Patient Stories | New Approach Missouri

Patient Stories

This is my story and I am not alone

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My name is Lonnie, I live in Central Missouri, and I have an important story to share with you. In 2007, my life was forever changed when I had to undergo a miraculous 18-hour surgery to remove a tumor the size of a softball from my brain. In the following months, I would endure months of rehabilitation, learning how to walk and move the right side of my mouth again. Today, despite a second surgery, a tumor the size of a walnut is still attached to both my brainstem and optic nerve and unfortunately, surgery is no longer an option.

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Sick. Tired. Ready for a new approach.

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I spent a year defending my country in Afghanistan, battling the Taliban in the Kunar Province -- one of the most dangerous regions for American troops.

I returned from Afghanistan five years ago, but Afghanistan never left me. I now struggle with anxiety, sleep, nightmares, pain and PTSD, which I treat with a combination of nerve medication, anti-depressants, Percocet and other pills prescribed by my doctor.

I didn’t always have to take these expensive and addictive pills. Between returning from my tour in Afghanistan and settling down in Jefferson City to live with my wife and 13-year-old stepson, I lived in Colorado where access to legal medical cannabis changed my life.

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A nurse's perspective on medical cannabis

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As a Registered Nurse and founder of the Missouri Cannabis Nurses Association here in Missouri, I see firsthand the dangerous side effects of opioids and painkillers. These addictive prescription drugs ruin lives. Missouri nurses understand patients living here experience greater hardship and discrimination. Patients not only suffer from their debilitating disease, but also from unnecessary medical and legal barriers to safe effective cannabis therapeutics. New Approach Missouri’s ballot initiative offers an extensive list of qualifying conditions for many debilitating diseases and, if passed, would give patients the option to choose medical cannabis, a much safer, effective, and compassionate alternative.

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