by Trey Reckling (originally published by The Fresh Toast)
Mary White had been in radio broadcasting for many years as a beloved drive time morning personality based in Seattle, Washington. Known to have a keen, sometimes racy streak of humor, Mary was a woman in motion, hiking, sightseeing and even teaching cooking classes, one of her greater passions. That is, until arthritis, continued joint problems and a botched hip replacement surgery stopped her in her tracks. The pain was substantial and her doctors seemed to just sing one tune, more pain pills. A cane afforded her some mobility, but her life had changed speed suddenly.
“ I just never got better and continued to need the pain pills, but I was worried about their addictive potential. I had used cannabis ‘in the olden times’ but never thought about it as medicine. Then my son-in-law gave me ¼ of a medicated cookie. In an hour, no pain ..and it lasted longer.”
She said cannabis has none of the issues that can plague people on prescription opioids including depression, constipation and nausea.
“After a year and a half, along came one piece of a cookie and.. no more pills, no more cane. I’m a true believer. I thought, ‘Now let’s get the word out.’ ”
She took matters into her own hands. Why be at the mercy of anyone else for info or product? Mary learned not only how to grow but to cook cannabis. It was a natural fit. She became pretty good and enjoyed it so much she figured her cooking classes should be reborn with a new special ingredient. If she could learn this, so could others. ‘Teach a man to fish and all that shit’, as she may say.
“I tried the others things the doctors had in mind.. If there is something you can use that is natural, it’s probably better for you. Green is the only color for me now.”
Now Mary teaches Cooking with Cannabis classes to students who are medical patients, casual consumers and range in age from mid 20’s to 70 plus. She helps them become more familiar with the herb so long demonized. She takes time to teach some history, some basic kitchen chemistry. Everyone goes home having helped prepare 2-3 items and takes not just recipes for more with them but the empowerment to help themselves a bit more. She leaves them with one message: “when used correctly, cannabis is beautifully safe and an amazing healer.’ The woman who used to make them laugh on their drive to work is making them smile in a whole different way now.