I have been smoking marijuana for over 35 years. I started
like a lot of kids, but soon drugs of all kinds became a mainstay
of my daily life; and that of my peers. In my late 20′s,
I had stopped my daily use of “recreational” drugs;
except for pot. With a couple of notable exceptions, I have
not voluntarily gone a day without smoking weed since I started.
The first exception was an eighteen month stint in rehab, in
the late 70′s. The second exception was when my wife Lisa
and I decided to start a family. Regardless of my disdain for
the “bad chromosome” mythology surrounding drug
use, I abstained from any drug use (including things like caffeine)
for almost a year, just to make sure.
Three years later I had divorced Lisa and started smoking pot,
again. However, this was definitely not recreational;
I was treating my depression and anxiety by smoking marijuana.
At the time, I did not know that marijuana could be a medicine.
It is. It is (or was) also expensive and difficult to obtain.
So, my use was more sporadic than in the past; as I had few
resources after Lisa.
Then, seven years ago, on a routine visit to my primary care
physician to discuss yet another anti-depressant that didn’t
work and my ever increasing pain levels (I enjoy chronic pain
conditions). During this visit, my doctor said, “Tim,
you need to be smoking pot.”
I innocently replied, “How would that work?” and
he pulled the forms for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program,
or OMMP, out of a drawer in the examination room, filled out
his section and gave the rest of the packet to me. Wow.
It took me about a year to get a reliable source (a grower)
of good quality “medicine”. Now I have a virtually
unlimited supply of FREE medical marijuana. Wow! Wow?
Hence the problem. I have been given a “medication”
that is actually effective for my conditions; much more so than
any of the pharmaceutical cocktails prescribed by dozens of
doctors over the last 25 years (yes, that is how long I have
been in chronic pain). However, everyone of those pharmaceutical
medications came with standardized strengths and a specific
dosage. Under the OMMP rules, doctors are forbidden
by law to suggest where a patient can obtain the prescribed
medical marijuana, nor any suggestions as to dosage or ingestion
So, what is an old stoney to do? I have discussed this issue
with just about anybody that will listen, to no avail. I worked
with the folks at Southern Oregon Normal for a few months and
talked to the staff and clients about this subject and was met
with scorn. The same happened with my fellow patients at Oregon
It appears that nobody really wants to talk about a minimum
effective dosage of medical marijuana; maximizing the medicine’s
effect, while minimizing its side effects. Just like the non-abusive
use of any other medication.
The blog that follows is the story of my personal journey of
discovery of the use and effects of medical marijuana and my
battle with finding a minimum dose…