(Original cannabis art created by Woody Goulart.)

When I was growing up, I dreamed I would work for Walt Disney as a dancing and singing teenage star on television and in movies. Instead, I ended up on the air in Hollywood rock and roll radio on the fabled Sunset Boulevard. I guess I was lucky in my show business job since I did not have to dance or sing while wearing those black plastic mouse ears.

Then, suddenly I felt not so lucky. The radio station was sold and real-life needs (such as eating) forced me to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

The biggest shift in our lives can occur in those frightening moments when our plans and dreams abruptly fall apart. Out of the blue we can find ourselves falling into chaos and forced to watch order and disorder battling it out to see which side will win.

After Tinseltown

Following my Los Angeles radio broadcasting experiences, I chose to be mature and refocus my life. I headed back to school where I earned two graduate degrees and started a full-time career as an educator at the university level. I also went for training and certification to become a professional coach, which is what I focus upon today.

I once incorrectly believed when you become older you become less likely to face the danger zone of chaos. In 1996 I met Sam Glass, Jr. while working in Washington, DC. We’ve been a couple ever since and got married in Las Vegas in 2016. Then in 2018 we fell into deep chaos.

Sam relied upon physicians routinely recommending a variety of FDA-approved prescription medications as treatment for osteoarthritis and hypertension. While we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area I encouraged Sam to consider medical marijuana. He did so and immediately noticed relief from joint pains that no RX meds ever had done for him. But he also kept taking certain doctor-prescribed meds for high blood pressure.

Say Hello to a Poisonous Snake

Sam remained taking medical marijuana but continued using a commonly prescribed ACE-inhibitor developed from the poisonous venom of a South American snake—yes, it does sound a bit like a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day in 2018 while he was crafting what was to be our festive holiday meal later that day, this African American male at age 58 started experiencing difficulty breathing. His throat was rapidly swelling shut. Medical professionals had only two minutes to save his life in a Las Vegas hospital emergency room procedure involving the insertion of a plastic tube into his trachea so he could continue breathing.

Unintended Outcomes

For Sam, his decision to stay on that RX drug led to quite severe outcomes:

  • complete respiratory failure
  • two cardiac arrests
  • kidney disease requiring multiple dialyses

His experiences were not unique for patients within the American medical establishment and fatalities have occurred. An online group was created to share lessons learned.

Sam pulled through successfully from a coma and finally was taken off life support. He then spent many weeks in intensive care and ended up with bed sores and debilitating muscle atrophy. At least he remained among the living! I felt beyond helpless to mitigate what was happening to him, but all this taught me something crucial.

What You Can Do Seeking to Avoid This

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Today I believe we all need to consider becoming advocates for ourselves if we expect our interests in health and wellbeing to be protected. I’m not the only person troubled by the medical community’s apparent interest in risky stuff like snake venom medicine. It seems ironic to me that an approved RX drug can make anyone feel worse or threaten to kill them. In contrast, today medical marijuana is officially off limits for the establishment medical community in the United States. Meanwhile, Israel became the global leader in medical marijuana research and patient care.

Would it be sensible to stop taking all your prescription medications and focus instead of using medical marijuana? No, of course not. At least you should talk to your doctor if what you’re being prescribed right now originated from a cold-blooded reptile.

Medical marijuana became the alternative direction of choice for reducing pain and suffering for myself and for the people I love. This is why I become a cannabis advocate. Simply put, seeing the joy in the eyes of a loved one who manages chronic pain with medical marijuana is an indelible personal experience.

Encourage Your Passion

My passion for cannabis advocacy motivates me to share the emerging awareness about the cannabis industry. I provide research-based cannabis advocacy training and orientation to educate adults 21 and older that otherwise might never become savvy about a strange plant known for thousands of years to have medicinal properties. I also offer coaching and training for cannabis industry employees on how to use trustworthy methods of adapting what they say and how they frame it when talking to retail cannabis customers face-to-face.

Like many of my fellow Nevadans today, I use marijuana products legally. I have personal experience using CBD (cannabidiol) under my tongue, in pill and capsule form, in vaping, and also in cream and lotion form rubbed onto my skin for relieving pain. I also use today’s emerging blends of CBD plus THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for the “entourage effect” derived whenever these two cannabis ingredients are combined into one retail product.

Where you happen to live has everything to do with which options are open to you if you want to consider medical marijuana legally to reduce your pain and suffering. The online community that I created and others like it can provide opportunities for everyday people to share questions and answers so everyone benefits from each person’s lessons learned.

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