For many, many years, my constant pain was under-treated — yet over-treated with invasive, painful, and expensive treatments, like surgery and cortisone injections, along with useless drug therapies like antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

I don’t think I would have been desperate enough to try surgery if there had been any other treatment options available. At that time, opioid therapy wasn’t available, especially before I tried surgery.

These “treatments” caused my pain levels to become intractable, and I became disabled before I turned 50. After 10 years on opioid therapy, access became more and more difficult, until I was basically forced into a sudden detox. I thought I was going to die, and almost tried to commit suicide. After being forced into a mental hospital for a week, a year later, I was eventually able to save up enough money to move to a state that has a medical cannabis program.

I am a drug war victim because I have been an intractable pain patient for almost 30 years. And I am a drug war survivor because I was finally able to access medical cannabis.

But I can’t help thinking that if I had been able to consistently and legally access medical cannabis before my pain reached intractable levels, would I still be disabled now? If I had been able to access cannabis 20 years ago, would my pain levels be so high today?

Johnna Stahl
Albuquerque, NM

Drug War Victims

This page has a small list of drug war victims, like this:

Shirley Dorsey, 56 yrs old, California (1991):  Rather than being compelled to testify against her 70-year-old boyfriend (Byron Stamate) for cultivating the medicinal cannabis she depended upon to help control her crippling back pain, Shirley Dorsey committed suicide.  She saw it as the only way to prevent the forfeiture of their home and property. Despite her suicide, Stamate was sentenced to 9 months prison, and his home, cottage, and $177,000 life savings were seized.


What I would like to see is something similar for chronic pain patients… Anyone interested?

12/10/2014, U.S. marijuana foes discuss launching tax-exempt funding body


If the group proceeds in 2015 with the 501(c)(4), possibly to be called the Campaign to Stop Big Marijuana, it would let funds be raised without disclosing donor names, as is done by pro-cannabis groups such as the Marijuana Policy Project.