I’m sure now that the legality of marijuana is barreling through the United States, my story will be fairly mundane, but it’s mine. And it’s important. I am just another cancer patient in the droves of cancer patients that take advantage of medical marijuana in the state of California. I have never been a fan of any drug, outside of the ones I am prescribed by the doctors treating all of my conditions, and I am one of few that has never dabbled in anything more than alcohol when I was a teenager. I am extremely new to this form of treatment, and I believe my experience to be part of what is shaping the change towards the legalization of marijuana, whether it be medical or not, across the entire country. The last 15 years of my life have been a fascinating clusterfuck of information and an insanely wild ride composed of near constant hospital visits and doctor appointments. Also, after 27 years of life, and at least 10 of those dealing with serious and chronic health problems, marijuana has entered into my life, and I don’t see it making an exit at any point in the near future.


                   "I was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at 15 years old.  This was my first major diagnosis..."


My health problems began on February 28, 2003 after many months of strange occurrences with my body. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at 15 years old. This was my first major diagnosis, my first stay in a hospital, and my first time needing to absorb massive amounts of knowledge in a matter of days. It was an extremely confusing time for me, but, if we can be honest with one another, once I got the hang of everything, it became quite manageable. The more serious issues would come a very short time later.



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The familiar smell of marijuana greeted us as soon as we stepped from the car. "This is definitely the place", I said. After 6 hours of traveling from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to the sleepy, quiet dirt roads of Lake County, we were tired, aching, and ready to be immersed in a world of weed. Over the next two days, Phoenix Askani and I trimmed a collective (8 + 6) (10 + 10) (2 + 2) 38 ounces of Northern California’s finest outdoor cannabis, just over a pound each. And we learned a few things about the local growing community in the process.

                                  "she was actually the one to teach me that little nugget of information"


The house itself was modest in style and furnishings, basically four walls and a roof, and a couple of old couches. Even the utilities were minimal, to prevent unwanted service calls. Robberies are not uncommon in the marijuana growing business, and the grow house is not used as a residence, just business. A few days before we arrived someone had attempted to breach the fence on a scouting mission, and yet another house in the area had been successfully hit the week before. Whoa. Our hosts, one of whom had been growing since the 1970’s, told us that even though they could grow year round, they follow a six-months-on / six-months-off schedule "for their own sanity." I can’t say I blame them. There is a lot of stress at this level of the marijuana business. Growers work for months to produce their crop, if something happens to it they are screwed. Marijuana crops are worth a lot of money, and grow houses are essentially sitting ducks.


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