My experience with cannabis has been incredibly life changing, although tangled in a fog of stigma and controversy. I am a loyal and public advocate for what is commonly called “marijuana maintenance.” Marijuana maintenance means using cannabis instead of less natural options for the treatment of substance use disorder. With increasing anecdotal evidence and new scientific research, this approach is becoming recognized as the best alternative treatment for most substance dependencies. The large majority of traditional treatment centers are teaching one approach to sobriety – complete abstinence. Consider Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program: AA has a 5-10% success rate. That is great for those 5-10%, but what about the other nearly 90%? Oh, and what about me?
I was an alcoholic by the time I was 15-years-old. By the time I was 19, I had overdosed on cocaine and had received treatment at six different rehabilitation centers, various psychiatric wards, and countless hospital visits. I was headed for death. After my overdose, a dear friend recommended I try using only cannabis to aid my recovery, since abstinence from all mind-altering substances seemed like an unreachable goal for me at the time. Cannabis worked for me very quickly and took away my intense cravings and urges. It calmed my withdrawal symptoms and severe panic attacks, enabled me to become more aware of the world around me, and extended my creativity, empathy, and spirituality. It encouraged me to grow into the strong and virtuous human I’d always hoped to be. Finally, it healed me- something no other therapy or program had been able to do.
Five years ago, I created a support group called Maintaining My Recovery with Cannabis (MMRC) on Facebook for people using cannabis in recovery. Beginning with only three people for the first year, it slowly grew into an active group of about fifty participants and has since blossomed to over 1.1K members. Besides our one-of-a-kind group on Facebook, MMRC also offers live meetings and other peer support programs through the MMRC website. As the Founder of MMRC, I have been acting as an volunteer for years and dedicate my time to helping individuals who are interested in cannabis as a tool in their recovery.