By Kerry Smith
A return to the 18th century. Snake oil salesmen. Grandma making her own “elixir”. Dad mixing up some home made brew, some shine “liqa”. Me growing medical marijuana. All of us, trying to find healing, yet now in a society supposedly made up of the finest medical establishment any society in human history has ever experienced. It all seems, in a sad way, a joke, doesn’t it?
I remember both my Grandfather and father as they would get up from their favorite chair, moaning, groaning, grabbing anything they could to stand. My grandfather had a cane. I can’t remember what my father used.
And now guess what?
Not grabbing a cane yet but moaning and groaning when I go to stand up. It hurts like hell. They had a high mistrust in the medical establishment and drank liquor like a fish. They were both alcoholics and all that came with the title befitted them as well. I used to believe they were alcoholics for no good reason. I now believe that alcohol was how they medicated themselves. I have pursued medical options for my suffering rather than grabbing a bottle to treat myself.
Now, my options have run out.
Our medical society is tied to the dollar. It has sold its oath of caring for people first to seeing us as cash cows for a lifestyle they believe they deserve after years of education. And now, the face of someone that I appreciate and admire, a fine representative of that establishment, has told me that, “There are no good options left for you”.
No good options.
The reality is that I am faced with two options right now. I can continue to take medicine given to me legally from pharmaceuticals from the only source for pain management in our country right now in a pain clinic or return to the old ages and grow my own medicine that will have less side effects and possibly just as much effectiveness yet illegal for the source of the pain that has given me, after 15 years of suffering and 21 surgeries and procedures, “No good options”.
I have tried to explain to my law abiding children and wife that I may or may not be arrested for doing this. I have tried to explain to them that there needs to be a sacrificial lamb for this cause. So while they are scared on the one hand, they are watching the slow decline of someone they love due to the politics and medical establishment found in a society and country that values wealth and fortune over the love of neighbor. It is in its most literal term an abomination to everything that we should be and what we were founded to be in this great country of ours. But I can yell and scream from the highest building and it will not change what is happening to me and to millions of other pain suffering people in our country; the form of treatment for our pain is INEFFECTIVE.
Can I repeat myself and say that once again?
The form of treatment for our chronic pain is INEFFECTIVE! It is, as they say, what it is, and I will be damned if I will become another epithet on a head stone.
I am taking steps in attempting to grow my own medical marijuana. My state views this as illegal. But from everything that I have read, CBD rich marijuana offers properties for pain management that processed opioid pills do not have. This seems to be the bottom line to what I am doing. My research has led me to look for seeds for indoor plants whose greenery and buds can be ground down to make tea, oil, or edibles that will help me manage my pain. The state of Tennessee nor the majority of other states in our union, do not allow any of this by the way. I could probably move to a state that would allow me to do this legally. But I have no job in another state, my children live closer by right now than if we had to move, and I am not physically in the place where I can uproot my wife and dog. Maybe the dog I can uproot, but not my wife mind you.
Call this a journey.
Call this a risk.
Call it anything you would like but for me it is an attempt to find what I believe will help me live the only life the good lord has given me.
Editor’s Note: Kerry Smith is a former minister, a professional artist, and has suffered with chronic pain for 14 years. He has lectured and written on the topic of chronic pain for several years. Here’s a link to his art studio website.