“I want you to realize weed doesn’t do the same thing for me as it does for you,” said my dad.
This was one of the first times I saw my dad high, and at that moment I realized that marijuana worked better for him than any other post-traumatic stress disorder treatment I’ve ever seen.
In this case, my dad developed PTSD and alcoholism while serving as a para-trooper in the Canadian military and is starting to treat his condition with marijuana exclusively. The day that I learned about this started on a dreary January day.
My dad called me and asked if I was willing to fly out to Victoria, British Colombia with my younger brother to visit him.
Next thing you know it’s 5 a.m. on Feb. 26 and I’m boarding a Calgary-bound plane to meet my brother.
After meeting my brother and transferring flights to Victoria, I finally saw my dad again, dressed in a bright orange coat with a weathered beard outside of the damp and foggy island airport. Getting into the cab with him I noticed a pungent smell: marijuana.
In the cab, I noticed that introducing me to the island was number one on my dad’s to-do list, but interrupting that was his PTSD.
When we first got to our accommodation my dad paced around the living room, trying to decide what to do while his PTSD intensified his mood by the second.
But before he broke into a fit of anger, he calmly asked me a question.
“Can you make me a couple? Here’s the bag,” said my dad.
That’s when he described to me what it did for him. It calmed him down instead of getting him high like a regular recreational user.
I rolled him a joint, and he thanked me as he lit it up on the back porch.
Within minutes I could already see the effects rushing into his mood.
Blasting a song by Chris Stapleton, he sat on the couch and calmly go over the day’s activities. When asking me and my brother our opinions, he was be calm and patient, instead of quick and doubting.
As he sparked up that first joint, I realized that I had never seen him treating his condition with marijuana alone. My dad had always tried to treat his PTSD with different means, but never marijuana alone, alcohol has always interfered.
It was nothing like the trip I took to Montreal to visit him earlier that year.
When I went there in early September, I saw him at a hard point of his life where I could tell his alcoholism and PTSD had been getting the best of my dad and not letting him take care of himself.
The Victoria trip enlightened me because the marijuana he smoked has a better effect on my dad’s condition then years of different treatment methods, not unlike countless other medical marijuana patients.
No one is saying marijuana is a miracle drug, but for my dad, it seemed to be exactly what he needed after years of struggling with his condition. He says he’ll continue to use it and stand by its medical qualities if it continues to be the best way to treat his condition.
In my opinion, I think that if we didn’t stigmatize marijuana with years of negative propaganda, we wouldn’t have left traditional medicine at a point where they have no choice but to work within the grey zone.