Sheryll Alexander – Profile in Courage

Name: Sheryll Alexander

Age: 54

Condition or illness: Severe scalp psoriasis, skin cancer and chronic pain.

When did you start using medical cannabis?

I started “smoking pot” at 21 recreationally, and because of the lack of medical knowledge, I did not realize it was my pain medicine until years later. For decades, I had to buy my meds on the black market and—as a single mother—worry about having my child taken away because of my “drug” use. I am thankful for California’s and L.A.’s now easy access to premium cannabis products for my pain management and transdermal products.

Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?

No. I made a commitment to myself when I was 17 years old to never use pharmaceutical drugs for pain or my skin conditions.

What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients?

Well, it unfortunately still depends on where you live. For some, it is still illegal and access is their big challenge. For others like me, it usually comes down to not being able to afford high-quality organic indica flowers for pain and a lot of top-notch transdermal products. But mostly, I think medical doctors should be prescribing cannabis medicine, not budtenders.

What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?

Firstly, I just state the obvious—cannabis has never killed anyone. Then I go into a long-winded explanation about the endocannabinoid system. By the end, they are usually convinced.

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