Adventures in Medical Marijuana

When I made the initial appointment at Bloomfield Industries, I was told to bring the script from my doctor and cash. Oh, and a picture ID issued by the State of New York that identifies me as a registered user of medical marijuana.

That’s right. I was going to a medical marijuana dispensary.

It all started in my neurologist’s office when she was reviewing my meds and discussing my painful spasticity. She pulled her chair up right next to mine, got very close and in a hushed tone asked how I felt about marijuana. She began to laugh and quickly explained she wasn’t referring to the kind you smoke recreationally, but medical marijuana. She explained that I would be a good candidate for its use, as other patients in my situation experienced substantial relief.

Several of the doctors in my neurologist’s practice are among the few in western New York who are licensed to prescribe medical marijuana. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but MS is among the handful of medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed in New York.

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Bloomfield Industries. I just knew that I would be meeting with a nurse and pharmacist and was told $100 cash would be enough to cover my first month’s supply. Located in an upscale medical building in a suburb of Buffalo, NY, the abundance of security cameras, locked electronic doors and the well-armed receptionist who escorted me in left me feeling a little edgy.

I can’t recall ever being in a medical office where the staff at the front desk was armed. However, my angst quickly dissipated when an older couple emerged from one of the rooms. Talking loudly as they passed by, they started to discuss how to use their newly purchased medical marijuana. There was a lightness and humor to their exchange that put me at ease.

I no longer felt apprehensive, but amused. Amused that once again, my MS had taken me on yet another adventure.

My medical marijuana comes in the form of a clear, tasteless oil.

While researchers continue to study the benefits and risks of medical marijuana, I can only speak from my own experience. For me, it has helped with MS pain and spasticity. I feel like I’ve regained a quality of life.

What surprised me most was how some medical professionals still don’t know much about medical marijuana. Even my pharmacist told me he needs to know more about it, as did my primary care physician. 

Medical marijuana is, in any event, a controversial treatment that is gaining more attention and will likely be here to stay. With more studies in the pipeline, it’s hard to know what the future will look like.

But for me, I will continue to make my visits to Bloomfield Industries for my monthly purchases. While driving there, I will continue to listen to classical music. I’ll keep my Pink Floyd albums on the shelf and leave the Doritos at home--the 1970s are over. This is 2017, and medical marijuana may be something you and your neurologist discuss sooner than you think.
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Susan Skoney, Blogger

Susan Skoney was diagnosed in 1999. She lives in western New York with her husband Michael and daughter Hannah. She worked many years in public relations and advertising, and has just started writing about her MS in the last few years.

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  • georgeatek  Aug 23, 2017 1:15 PM
    I have started down this path, at the suggestion of my neurologist, but have not experience any significant reduction in pain or spasticity, However, I have experienced fewer falling events, which, I guess you could say, has reduced my pain indirectly. I also continue to seek my monthly refill.
  • Darla   Aug 25, 2017 8:37 AM
    I agree with you I had a card a long time ago then had to let it go now my doctor wants me to try it again....unfortunately I have no address so I can't mail it off to get the card
  • Tanya   Sep 9, 2017 10:47 AM
    My primary care physician won't help me get a card. Maybe I'll talk to my neurologist.
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    bubbadog66  Sep 21, 2017 9:08 AM
    I live in Maine and my "pharmacist" He is his own manufacturer with product designed for my specific needs. Ridiculous how i'm allowed to bring all pharm meds to legitimate health care facilities...but NOT my topical cannibus oil!!?? It's medical, not recreational. Best meds for pain, spasticity, and anxiety that my MS can muster and bring to the table to enhance disability...the politics are crazy!! It's not an opiod!!!!...they allow those at these same facilities confusing!!
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    joynerthedad  Sep 22, 2017 4:40 AM
    Thanks for your post. I am currently researching options. There is such a stigma around opioids. I take a low dose for my chronic pain. Unfortunately, no matter what I go to a new physician for, they spend more time questioning me about my opioid use and who prescribes it and for what than they do addressing any issues I have. I live in NC. The State continues to restrict opioids for pain but they do not bother to look at alternatives to replace it. I guess it does not affect them directly so they do not bother. I am glad it is a growing trend and thankful other people have options.
  • tracy butterhof   Oct 8, 2017 1:49 PM
    I was wondering what success others have had with using pure CBD . I' m considering going all in regarding alternative medicine using both hUCT therapy ( umbilical cord stem cell ) and some type of organic diet ( swank) autoimmune diets ect. I would love to hear from anyone that has done anything like this.
  • jude   Aug 21, 2019 3:01 PM
    interesting read..have not even considered this, but you know, with MS, there is always a new change tomorrow....who knows?!