Four years ago, I had no idea how to grow marijuana or how to process it into medicine that my mother could use. Mom, at 92 years old, was way past learning to smoke. She was not so eager to learn new tricks. She just wanted to take medicine to get her back to no longer hurt. She was stuck in an evil cycle of opiates. She had gone into withdrawal a few times. Withdrawal could end up killing her.
I bravely went where I thought I'd never be. I had a friend with a medical marijuana card, who told me who to call. I put that call in to start the process of wading into unknown waters. A local woman in my community gave me clear instructions on how to get started. I make every effort to pay her kindness forward.
OK, I got mom her license with no problems. We had to pay the higher fee since we did not qualify for any discounts. It was coming out to cost less than her medications, so I kept going still with no idea of how I would even obtain any marijuana. I imagined myself dealing with a shadow world of drug users.
The woman who gave me the needed information to obtain the card was heading up a monthly meeting for medical marijuana card users. My first Sunday afternoon at one of the meetings was truly an experience. First of all, I had to sign in showing proof that I could legally be in the meeting. Were there cops watching to see if any law breakers lurked about? What about those guys in the back of the room puffing on plastic bags? What in the world were they doing? Were they just pot heads or indeed patients in need of medication?
I wasn’t a patient myself and mom wasn’t able to sit in those folding chairs so I was there representing her. I tried talking to a few people but strongly suspected that they were wondering who I was. Until they figured it out, their reservations were apparent. This world of marijuana seemed to be full of doubts and paranoia about who was who.
There were many kind people at the meetings. They all knew so much more than I did. It was obvious that it was still hard to connect the dots as to what I could do myself to help mom. I had only started climbing the learning curve. I needed a push.
The meetings really helped me get over the first hurdle. They gave me bags of shake and told me how to make butter with it. I then made mom cookies that worked well for her. I made these cookies for the first two to three years. Being the compulsive cook I can be, I branched out to making chocolates using the strained shake from the butter. They worked well for mom too.
Sometime in those early years, I managed to create some marijuana balm using a recipe that I found on the internet. I was still a “newbie”. I would watch YouTube videos but was put off by some marijuana videos made by “pot heads” using lazy language and seemingly not very serious about imparting information. I desperately needed to find a source of clear minded individuals who could help me learn what I must.
I was seeking to appear to be “normal” while tip-toeing into the drug world that I had always judged “wrong”. Every family has had a bad experience with kids using weed. Our family had more than one family member who got caught up into drugs. We hated who they had become. And now I was seeking to go where they had gone. It was a struggle to find logic and even hope that this would work out for us. But, mom was doing very well using only marijuana. She didn’t complain of any more pain than she had using her other drugs. She was even a bit more pleasant to boot. Her doctor was encouraging me to give her another cookie instead of another pill.
Finally, I found a group of like-minded individuals! It took me forever to make contact, but I joined “Oregon Green Free”. They had a local group here in my area. In this group, I no longer felt I was the odd ball out. No one was high at the meetings. Outsiders could attend to find out information. It wasn’t a “drug group”, it was a learning atmosphere and just what I needed. My passion grew to be an advocate for the normalization of using medical marijuana.
My journey has gone into high gear this past year. I now have a Facebook page promoting medical marijuana called 420 in the Kitchen. I have taught a cooking class for making tincture, balm and butter along with some individual cooking lessons. I have started a new group in our area for those who want interaction with the medical marijuana community. Our attempts to grow our own medicine has improved over the past three years. We are learning. Our leader for Oregon Green Free died this year. He was my mentor and my inspiration to keep going to get my new drug of choice legalized and normal. I cannot be Jim Klahr, but I can keep the work he accomplished alive.
Now you have the background as to why and how I got where I am today.