My Story: Politicians Should Stop Opposing Medical Marijuana

My Story: Politicians Should Stop Opposing Medical Marijuana

I have been suffering with increasing chronic pain from arthritis in my knees, back and other areas, as well as migraines and a ruptured disc.

My Kaiser Permanente personal physician is more concerned with her license than with compassionate care. She refused to refill my Fiorinol prescription for migraines — which I’ve been on for over 18 years! I have also been periodically refilling a Vicodin prescription for the occasional moderate back or knee pain.

Lori Berry

Lori Berry

Since my arthritis pain was getting worse and I started suffering from chronic nausea, I decided two years ago to try medical marijuana. Amazingly, it completely erased the pain for 4 to 6 hours. I was able to skip doses of Motrin or Vicodin, and I was functioning well with little pain. The marijuana also helped me eat.

A few weeks ago I experienced what I think is another disc rupture. I told my doctor how much pain I was in and she thankfully prescribed me one 30 pill bottle of Norco. Two weeks later she refused to prescribe any more pain meds unless I sign a pain contact and give up the medical marijuana. I refused.

Then I had a spinal injection of steroids to try to relieve my back and sciatic pain. I was made to suffer barbaric levels of pain starting the night before as I had to stop taking Motrin for the procedure. So all I had was Tylenol and my medical marijuana. I was screaming in agony throughout the day and during the procedure. It was torture which would have been alleviated if I could have had some Norco on hand just for this purpose.

I am treated like I’m guilty of misusing Vicodin that has helped keep my pain under control for over 8 years with no issues. I do not sell my pills and I don’t go to other doctors to load up on them. And my use of marijuana has allowed me to use very little opiates or NSAID’s so I can avoid addiction and kidney/liver damage

I have a medical marijuana card and all my Kaiser Permanente doctors know I’m using it. Several have told me it is the best thing I can do. But Kaiser Permanente is in lock step with the grandstanding politicians who reach for easy and ill-conceived solutions, which don’t solve anything and cause suffering and discrimination against innocent law abiding people.

Now I suffer in constant agony trying to make Motrin work. I am taking it every 4 hours instead of 6 because I can’t endure the pain any more. And it does very little to stop it. I will then take some cannabis and that helps much more. But with this level of pain, it’s not enough.

And so I suffer, thanks to drug hysteria! I don’t know how much longer I can endure both this level of pain and the uncaring and discriminatory treatment from an expensive health care provider I pay over $500 a month for.

The grandstanding politicians should get a period of severe chronic pain and endure the suffering and indignities they put us through. People who get relief from medical marijuana are not all 18- year olds trying to legally get high. Public opinion is changing and it’s time for our government to allow impartial scientific testing and rescheduling marijuana with the DEA as the science dictates, not frenzy and moral outrage.

People are suffering and relief from pain is a fundamental human right. If politicians are so concerned with the government meddling in private life and healthcare, they would stop opposing medical marijuana.

12_7.jpgLori Berry lives in Richmond, California.

National Pain Report invites other readers to share their stories with us.

Send them to editor@nationalpainreport.com

The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that!  It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.

Authored by: Lori Berry

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Steve at 8:03 pm

    It sickens me that patients have to choose between opioids and cannabis.

    I was lucky enough to be prescribed Marinol/dronabinol for wasting & nausea. Marinol is synthetic THC, which causes a false positive result for marijuana, even via GC/MS. Because of this, I can test positive for cannabinoids AND still receive my Rx for opioids.

    I HIGHLY recommend that the author ask for Marinol & hydrocodone/Norco/Vicodin.

  2. trudy myers at 10:41 am

    I am in exactly same spot-my pain is over the top and yet they pee test me for marijuana and I am not getting enough meds to even come close-I think about killing myself daily then get angry because I am being persecuted because some a-hole sold their meds. Why do they even become pain specialist if they don’t treat my pain??

  3. Myron Shank, M.D., Ph.D. at 5:19 pm

    I have studied the medical literature, national guidelines and recommendations, and the laws and regulations of a number of states, and I have yet to encounter anything requiring drug screens, with or without pain management agreements. Although I have used both pain management agreements and drug testing, myself, I also recognize that it would be inappropriate (not to mention absurd) to include results for marijuana as a violation of that agreement if the marijuana had been medically prescribed. To avoid problems, it would be a simple matter for your physician to request that testing for cannabinoids not be performed or that the results not be reported.

    Unfortunately, the State Medical Board of Ohio and its witness against me (whom the State repeatedly stipulated was NOT an expert in anything, while certifying me as an expert in pain management) insisted that the presence of unambiguously legal controlled substances prescribed and managed by others with my knowledge (and even by my request for a consultation) was a violation of the pain management agreement that I wrote specifically allowing the same. For that matter, the State and its incompetent witness even used expected results for controlled substances that I had prescribed as proof of ignoring violations of the pain management agreement. My point is that your physician may be acting rationally in her own self-interest in an irrational medico-regulatory environment generated by an irrational “war” against both the recreational and the legitimate medical use of “drugs.”

  4. B. Halper at 11:37 am

    The politicians are in the back pocket of many big pharma corporations, so of course they won’t allow medical marijuana, and now with 1% of those taking the oxycodones are using them illegally, the rest of the 99% must suffer, this makes for good politics especially with the ultra right conservative movement. Your doctor is an idiot! The DEA even announced that this whole scare is being blown out of proportion. If the patient is legitimate, and the meds are working, they won’t take them away. I have heard so many horror stories about doctors taking away the oxy’s because of fear. Compassion and empathy may becoming a thing of the past sadly. This is the political climate now, but hopefully it will change. I feel badly that you must experience this. The marijuana works well for my nausea as well, and a little bit for the pain, but I’ll take whatever I can get to reduce this pain from fibromyalgia!