Kristin's Medical Marijuana Story

I smoked a lot of pot when I was in college in the mid 80's. I also got great grades and graduated and went on to my first career as a high paid Electronics Engineer for NASA. After college I didn't smoke much. I no longer had easy access to it, and I fell in love with a man who had chosen for himself never to smoke or drink. Although I certainly shared a joint with old friends from time to time, I gave it up almost completely after college. It just wasn't something I did anymore.

But in the late 90's I became a stoner again - a medical stoner.

I have suffered from migraine headaches all my life. First diagnosed in high school, it wasn't until quite recently that I figured out what was causing them. I'm allergic to perfume. It's probably a solvent of some sort that is used in many perfumes and colognes and even some deodorants and shampoos, but those sweet smelling scents that millions of people put on every morning before they go out into the world give me debilitating migraine headaches.

My worst migraines usually last for 3 days, and most of the medications (narcotics like Percocet) that doctors have prescribed only mask the headache, rather than take it away. They also leave me feeling stupid and unable to work. Injectable drugs like DHE can kill one of my migraines, but only if I go to bed and sleep through the night, and it has scary neurological side effects that leave me using it only as a last resort. Although I know that Imitrix does a lot for many others, it does nothing for my migraines. The beta blockers one doctor had me try years ago didn't really help my migraines much, and left me with all sorts of intestinal problems that we spent months trying to diagnose until we realized it was the increase in my dosage of beta blockers that had started it all. I stopped taking them, and all my intestinal symptoms went away.

In November of 1996 the people of the state of California voted on Prop 215 - and passed into law the first state medical marijuana act. This was the first time I had ever heard the term medical marijuana - and when covering the story, headline news posted a list of things that marijuana is said to be good for, and migraine headaches was on the list. 

I was shocked. I couldn't believe it! But I realized I had never tried it. Sure I had smoked a lot of pot, and I sure have had lots and lots of migraines - but I never had them at the same time. It was hard to imagine - why would I smoke pot when my head was pounding - when all I want to do is crawl into a dark hole and hide?

I no longer had any connections to buy marijuana, but my husband and I tracked some down from a friend at work, and the next time I got a migraine I tried it. It worked better than I could have imagined. Not only does marijuana take away the pain while I'm stoned, it often takes away the migraine completely - something the narcotics never do. And I can function MUCH better in both life and work while stoned on pot than while stoned on narcotics. I have tried LOTS of different migraine remedies over the years, and I have never found anything that works as well as marijuana for me. It is amazing medicine.

Anyone who has tried it knows that marijuana is not the wholly-evil drug that some would like us to believe. The most dangerous thing about marijuana is that it is illegal. Marijuana decriminalization currently enjoys 72% support among the American public, according to the latest CNN/Time polling data. Ten states now have medical marijuana laws on their books. People are talking about it, and at least from a medical standpoint, they are ready to change the laws.

And you know what? The man I fell in love with, the one who had decided to never drink or smoke - not do anything to alter his mood or mind - started smoking pot too. He knew lots of people (not just me) who had smoked marijuana, and far from ending up in the gutter, they were succeeding in life. He had already tried it a few times (most notably in Amsterdam) and when he started smoking more in order to help me smoke (which can be difficult to do with a migraine), he found that it stimulated his creativity in a way he never could have imagined. Since his job is to create things, this is a really cool thing. Yes, he was a creative guy before he started smoking pot - but his productivity and quality of work have increased dramatically in the last 5 years. He has two US patents for things he invented while stoned and his game designs have won major awards. Perhaps even more significant than that, his games are beloved by people the world over.

We are standing up for the right to smoke marijuana. Our experience using marijuana for medical and recreational purposes has shown us that the propaganda that claims that smoking pot will ruin your life, just isn't true. And the world is changing. The US Supreme Court recently let stand a federal Court of Appeals decision that the federal government cannot threaten doctors who discuss or recommend medical marijuana to their patients. Several states (including Maryland, the state we live in) have passed medical marijuana laws without even calling for a vote from the people. Alaska and Nevada are getting close to passing laws that would legalize all marijuana use, not just medical.

Times are changing. It's time to end the war on drugs - and we want to help get people talking about it. That's why we decided to come out openly as pot smokers and publish Stoner Fluxx; to try to accelerate the conversation about changing the drug laws in this country. Our message to children is don't smoke it - but also that it's more polite to say No Thank You to Drugs. The message of the game is that it should be OK for adults to hang out socializing with friends smoking pot - it shouldn't be illegal - it's a message of hope and freedom and a desire to change the world for the better.

Pot is good for the body, the mind, and the soul. And it shouldn't be illegal.

It's time for peace.

--Kristin Looney