I grew up associating cannabis in a very negative light. A good deal of my childhood was spent sitting in the back of an Alcoholics Anonymous room listening to scarred old men talk about how drugs and alcohol ruined their lives. If it wasn't an AA meeting it was NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or Al-Anon, which helps people recover when someone in their life is an alcoholic. My father was a lifetime recovering addict. Alcohol was his drug of choice, but he certainly didn't discriminate. Cocaine, heroin, crack – all the good, hard stuff that made rock and rollers infamous back in the day. The truth about those individuals doomed to chase dragons is far less glamorous than movies have made it seem.
I saw the pain and suffering that the addicts I knew struggled to overcome and I hated what drugs had done to the people I loved. As a child I vowed never to become a slave to any substance that possessed the possibility of abuse or addiction. My first two years of high school, I refused to hang out with people who smoked pot and shied away from any illicit activity. Drugs were all bad news; especially marijuana, the notorious “gateway drug” I’d heard so much about.
The Facts on Marijuana: 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Marijuana That Should Change Your Opinion Forever
I have been involved in the medical cannabis and alternative health industry for four years as a patient educator and advocate, working alongside conventional doctors, naturopaths, spiritual counselors, Reiki healers, and natural health experts in three different states. I was also a medical cannabis patient myself for five years.
My first-hand experience with a broad spectrum of patients, growers and political advocates, combined with my own personal experiences has given me a unique perspective on the subject of legalization in our country.
Marijuana prohibition is blatant infringement upon our constitutional freedom to have access to medicine that cures what ails us. Especially when nearly all of the major health concerns gripping the nation are ones with environmental roots and are largely within the confines of government regulation.
Kaylyn Hansen has worked in the alternative medicine field for over four years as a patient liaison, educator, and physician's assistant.