How Cannabis Came to My Rescue

Today, I heard shocking news. In late September, Trey Yant, a manager from early in my sales career, had a massive stroke at age 50. Trey spent one month in the ICU and will be in the hospital another two or three weeks for rehabilitation. Now that the worst is over, I thought it would be okay to visit him.

Physically, he was the same cute guy, with an added touch of grey in his hair. Mentally, he was as sharp and witty as ever. I was amazed that he remembered every detail of when the stroke occurred, how it felt, and being life-flighted to the hospital.

In the ICU, alarms and bells were constantly going off around him. There was a tube draining brain fluid on the right side of his head. By the third day, he couldn't sleep and his anxiety was at an all-time high. That's when his father brought him an edible -- a marijuana-laced candy.

Trey had started making salted caramel chocolate candies a few years ago and wound up perfecting his craft. A female friend suggested he make them into edibles, and soon after that people claimed to be "finding their bliss" through Trey's unique brand of buzz.

This was mind-blowing to me. When I knew Trey in the 90s, he wasn't the stoner type at all. I remember him calling me a hippie and teasing me to step up my professional attire. I was a recent college graduate with Grateful Dead stickers on my pick-up truck and a severe aversion to makeup and pantyhose. Trey pushed me out of my comfort zone, which allowed my sales to soar. I'll always be thankful to him for that.

Anyway, Trey checked with his doctor about eating the edible. The doctor explained that he couldn't endorse it and he couldn't stop him, but he was very curious to see the results. At this point, neither morphine nor oxycodone was working. Trey's nerves were frazzled and he knew he had to find a way to sleep so his body could heal.

Within an hour of eating the candy, it was like a miracle had occurred. His pain decreased, his appetite returned, and most importantly, Trey could sleep through the night. Because of the drainage tube in the ICU, he had to stare at the ceiling for hours without moving. With the edible, Trey remarked, "It was strangely enjoyable at times." Even now in rehab, he eats his signature candies every few days and it makes the whole experience way more tolerable.

Michael Backes, author of Cannabis Pharmacy, explains that marijuana doesn't relieve pain. It's actually distracting the mind from pain. And with edibles, he says, getting the right dosage for your particular body defines what kind of experience you'll have. Isn't it remarkable that Trey formulated his own medicine before he even needed it?

To me, the moral of this story is two-fold. First of all, never say never. I could never have imagined Trey becoming an advocate for the healing powers of pot, and neither could he! He now wants to tell the world how cannabis came to his rescue.

Second, the advances of modern medicine are truly astounding, and yet we still have to participate in our own healing process. Trey took responsibility for what he could do to make himself well. He trusted his instincts and the plant to get the job done. Clearly, Mother Nature heard the call for help and lovingly responded.

Can we just stop for a minute and marvel at how our suffering as humans is decreasing by the minute? In Oregon, cannabis is now available for adult use with no illness or explanation necessary. Also, Oregon has the Death with Dignity law, which gives us power of personal choice over our suffering at the end of our lives.

Oregonians fought hard for these freedoms, and stories like Trey's exemplify the good that is occurring because of them. As Baby Boomers enter their later years of life, I have a feeling we've only just begun to hear this kind of positive news. Cannabis is coming out of the closet.

Isn't it time we did too?