I am undergoing chemotherapy. It is very difficult to get marijuana.
June 27, 2013 9:40 AM   Subscribe

My situation. About 2/3 months ago I happily said goodbye to a massive tumor I had apparently been gestating in my intestine. I am receiving FOLFOX chemotherapy. The primary thing that is keeping me functioning, working and being a parent is marijuana. Which I have to buy on the street to the tune of about 800 bucks a month. I have spoken to my oncologist. I have spoken to my pain management team. No one will help me get what I need: a prescription/license for pot and sufficient financial help or program to be able to afford it. Where in Ottawa can I be connected to a network or physician who can help me? And I mean now. I need someone to carry the water for me because I am somewhat shattered.

Further details. I am an historical consultant/researcher. So I work in my home and am the recipient of no benefits. My ability to work full-time has been ruined. Previous to the cancer, I was living a life of stringent sobriety. That's gone out the window.

I'm trying desperately to keep up the appearance of functioning and, well, just being strong. Because I don't want my son to be any more upset by seeing dad so intermittently sick.

Do you know of an advocate, physician or group in Ottawa who can provide quick help? I am sorry if this seems like an inappropriate question.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here is an Ottawa based medical marijuana organization / resource center / mail order pharmacy. Found via google, but they look legit - I'd give them a call.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:55 AM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thank you. That page and related ones clearly spell out the process. Which will take, at the very best, weeks. That is incredibly discouraging. I can be dashed off a prescription for anti-epilepsy meds (helps with the nerve damage) or painkillers. But what I need, at the time I need it, seems to not be on offer.
posted by One Hand Slowclapping at 10:33 AM on June 27, 2013

Have you checked out this place in Montreal?
posted by mareli at 11:03 AM on June 27, 2013

Apparently, it can take up to ten weeks to get your license. Forms and instructions

I am not Canadian. I just know what it is like to be so sick that googling info is challenging.

(((hugs, if you want them)))

Here is hoping for more and better answers than mine.
posted by Michele in California at 12:22 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong (and I'd hope I am but I don't think I am) - but given the very recently finalized, substantially more restrictive medical marijuana rules in Ottawa I don't think what you're asking for is possible in Ottawa.

Apologies in advance if this is not helpful (I realize it depends entirely on your friend/family situation or if you've already exhausted this avenue) but I think what would probably help most and fastest (while you deal with the wait/paperwork of the formal route) right now would be a good dealer. Is there anyone else in your life that might take this on? If you're reluctant to ask for that help from family/friends you might reconsider (at least if you know anyone who seems like they might be a likely conduit). If you were my brother/sister/close friend you wouldn't be asking this question online because I'd already be dealing with it. Again though I really understand that what might work in my friend group/family/locale may not translate for you.

I'm sorry the for what you're dealing with and for the absurd situation where opiate based painkillers are cheap and easy to get compared to marijuana.
posted by Luke Skywalker at 12:38 PM on June 27, 2013

For what it's worth (further, given that you mention it) despite the deficiency of formal research imposed on marijuana by global drug-war hysteria, its palliative effects on chemo side-effects is very well-established, probably among its least controversial medical uses. Your sobriety hasn't gone "out the window" any more than it would have if you were taking hydrocodone for a broken leg.
posted by Luke Skywalker at 12:58 PM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]

Previous to the cancer, I was living a life of stringent sobriety. That's gone out the window.
Nope. And anyone who tells you otherwise in any insistent way is a blue-nose psycho wack-job, who does not care about the pain and symptoms you suffer; they care about "being right" and knowing what you need to do in your life.

A close friend has suffered both lymphoma and now crohns, he cut himself off of support groups for others recovering from those illnesses (and in the case of crohns, living with it) because he just couldn't stand to hear all the time about how successful they were in dealing with the pain/nausea/etc. Finally he's allowed himself to use medical marijuana and it's been better than anything else; it's pretty remarkable, really.

He's long-term in 12 step recovery from alcoholism and addiction, and if you know anything about those organizations you might know that there are people who think they know exactly what anyone else needs, and he's internalized some of those voices, not to mention he really did have to make sure he wasn't kidding himself, that it was medication, not Disneyland.

I told him about my situation, that I was absolutely a person who loved drinking and drugging -- Better Living Through Chemistry! -- and so when I set it down I was really insistent upon being Mr. Clean. Except that life happens, wouldn't you know it, and I have this manic depression illness, and turns out I need to put medications in my mouth every dang day to treat it. I resisted it for years, almost to the point of suicide -- manic depression is so interesting.

So I can't help you with finding pot up there in Ottawa, just wanted to say that if your motives are clear and you've talked it over with your physician and anyone else close in your circle and everyone gives thumbs up, well, go forth with a clear conscience.

I hope you find what you need soon.

Good luck.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:25 PM on June 27, 2013

How long do you expect to be in need? If it will be more than a couple of months, growing your own is by far your cheapest option, even if you do it indoors under an energy-hungry HID lamp.
posted by flabdablet at 9:40 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

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