Cannabis Conversations: Meet Michael: Medical Cannabis Patient

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Note: This is a new podcast series from Cannabis In Real Life. Our slogan is: “Real People. Real Stories. Real Life.” In this podcast, which is transcribed below, Dan Larkin talks with Michael, a Minnesota Medical Cannabis patient about how cannabis is working to improve his life and his relationships.

Cannabis Conversation with Michael (transcript)

I just want to be a goofy dad. I want to go jump in a ball pit. I want to roll on the ground. I want to go down a slide with him. I want to hit golf balls with him and not be in pain. That’s really all I want. All anybody should be able to have is to live their life normally and that’s what this plan allows.

-Michael, a medical cannabis patient in Minnesota

DAN: We had a chance to hear Michael, who’s a medical cannabis patient in Minnesota, speak today at the St. Paul capitol and we wanted to grab him quickly to find a little bit about his story and why he’s an advocate for better access for other Minnesotans.

DAN: Welcome.

MICHAEL: Thank you very much for having me.

I guess I’m an advocate for other people because, I mean, I’m kind of taken back by the words that came out of people’s mouths today. It’s like I feel more inspired now to help out than I was when I came here.

Admittedly, I’d like to kind of keep two separate worlds. Like, this is the “professional Michael” wearing a suit & tie and the “other Michael” that is a cannabis patient and well, I think it’s time for those two worlds to meet a little bit more because if we don’t do anything to change things we’re gonna be stuck with the same mediocre program that we have now so that’s why I’m here.

I’m gonna be down here as much as I can to help out my fellow cannabis patients and change the program for good.

DAN: That’s sort of our goal to at Cannabis In Real Life. We want to help remove that stigma and show that there are just regular people like your neighbors, your family members, your friends, and co-workers who want and need access to cannabis.

What would you say to maybe your friends or your neighbors or your co-workers who may still be stigmatized?

MICHAEL: I don’t think a lot. I mean I don’t know if they’re still stigmatized.

Who I would like to say this to would probably be my mom and dad who have really no clue about any of this. They missed that generation. My mom’s sister and brother didn’t though.

At some point I’m gonna have the chutzpah too actually tell them about this and show them how this is benefiting me. I don’t know how I would operate on a daily basis if I wasn’t able to use cannabis for pain.

I mean, like I said in my speech, I wake up at 5 out of a 10 on the pain scale every day. That’s before I get out of bed. I love to golf. I haven’t been able to do that for the past 2 years so I just want to be able to enjoy life. I want to travel and not have to worry about what am I gonna do for pain.

Do I need to have a chiropractic visit set up wherever I’m at or I’m going to? Do I need to heavily medicate to get on a plane? Like I did a few weeks ago when went to see a friend? Or, should I upgrade my flight just so I’m not in pain when I get there?

It’s been, to be honest, it’s been really tough the past five years. And more mentally than physically and that’s really what I think. Cannabis also provides me that mental relief – I just feel like when I’m able to medicate that the physical pain is gone, but also my brain relaxes. I don’t have to worry about being in pain. I can just be me.

DAN: I hope that your parents get a chance to hear you speak from the heart like you just did because I don’t know how anyone could deny that this is something that’s important to you as well as for your health and well-being.

MICHAEL: Yeah, thanks I hope so.
I’m not sure when I’m gonna do that. It’s almost every time I’m on the phone I’m hesitant. I’m very close to saying something and I think that’s probably a better conversation to have eyeball-to-eyeball with them and explain things and talk to them.

My wife is supportive. I mean my son is 6. He sees the level of pain I am in every day. He doesn’t know what cannabis is. He knows it’s his dad’s medication and it helps me feel better so that makes me sad in a way; that my son knows my level of pain.

I just want to be a goofy dad. I want to go jump in a ball pit. I want to roll on the ground. I want to go down a slide with him. I want to hit golf balls with him and not be in pain. That’s really all I want. All anybody should be able to have is to live their life normally and that’s what this plan allows.

DAN: We appreciate you sharing your story with us. Every time somebody steps up to share their story it does help somebody else out. We’ve seen that in the past and we’ll continue to tell your story. So thank you.

MICHAEL: Thanks a lot. Keep up the good fight

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