Jonathan Fine – President
I am about to make a curious statement for someone who helped start a medicinal cannabis magazine. I have never been a proponent of marijuana, medicinal or otherwise. Never, that is, until my good friend Tracy Dean, whose story is profiled on page 11 of this issue, started to treat the side effects of chemotherapy with medicinal cannabis.
During her first few rounds of chemotherapy, Tracy took the traditional route using prescription pills to combat the pain and anxiety from her breast cancer treatment. It was sickening to see how badly the chemo affected her and even worse to see how poorly the prescription pills worked. She couldn’t eat, hold a coherent conversation or find any relief from the pain caused by chemotherapy.
Then a friend encouraged Tracy to try medicinal cannabis. She finished the worst of her chemotherapy using cannabis and the difference was dramatic. During Tracy’s last two chemo rounds, I can remember her calling me at night, as she sat on her patio listening to the waves outside her ocean-side condo, and having full and lucid conversations with her. The difference was so profound that I started to reconsider my thoughts about marijuana.
I do not know if there is any medical benefit to marijuana but I definitely do know that the relief cannabis offers is real. And I do know the pain relief and sleep aid that medicinal cannabis offers can’t be compared to any prescription drug sold in today’s marketplace.
I became involved in the medicinal cannabis industry because I truly do believe in it. I believe it will bring a lot of relief to people who are suffering and hurting as a result of various conditions and diseases. It needs to be recognized by the federal government as a pain, anxiety and sleep aid for anyone with intolerable pain.
I watched helplessly as both my grandmother and grandfather suffered agonizing pain at the end of their lives before passing away from cancer. More than two decades ago my grandfather, who was 6’3”, wasted away to 60 lbs. before dying. My grandmother passed away four years ago and was in a tremendous amount of pain and highly medicated at the end. I wish medicinal cannabis had been around and available to them to stimulate their appetites and help them to find relief from their pain.
Beyond the medicinal benefits, I love the idea of being a pioneer in a new industry that is in its infancy. Like the Gold Rush or the Industrial Revolution before it, I wanted to get in on the ground floor of a burgeoning industry — especially one that I actually, truly believe in versus chasing gold on the other side of the country with no idea what that meant. I actually know what this means and I am proud to be a pioneer in a field that has the potential to bring a lot of help to sick people who are suffering.