By Ray Downs
When Jacqueline Patterson took her first toke of marijuana at the age of fourteen, she experienced what it was like to be without pain for the first time in her life. It’s also why she eventually had to leave Missouri.
Patterson was born with cerebral palsy. The muscles on the right side of her body are significantly weaker and less developed than her left, and she speaks with a severe stutter, or as she prefers to call it, a “speech spasm.” Medical marijuana, Patterson says, has helped her deal with the pain her medical condition causes every day of her life, and it also helps with her speech. When she smokes, her brain doesn’t feel as rushed, and she’s able to get the words out easier, she says.
Although using marijuana to treat cerebral palsy is not unheard of these days, it wasn’t an accepted notion roughly twenty years ago when Patterson first tried it and noticed a remarkable difference it made on her body.