Living Close to Nature


Monika Rakowski

Monica Rakowski

Cannabis, a powerful herbal medicine

I was warned against writing this column. After considering the consequences, I decided this topic is too important not to write about.

After living through decades of the War on Drugs, even though laws have changed in a majority of states, there is still a stigma attached to one of the most healing herbs on the planet: cannabis.

Cannabis was the most widely prescribed medicine until the early 1900s, and has never caused a single death. Before cannabis prohibition laws were passed in 1937, the American Medical Association stated the world would be denied a potent medicine if it were illegal. However, when the Marijuana Tax Bill was up for a vote in Congress, Representative Vinson blatantly lied by saying the AMA was behind the bill.

The AMA knew then what we are rediscovering now. Cannabis is one of the safest, most powerful healing herbs on the planet. It is known to help a variety of ailments, including epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, nausea, stress, PTSD, migraines, anorexia, depression, arthritis and chronic pain.

I volunteer at KP Healing Center, a medical cannabis dispensary. I have met countless patients who have had success with cannabis. Local cancer centers routinely send patients our way.

One patient first started using cannabis for her incessant migraines. She also has a genetic mutation that limits her body's ability to uptake serotonin and dopamine, causing tremendous depression. Once she started using cannabis, her migraines were less frequent and she was able to experience her emotions for the first time, which made her more empathetic and less depressed than she had ever been.

Another patient of ours was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, an invasive and aggressive form of cancer that is extremely difficult to fight. She ingested cannabis oil by mouth along with chemotherapy and radiation. The cannabis oil drastically reduced her pain during treatment. When the time came to remove any remaining cancer after treatment, her doctors were shocked to find there was no sign of it.

We have a large number of retired veterans who successfully use cannabis to help with their PTSD.

Many epileptic patients have drastically reduced the number of seizures they suffer from. Some have gone from having 10 or more per day down to one or two per month.

I have met many patients who have reduced the amount of prescription painkillers they take by using cannabis. Opioids alone caused over 165,000 deaths between 1999 and 2014. Cannabis has never killed anyone and can reduce or replace the need for opioids. Considering the harmful side effects of prescription drugs, it seems like common sense to use a safe, effective herbal medicine instead.

We have a genuine need for medical cannabis here on the KP. It would be a shame to force people already struggling with their day-to-day lives to drive 30 minutes or more to get this medicine. For this reason, I encourage you to vote yes on Advisory Vote No. 1 on April’s ballot.

Monica Rakowski owns KP Indoor Garden Store in Key Center and blogs at