An Australian woman with the debilitating digestive condition Crohn’s disease has opened up about why she turned to cannabis leaves in a bid to ease her pain.
Morgan Taylor, 21, penned a heartfelt blog post on the subject which she said ‘has been taboo for way too long’.
‘In the beginning of 2015 my Crohn's disease took a turn for the worst. It was my senior year and should have been one of the best years of my life but ended up being one of the worst,’ Morgan shared.
She said dealing with the stress of year 12, combined with dealing with her chronic illness was something she would ‘never wish on anybody’.
‘I deteriorated fast and had to have surgery for a colostomy bag, being a young girl facing this situation was hard to say the least,’ she said.
After prescription drugs failed to help, Morgan described the pain of Crohn’s as ‘indescribable’.
‘I was constantly having to take Codeine or Endone to which I was building a tolerance and only barely masked the pain, which is what led me to cannabis,’ she said.
It wasn’t something she did lightly. During her illness, Morgan researched medicinal cannabis and read ‘countless stories of people helping themselves’.
‘I was able to get my hands on some and starting using it for pain, and let me tell you it worked better than any pharmaceutical I've ever tried,’ Morgan said. ‘My nausea was gone, I could eat without pain and I could sleep through the night.
‘There's so much stigma behind the use of cannabis but until you've ever gone through that kind of pain or witnessed a love one suffer you have no right to judge the choices of others.
‘In late 2016 and early 2017 I was able to get my hands on cannabis leaves that I juiced and drank everyday,’ Morgan said.
‘There are studies being done that show ingestion of raw cannabis is one of the best ways to get high dosages of the healing cannabinoids.
‘During these few months I felt better than I have in years. I was finally putting on weight, I was exercising and my Crohn's was going into remission, something I had never achieved with pharmaceutical drugs.’
But whilst Morgan claims she has benefited from her use of medicinal cannabis, she said she hasn’t had access to it for almost a year – leading her health to deteriorate.
In February, the Australian Government passed new laws paving the way for the use of medicinal cannabis by people with painful and chronic illness.
But there are severe restrictions on who is eligible to use it - and in what form it can be used.
This week, during a parliamentary debate, one Liberal Democrat senator said the Turnbull Government had 'blood on its hands' for not making access easier for terminally ill patients.
‘I can't begin to describe what it feels like to have some hope and it being snatched away because this country can't get itself together,’ Morgan said.
‘This is something I'm passionate about because it has changed my life in so many ways. My experience with cannabis has inspired me to help others as a future career.
‘I'm tired of living in fear along with millions of others. Coltyn turner, a young American man living with Crohn's disease once said "I would rather be illegally healed than legally dead".
‘It's time for a change and that time is now.’
The Department of Health has reminded Australians that cannabis remains a highly regulated drug in Australia and the use and supply of it for non-medicinal purposes is illegal.
This article originally appeared on New Idea.