Posted by Guest
In honor of ASA’s “Come Out of the Closet and Recruit your Community” event on Wednesday, February 18th, I’ve decided to come out to my parents about using medical cannabis.
I am a Freshman at UC Berkeley this year and have recently become involved in the fight against the Drug War through Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Americans for Safe Access. Considering I knew practically nothing about the drug war or medical cannabis only months ago, there have been many changes in my life. I was hesitant at first to inform my parents that I was involved in such organizations because I wasn’t sure how they’d react, but they’ve been supportive so far. What I’m especially scared to tell them, though, is that I recently received my medical cannabis card.
Depression runs in my family — all of my aunts and uncles on my father’s side of the family (he has 7 siblings) are on antidepressants and both my father’s father and my father’s brother commited suicide at fairly young ages. After being myself diagnosed with clinical depression I took Lexapro for about 4 years. The results were satisfactory, but I could tell I needed something different. Since I’ve started medicating with cannabis, I’ve experienced all of the same benefitial results that I did on Lexapro, but some of the drawbacks of Lexapro have been diminished. I have been able to fall asleep much easier (the Lexapro had made it difficult for me to fall asleep at night — I’d roll around in bed for hours before I could finally rest), and my appetite has been much steadier.
So one large problem with medical cannabis… is that telling my parents about it will be an obstacle. My parents have always been supportive of me and the things that I do, but they’ve never been advocates of medical marijuana use. I remember once they asked me to stop hanging out with a high school friend because his mother was a “pothead.” But when I “come out” to them tomorrow, I hope they’ll be accepting of my choice. I’m still unsure of how I’ll approach the situation, but I know that I will feel much better once I do. It may take time, but I know that after some discussion and thought on their part, they’ll realize that medical cannabis really has made a positive impact on my psyche and my life as a whole. My greatest hope is that my parents will support me in my choice to use the medicine that works best for me.
I hope the rest of you put some thought into this issue and join me by telling those close (or not so close) to you if you use medical cannabis.