As acceptance of medical marijuana grows, people who would otherwise look down on stoners are trying it. What has the medical marijuana industry done to overcome the negative stereotypes?
Ellen Lenox Smith is a 60 year-old grandmother who suffers from two life-threatening diseases, sarcoidosis and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. This lively New England grandmother is about as far away from the pot smoking stereotype as possible. Due to her illness and reactions to traditional pain meds, her doctor recommended she try marijuana. When her doctor first suggested such a thing, she was dumbfounded. All her life she had been told not to smoke pot and now her doctor was telling her the opposite. She said she was terrified to try and couldn’t bring herself to smoke it, so she mixed it with applesauce. Mrs. Smith relates her experience as follows “It was so amazing! I took this oil, went to bed, and the next think I know, its morning. […] I slept through the entire night for the first time in months.”
Rhode Island offers marijuana to sick patients through a patient provider program. If Mrs. Smith had been living somewhere like California she could have gotten her marijuana from a dispensary. More and more dispensaries are offering edible creations that contain marijuana for their patients who do not want to smoke. No doctor in their right mind would prescribe smoking marijuana. The damage smoking causes to the lungs and throat can outweigh the positive effects. If the weed is vaporized, or more commonly ingested, the patient does not suffer the negative side effects of smoking.
Companies such as, Big Sexy’s Sinful Treats, have taken marijuana food and made it designer. While Big Sexy’s makes everything from brownies to popcorn, these are not the same stoner treats your hippy friend in college made. Big Sexy’s carefully matches the strain and potency of their confections to the individuals condition. Depression? Have a lemon bar. Back Pain? Try the granola. Large companies like Big Sexy’s deliver to dispensaries all across the state, meaning if you are out of town you can still get your daily prescription.
By breaking the stereotype of the back room stoner, dispensaries are appealing to a wider audience. Often the people who could most benefit from medical marijuana are those with the biggest aversion to it. By providing an alternative means of ingestion, companies such as Big Sexy’s are bringing the positive affects of marijuana to a larger audience.