Dana Marshall-Bernstein, 26, has lived with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the digestive system, since she was three years old.
“I have a very, very severe case that has meant I have had to go the surgical route and have had 10+ surgeries,” Dana says, pausing, “at this point I have lost count. It’s been surgery after surgery of bowel resections where they remove a portion of the intestines. It was during those surgeries when I was at USC that we started to see how sick the narcotics were making me. I couldn’t function at all when I was taking them. And you can’t do it (surgery) without narcotics because it is so painful.”
Dana’s multiple surgeries and resulting experience with narcotics was the impetus for her to try medical cannabis. “I was at the point where I was willing to try anything that I could to avoid taking narcotics. I tried acupuncture, herbal remedies, and nothing, unfortunately, worked until I started using medical marijuana,” explains Dana, who medicated with cannabis using a vaporizer one to two times a day intermittently between 2007 and 2010.
Medicinal cannabis took away Dana’s nausea and helped her to sleep. “On top of it, when I would wake up the next morning, I would feel great, unlike when I would take a narcotic,” she adds.
There’s no doubt in Dana’s mind that cannabis is a non-addictive substance. “There were periods where I would use it after surgery and then not need it anymore and not smoke it for months up until my next surgery. You can stop on a dime,” notes Dana, unlike the narcotics she took. “I wasn’t walking around stoned all the time but, unfortunately, that’s the stigma. It was the most helpful form of pain control I have ever been on.”
As Dana’s father, personal injury attorney Ed Bernstein, began to learn more about cannabis, it became a community issue for him. “Her illness motivated me to understand the positive medical properties of cannabis,” explains Ed, who is a co-owner of Las Vegas ReLeaf, a dispensary located at 2242 Paradise Road, which opened in October.
“I was very interested in having a dispensary that could service sick patients and offer very natural and organic strains that were lab tested,” Ed says, continuing, “I feel that we have the nicest dispensary in the country. We are trying to create a dispensary that is compassionate to patients, that is inviting, that is professional. We have some really knowledgeable staff and budtenders who are very familiar with the different strains and medical benefits.”
Currently offering products that include high CBD topicals and tinctures as well as a variety of high THC strains, Ed hopes that the relief he brings to Nevada’s patients through Las Vegas ReLeaf will give people like his daughter their quality of life back. LasVegasReleaf.com