We introduce to you the cannabis smoking professional in the state of Illinois. For personal purposes, the person of interest who smokes cannabis did not want to disclose his name or where he works.
“The Professional” is 41 years old, and he moved from India with his parents 30 years ago. He recently had a newborn baby boy with his wife of several years. They currently live on the north side of Chicago in a house that they bought recently.
The reason he didn’t want his name used is that he didn’t want his parents to find out about his cannabis use. Both families visit frequently to help out with the newborn baby. He was afraid of the repercussions of his company, ever finding out about his particular medication. He works at a prestigious job downtown as a programmer working in the medical industry. His title at work is a development manager, and he has been working for the same company for over 10 years. He currently has several employees working under him.
The first time the professional tried cannabis was in high school. The professional did it because of peer pressure, and everyone was doing it. He said it helped alleviate his anxiety while in school but did not smoke cannabis regularly.
When asked about why he uses cannabis
CANNAPLAYGOUND: When was the last time you smoked?
The Professional: “More recently, a nerve issue in my neck and my doctor suggested I try that as an alternative solution to pain medication that typically doesn’t work on nerve pain.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: How hard was it to obtain a medical card in the state of Illinois?
“It was easy. Even though it’s legal for medical use in Illinois.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: He further explained
“My doctor gave me an opioid prescription for the pain, and I told her it didn’t do much but knock me out and cut the pain by 20%. So she said because you have an opioid prescription, you can get a medical marijuana license for three months and then as long as the opioid prescription is active, I can renew every three months. So I figured I’d give it a shot and that’s where we are now.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: I asked about his pain while using cannabis products.
“Well, so the nerve issue resolved itself but while I had the nerve pain, it was great. It relaxed my muscles and allowed me to sleep, but I had two different kinds.
There was the typical, like the cartridge-vaporizer with the THC oil and then I had CBD pills and CBD products with no THC in it. I could use that to help with the pain when I’m at work.
It turns out the CBD stuff didn’t help as much. Luckily, the nerve pain kind of resolved itself so I didn’t need to worry about it anymore.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: How did the CBD help you, and what products did you use?
“I got CBD balm, like where you rub it on your neck. That seemed to work well, and that’s why I thought it would be good to try the CBD pills. At the time, I didn’t know medical marijuana consisted of CBD as well.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: He further explained
“I asked for something I could take at work without being high or stoned. It was recommended that CBD without the THC and said that worked for him, but it just didn’t work for me.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: Did you experience any adverse side effects?
“Using THC or CBD? Yeah. Not with CBD. That didn’t do anything for me, so I stopped using that, but the THC would sometimes make me super tired the next day and cloudy. You know, thinking and all that, which wasn’t helpful at work. I had the urge to eat more, but because I took it at night, I just went to bed.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: Do you take anything else other than Cannabis to help with your symptoms?
“When [the prescriptions] were active, I would alternate between marijuana to help me sleep on the pain when I was at home and muscle relaxers, which knocked me out. I used cartridges just because, you know, because of the newborn at home. I didn’t want any risk of having him get any contact or anything.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: How often would you smoke or vaporize your cannabis?
“Maybe three nights a week and once a day at night? To help me go to sleep.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: How much did you spend a month at the dispensary?
“I’ve only been to the dispensary once. I’ve had the medical marijuana license for about a month. I think I’m allowed to go every two weeks because the allotment that I got can get reset every two weeks.
From the last time I went, I still have that stuff at home. And my pain symptoms are, you know, the nerve pain is gone, so it’s not a priority for me to go back.
I spent about a hundred dollars because I got the two different CBD ointment solutions and a THC cartridge, an Indica strain because that one makes you sleep. I never got any cannabis that you smoke because of the smell and infant being around.”
“I mean, alcohol is recreationally available. And there are side effects of that. I think the side effects are the same. I mean, when it comes to like drunk driving or driving under the influence? Probably about the same? I think I think it should be equal”.
CANNAPLAYGOUND: Are you ever afraid of being caught with your cannabis products?
“Well, I may have been before, but once I found out it was medically acceptable, and I got a medical license, I’m not. I don’t take it out of the house. I leave it at home. It’s something I use right before I go to bed, so it was never something I take out of the house, but I’m not gonna do this before a concert or a movie or whatever.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: Do you know anyone caught with marijuana, and do you know the repercussions?
“Personally, don’t know anybody caught and charged with marijuana, like having marijuana.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: So on a scale of say 1-10, how informed do you feel about marijuana laws in Illinois?
“Well, considering I didn’t even know it was medical allowed probably say almost like a 3. But now that I found out it was medically allowed–I mean, I’ve heard about things through news articles, so maybe it’s jumped up to like a 7.”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: Do you have anything you want to say to the general public?
“As a general taxpayer, I think it makes sense to legalize it recreationally. If we’re spending a lot of money on like, you know, incarceration rates and all that.
It’s like marijuana isn’t the same as a burglary or a murder, and there are no studies that show marijuana use increases the chances of theft or murder. So why am I, a taxpayer, paying for people incarcerated due to marijuana?”
CANNAPLAYGOUND: Thank you for your time and insight.
We chatted for a bit longer, and he went home to his family after the interview.