Name: Jon Otto
Condition/Illness: Anxiety, agoraphobia, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, aortic aneurysm, enlarged left ventricle
Using medical cannabis since: April 2012
I knew from past experience that cannabis may not kill the pain, but knew it would at least make me forget about it. I also knew cannabis would turn a raging fight-or-flight anxiety attack into a sit-back-and-relax Big Mac attack in about 90 seconds . . . MMJ has, without a doubt, saved me from many more ugly situations and places.
Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?
Yes indeed. I have been fighting this spine of mine for a quarter-century and have run the gamut medically from every nerve block shot known to mankind, manipulations [and] many prescription narcotics which I’m happy to report that, due to MMJ, I am down to one pain medication. For me [and] my friends, that is fantastic! I am down to one anxiety med as well. Again, unheard of for me.
What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?
The biggest issue facing MMJ patients is really two-fold. First is general lack of acceptance of the American people that marijuana is, in fact, medicine and may very well have saved or prolonged one of their loved ones’ lives, or at least made their final months bearable if given the opportunity, which brings my second point: uniform laws nationwide. I pray those that have a need for MMJ and cannot legally get it are able to do so soon. I started signing petitions back in the ’70s and will stop when my heart does.
What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?
To the skeptical one: Reefer Madness was propaganda! If you or someone you love is wasting away to nothingness due to no appetite—step out of the box [and] give MMJ a chance.