CALIFORNIA: Justin Turley has suffered from cirrhosis, a degenerative liver disorder that keeps him in near-constant pain, for 13 years. Shortly after his diagnosis, frustrated by the side effects of pharmaceutical medications he said turned him into a “zombie,” he started using medical marijuana to treat his symptoms.
“I was able to eat again; I could deal with the pain and not have to be completely removed from social situations,” the San Diego resident told The Huffington Post. “It helped me alleviate my problems without all the complications.”
Turley’s doctor told him that he would eventually need a liver transplant in order to survive, so he scheduled an appointment at University of California San Diego Medical Center to learn more. There, he unabashedly told the physician evaluating him that he used medical marijuana in accordance with California’s state law, which passed in 1996. She replied that as long as he continued to use cannabis, he would be kept off the transplant list.
“I volunteered the information,” Turley said, adding that the doctor who wrote his medical marijuana recommendation had lectured at UCSD in the past about using cannabis to treat pain. “I didn’t realize this was a taboo subject. I’m a legal patient.”