Get Off the Pot: Canada, Make Up Your Mind


Seven years ago Tom woke up one morning and his life changed forever. It was two weeks before doctors could determine what was kicking him in the butt. Tom was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that was eating his internal organs- and especially his liver. With his liver operating at 60% capacity, Tom was placed on a transplant waiting list and on a death watch. The transplant never came and Tom never died. Defying the odds, and chalking up one for the medical books, Tom slowly rebounded. He earned his way off death watch over a period of three years and has spent the past four years returning to a productive lifestyle with just 70% liver function.

Living successfully means a healthy diet consisting of six moderate meals a day, resting when he needs it and staying off oral medication as well as refraining from alcohol. “Everything I take orally runs through my liver. I can’t tax it with Aspirin or Tylenol 3’s or any other medication for pain relief. But marijuana goes through your bloodstream and it’s good for pain, for relaxation and that’s why on occasion I will use it. It’s not an everyday thing, it’s not a party thing, it’s not an escapism kind of thing. But when in need it’s a great alternative and it doesn’t hurt my liver. And there are a lot of people in that situation where they can’t take medications because it’s too hard on their body.”

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