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    Steve Gleason says medical marijuana saved him from a &039downward spiral&039

    Former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason said Friday that medical marijuana saved him from a “downward spiral” after his ALS diagnosis. Friday marked the first time Gleason has spoken publicly about his use of the drug. he was testifying before the medical marijuana commission established by the louisiana legislature.

    gleason, a former special teams standout, was diagnosed with ela (lou gehrig’s disease) in 2011 and entered the state capitol meeting room in his motorized wheelchair, as a result of the neuromuscular disease that took him away the use of all muscle functions.

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    Speaking through a computer that tracks his eye movements, Gleason drew laughs when he began his testimony by noting how he arrived dressed in a “tuxedo,” which was really just a tuxedo shirt. He made similar jokes throughout his speech, but captivated the entire room when he described a dark point in his life in 2013. Doctors recommended he put a hospital bed at home to sleep in and prescribed pain medication and the anxiety that accompanies the disease.

    described how the hospital bed had bars on the sides that are designed to keep the patient from rolling.

    “The irony was that I was staring at the ceiling and unable to move,” Gleason said. “I was angry and resentful”… “this was kind of a downward spiral.”

    Side effects from prescription drugs only made things worse, he said. he tried different types and doses, but nothing seemed to work. the physical discomfort brought “overwhelming fear” to his mind, she said.

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    One day he told his wife: “I have to get out of this. There must be a better way,” he said.

    A friend recommended medical marijuana to me. Gleason had only tried marijuana a few times before that point, smoking it recreationally, but his friend recommended something different: a cannabis tincture, which is a pharmaceutical-grade liquid extract. the drug was still illegal in louisiana at the time.

    “I felt like it was worth the risk of committing a crime, but just as a security measure, I brought our lawyer,” Gleason said, eliciting another round of laughter.

    For the first time in a long time, he said he could function, had more energy and was more productive.

    “I felt good physically and my head was much clearer,” he said. “I felt free, free from the downward spiral.”

    Gleason said that medical marijuana gave him the ability to find a new purpose in life. He returned to sleep in his king-size bed next to his wife and worked on growing his ALS advocacy foundation, Team Gleason, which has since donated $18 million worth of adventures, technology, equipment and care services to more than 20 000 people living with her.

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    “I am not saying that it all happened thanks to the help of medical marijuana, but I can say with 100% confidence that those achievements, the inspiration, nor the tens of thousands of people we serve, none of that what if I was still taking those prescription pills,” Gleason said before exchanging parting words with lawmakers and closing with his famous motto: “no white flags.”

    The medical marijuana commission is on a “fact-finding mission” to explore options to improve the state’s medical marijuana law, Rep. said marine joe (i-gretna).

    Lawmakers first opened louisiana’s doors to the drug in 2015 with legislation that opened up a very limited market. Marino said the law was designed to allow Louisianans to “crawl before they walk.” since then, state laws around marijuana have made slow progress.

    “this is 2021”, said Marino. “Six years have passed since then. I think we’re done crawling. I think we need to do more than just crawl, and I think this commission will help us achieve the goal of getting medicines to patients.”

    Among other members of the public who testified was katelyn castleberry, who said she buys medical cannabis as a treatment for her son’s epilepsy. However, due to Louisiana’s limited market, the drug costs her about $900 a month, she said.

    castleberry’s testimony moved several lawmakers who said they would like to see insurance companies start covering drug costs. Another problem is the lack of drug testing exemptions for medical marijuana.

    representative jack mcfarland said he has constituents who have lost their jobs and even their professional licenses, like those for truck drivers, due to outdated drug detection regulations.

    “As we go forward, I’d like us to consider at least those two things,” McFarland said.

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