The Cannabis Closet: Chronic Joint Pain

A reader writes:

I have to thank you. For years, I have been in chronic pain from a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Simply put, my collagen is messed up, so my joints don't stay in place. Purple_kush-1 The resulting dislocations and subluxations, as well as arthritis that comes from such joint damage, is incredibly painful. I have the joints of a 70 year-old woman, and I'm not even 21 yet. I'm on powerful prescription painkillers, and yet my Tylenol intake (as a supplement to my prescriptions) was through the roof.

As my joints deteriorated, particularly in recent months, I was frequently lying down, out of commission, sometimes for days on end. As a full-time student studying music at one of the top conservatories in the nation, I couldn't afford that. I had thought about medical marijuana before for pain relief, but had been brought up to stay on the so-called straight-and-narrow. Your consistent advocacy for marijuana, and your willingness to post articles from the Cannabis Closet like this one, convinced me to finally try it. So about two weeks ago, I got a prescription–ain't it great to live in California?–and got some quality weed.

Andrew, I am a different person.

I used to be curled up in pain every evening from the exertions of the day (hard physical labor like, ya know, walking to class, or carrying a bag of groceries). I would whimper or complain or just plain cry for hours. Now I'm more cheerful, more relaxed, more energetic. Good, painless sleep does that to you, I guess. My pain level is such that I have to be pretty high to control my pain, but if I'm chilling out at the end of the day, I really don't mind that.

I worry now that it will hurt my employment opportunities. I wonder what you're supposed to do, to say to investigators who want your drug history. "Yes, I used to use medical marijuana to control the pain of my degenerative disease. I don't anymore; I'm in pain every day so that you will employ me." What kind of job, what kind of country, considers that inhumanity an acceptable answer?