Lisa, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) was first introduced into healthcare when she served as the caregiver of her mother, who suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis and was confined to a wheelchair for over two decades.
As a nurse and as a family member, Lisa learned of the heavy toll that debilitating pain takes on people like her mother. She found that pain sufferers’ most viable options are opioid-based drugs that can seriously affect the heart and kidneys and have addictive properties.
She was told that medications that would ease her mother’s transition at the end of her life would shut down her kidneys. When she learned of the effectiveness of marijuana as a medicine that did not have the severe side effects of opioids, Lisa was both elated and saddened: elated because she saw the potential for medical marijuana to improve quality of life for so many suffering people, but saddened because it could have helped her loved ones, if only it had been made available to them. She says, “It’s so hard to see someone you love in that state and not have a legal option to use medical marijuana. We make sick people into criminals, and I don’t understand that.”