care somehow causes speed freaks to overdose on mixtures of pills and booze. Never mind that the dying speed freaks never saw a doctor for pain. In states like Colorado there are fewer speed freaks. Cannabis is in wide use. Connection? Worth researching.

We’re not going to learn anything if we keep ignoring facts.

Danny Scales

Sad that u are dealing with all your medical troubles opiates are good medication for some but just like marijuana some have bad side effects I know of people who can’t use marijuana cause they are allergic or can’t deal with side effects but opiates help them a ton sadly they are taking opiates away from people like me who is disabled i use THC and CBD and they help but not nearly like the opiates sadly most if not all politicians are out to stop the legalizing of marijuana in anyway that includes medical marijuana and are trying to make opiates where u can’t get them but while we wait for these idiots to decide what we can put into are own bodies there is a stomach pill marrinol is it’s name it is delta 9 THC witch is same type of THC that is in marijuana I take it because I can’t eat without getting sick and nausea and it helps a ton with my agoraphobia but I smoke marijuana as well I say [edit] the government it’s my body i would rather live a short life I can enjoy then live forever in the pain I’m in I wish u the best maybe you will get a better response then I have got wish u lot’s of luck and Keep trying don’t let a law stop u from living a better life and remember opiates are not bad for everyone just sucks u are not able to use it properly and it work best of luck to u much luv
STOP THE WAR ON DRUGS!!!

lauren Seavertson

Yes! So well put. I too, use MMJ and no more narcotics. Let’s get our government out of the medical business. Tired of them interfering. I do have problems paying for the MMJ, as it’s very expensive and i am a young senior, on fixed income. But, as of now, there R no alternatives for chronic pain patients. Narcotics did not work for me, and i can’t go out with out some form pain relief. I would like it legalized rec rationally too

Julie

Bravo Michaela!

I’m glad medical marijuana helps for this woman, I definitely agree on all she has to say about how more research and less criminality And stigma is a must. Also I agree it would help dramatically improve many lives and help with addiction. But I don’t agree on her vilification of the opioid medications that work for millions of pain patients. It’s pretty insane that now that she’s found what works for her that her attitude for patients who desperately and medically need opioid medications are kicked to the curb, as I am a whole hearted supporter of medical marijuana it’s pretty disgusting to think that she is so ignorant of millions of others who need, REQUIRE opioid medications to live THEIR lives and seems to just throw all other pain patients under the bus, just like opioid medications were not right for her , medical marijuana is not right for millions of pain patients! I’m pretty disturbed by this and think her attitude about patients who are right now writhing in pain because thier opioid medications are being stolen from them because of ignorance and lack of proper knowledge on how millions can take these medications and get to live and function and find relief from thier agony. Especially since most pain patients fight so hard for promoting new laws and regulations for the drug of choice that has helped her so greatly to regain her life! Idk I’m pretty livid ! Maybe I’m over reacting but I’m not a fan of people who find thier perfect pain remedy and seem to forget that others are experiencing the same thing and need whatever medications they and thier doctors deem safe & effective!

J p

Great letter but keep it formal. Refer to him respectfully as Mr. Sessions. Jeff is too personal and familiar. It is unnecessary and somewhat condescending.

Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

This again shows the is no single answer to every type of pain. There is an art to pain management. One doesn’t have to be a “board certified pain specialist” to be an outstanding Dr practicing this art either. Family physicians who have attended years of meetings and studied the various methods available have gotten to know their patients as the individuals they are. They treat them as such, not items on conveyor belts. This unfortunate young lady has very specific needs and deserves to be treated as the very unique person she is with the best medication for HER, plant or chemical. So do all people when stricken with pain so they can continue to lead normal lives. Thank you for writing this heartfelt account of your struggle with a very difficult condition. My prayers are truly with you for a successful future.

Susan Simpson

OMG! I love this girl!!!! I can NOT stand Jeff Sessions – I hate him, yes hate! A 20 year old just educated that man, told that man the facts, the truth and the way it is! I loved the way she came at him with “Here’s the thing, Mr. Sessions (can I call you Jeff? I’m gonna call you Jeff) — you can’t declare the opiate crisis a national emergency while actively trying to limit access to medical marijuana. In fact, the best thing you could do to solve this problem is to put time and resources into cannabis and research. Especially when it comes to chronic pain patients.” She told him!!! LOL and she spoke the truth!!! My 2nd favorite “Jeff, you’ve been very open about the fact that you’re a religious man. So, let me level with you here. Why does it make sense that a plant, something that you believe was put on earth by God, should be outlawed?” Yeah religious and Jesus speaks of how the religious are not of good! The man is a judgmental, heartless, cold bastard with no compassion! You go girl – smoke it, vape it, eat it – you do what you do! XOXO What is up with the fentanyl? Idk why they wouldn’t try her on dilaudid, that is such a great opiate – of course it was took cold turkey from me in stage 4 cancer in 2015, my having to rely on marijuana after I suffered all I could take.