MMJ Patient Jimmy Darrow: In His Own Words
Ed Note: When we learned Jimmy Darrow was a medical cannabis patient, we reached out for an interview, thinking that it would follow a fairly traditional Q&A format – which we could then turn into a profile for the website.
However, Jimmy is a natural storyteller, and wrote a personal narrative that was both so moving and so entertaining that we decided to share his experience in his own words.
So here, only lightly edited for clarity, is the personal story of Jimmy Darrow:
So, when I was ten years old I was riding my bicycle with a friend when a truck backed out of a driveway and ran me over, landing me in the hospital in a coma for two weeks (not to mention the long lasting mental effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries).
In 1977/78 there was no TBI knowledge, so patients were referred to as having ‘major head trauma.’ Recovery from this accident would be a lifetime of crap – and of good, too. But my life as I knew it was forever to be different.
So, as I was saying, as I was 16 (getting into loads of stuff) I stumbled onto cannabis. I was called to hang out on top of an old boiler in my high school, and this kid Craig hands me what looks like some weird pipe thing.
Now, remember I had not tried anything up til now, not even booze or a cig. I was a wide-eyed fun-loving country boy! So, Craig says to me, “Try. I guarantee you’re gonna like it!!”
I think MMJ woke my brain back up, so to speak.
And so I did!! Oooooooohhhhhh boyyyyy did I!!!!!!! I got down off the boiler and proceeded to head to math class, feeling fine like never had I ever felt before, and I LOVED IT!!! I felt normal – like I was fitting in somewhere.
The joy didn’t last much longer, as I went to math class, and soon fell asleep from being too high ( LMAO)!! The teacher abruptly spotted this and immediately devised a plan to wake me up – which was his fist, being thrust down onto the table, bouncing my head up off of it, and ultimately waking me up!!
I quickly got up and exited the classroom amidst all the laughter from the back row of the classroom. You had to be there!! That was my inauguration into the life of cannabis. Because I soon found in years to come that the more I smoked. the better my grades got. So of course I kept going!
I had no idea when I was 16 that this cool new thing would mean more to me than just a recreational toke from time to time. And my grades stayed above the curve, and I made the honor roll, all while being HAF when in school. I had inadvertently discovered my cure – or at least help with my difficulties!!
I no longer have seizures at all! I no longer just get angry for no reason at all. It controls my pain level adequately, so I don’t need nasty, disgusting opioids. MMJ has made my life extremely livable and manageable.
Fast forward lots of years, and I’m still smokin!! Needless to say, cannabis has been a part of my life way before the medical cannabis movement, but when I found my doctor, MMJ really started playing a huge role in my well being. And I’ll explain. Remember I mentioned that bad accident I had when I was ten?
Well, this doctor came along with some testing and determined that from that accident I’d been living with PTSD, ADHD, ADD, chronic anxiety, temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar. That’s not to mention the additional back and spine issues creating lots of pain.
Well now, like most people, I’m curious as to what my abilities would be if I tried growing my own MMJ. So, I petitioned my doc for an MMJ card, and he agreed to let me try it out for medical reasons! I applied and got my card and the rules to follow (mind y’all I’m in my mid to late thirties at this time).
I got some buckets and dirt and some seeds, and started teaching myself how to grow, cure and process my cannabis. There’s been a lot of heartbreak, but also equal amounts of telling myself, “Attaboy! I’m going to learn how to do this one way or another.” And I proceeded to do research and try different techniques and traditions. Just like I’ve taught myself to do other things!!
I no longer need to go to any black market bonehead for anything!
I think MMJ woke my brain back up, so to speak. So, I went out West to attend Oaksterdam U in California!! What I learned through them and the many other guest teachers is priceless!! Today my MMJ use controls all my anxiety, seizures, PTSD, and pain levels. Having gone out West to achieve more knowledge and learn my craft was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
Honestly, I believe that MMJ has had profound outcomes in my case. I no longer have seizures at all! I no longer just get angry for no reason at all. It controls my pain level adequately, so I don’t need nasty, disgusting opioids. MMJ has made my life extremely livable and manageable.
Fast forward to the now!! Today, I grow all my own. I process my own concentrates (hash and rosin). I played with CO2 and Butane Hash Oil for a small time, and honestly don’t like it one bit! Why anyone wants to put the minute molecules of those things into their body is beyond me!
So, with all that being said, my experience with cannabis – and now MMJ – has been for the most part a very, very positive one! Even more so now that I no longer need to go to any black market bonehead for anything!
Now, the state’s dispensaries… Oh boy don’t even get me started on that one!! My experience with these dispensaries is not so positive. Why? For one, they do not have qualified growers or tenders. I have offered advice to them many times when I WAS a patient. Advising them that their product was sub par and not matured correctly, or even cured correctly!
Really my experience with this plant – both recreational and medicinal – has been a really great one.
But would they listen? NOPE! Then they came out with hashish and it was terrible!! Rock hard or goopy crap! When I tried to lend them a hand, I got looked at like I was some inexperienced bonehead. Basically my experience with this state’s dispensaries is one of frustration and aggravation!
So, I started putting my schooling and knowledge to work! I am now 100 percent self-sustaining in my MMJ needs. There is so much that has not been discovered yet in terms of what all the different cannabinoids and terpenes are capable of in the medicinal community!
Really, my experience with this plant – both recreational and medicinal – has been a really great one. And yes with some rough roads mixed in. Especially when you can’t seem to find that perfect strain for you. Everyone has that one or two different strains that really stand out!
I find for myself that the indica strains are most beneficial for me! Don’t get me wrong I love a good hybrid and a sativa from time to time. But mainly, I’m indica dominant all across the board. Especially when anxiety pokes through!
Pay it forward people!!! I can’t say this enough!!!
Now that we are all stuck at home due to COVID-19 is a new hurdle all on its own! Luckily, unlike many others, it has not affected me or my meds yet. I believe I’m good, and have been helping other patients as much as I can without leaving myself short.
Pay it forward people!!! I can’t say this enough!!! Help out your fellow MMJ patient if you are able! As a matter of fact, I delivered a little joy to a person stranded in Monday’s snowstorm and it totally turned that frown upside down. Such a great feeling to share!!
I’ve been asked how, with my TBIs, I’m able to do all these things. I just look at them and say, “I really don’t know, but I do know without the assistance of MMJ, I wouldn’t be able to do nearly as much!”
My advice to the state government is this: Stop over-thinking it, because MMJ is not a gateway drug to anything except your refrigerator! Secondly, stop looking for some roadside test! You’re not gonna get one. If there was a tool you’d have had it issued by now. So stop the stall tactics Gov. Scott!!
MMJ is a good thing and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what this beautiful plant can do!
As for the activists that are against this, I say this to you all that MMJ is less harmful than alcohol by far, and if you all did your research, you would know this! And not the research you find on YouTube by some disgruntled parent whose kid got hurt and are blaming it on cannabis when it was more likely an alcohol-related incident.
Now, I know it affects everyone differently, but honestly a lot of stories I see are just bogus fabrications! So I say this to you all: MMJ is a good thing and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what this beautiful plant can do!
In closing I’d like to say to you all: BE WELL, STAY SAFE!! WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY!! COVER YOU FACE AND TURN AWAY WHEN SNEEZING OR COUGHING!
We are all in this together and we will all come out of this pandemic better people I believe, I hope!