My New Life With Medical Marijuana…and Without Chronic Pain

Ellen Lenox Smith Teaches How To Advocate for Medical Marijuana Legalization In Your State.

Ellen Lenox Smith Teaches How To Advocate for Medical Marijuana Legalization In Your State.

My New Life With Medical Marijuana…and Without Chronic Pain
By Ellen Lenox Smith

My name is Ellen Lenox Smith. I live in N Scituate, am 65 years old , was a former middle school teacher, master swimmer, and high school swim coach. I raised four sons on a small farm with my husband, Stu, and am now the proud grandmother of three grandsons.


I live with two incurable conditions, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Sarcoidosis. I  spend every moment of my life making the conscious decision to try to make the best of what I have been given for this is the only life I get. I am not able to metabolize aspirin, tylenol and opiates, among other medications. Due to this, in 2007, it was suggested I try medical marijuana for pain since things were destined to get worse. I was scared,  for I hate the feeling out of being out of control of my body. On my mind was remembering the time in college I tried it and reacted and was in bed for the day. However, I discovered that 1 tsp of indica oil at night suddenly allowed me rest and renewed ability to be able to live life with better quality and meaning. In time, both my husband and I became medical marijuana caregivers, growing medical marijuana for others, since the safe supply was limited before the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries near me and the compassion centers. Doing this added more value to my life, for helping others is the biggest gift one can give and it helps you better accept your trials in life. On top of this, I gained new energy with this rest at night that allowed me to take on other forms of volunteering. Today we are RI Ambassadors for the Arthritis Foundation, on the board and co-directors for medical marijuana advocacy for the US Pain Foundation, on the board for RIPAC, appointed by the governor as a patient for ATEL and am a staff writer for Pain News Network.

Ellen Lenox Smith Teaches How To Be a Medical Marijuana Caregiver In Your State.

Ellen Lenox Smith Teaches How To Be a Medical Marijuana Caregiver Grower In Your State.

Patients voice opposition to proposed overhaul of medical marijuana program

So, if this proposal goes through,  due to the increased outrageous cost for tags, decrease of plants and more limitation of the number of people I could grow for, we would have to end our grow. The stress, even having to put this on paper is frightening to feel. This would be it for my life, for I would have so much chronic pain to endure that the breathing issues would increase and my heart would give out. My nights of peaceful sleep from my one teaspoon of oil, would no longer be there to help me so I could then be productive the next day. Since there is nothing more for me to turn to, this would be my sentence of earlier death.  It is that scary and real!  So, if this governor does not find her heart, there will be one less person to feed in this world, one less advocate, one less mother, wife, grandmother, and friend.


We will have to stop growing medical marijuana, let go of my people, for which I have been a medical marijuana caregiver, and have depended on me for years, and see if we can still afford to grow marijuana for personal use or will have to turn to the compassion center. Whichever happens, it will be a hardship for us financially. May she find and listen to her soul and do the right thing and stop hurting those of us that are the sickest and weakest. This feels like bullying and we don’t deserve it and I know that we all find it hard to find the endurance and strength to fight this proposal.



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Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. In addition to their work for the U.S. Pain Foundation, as Co-Directors for Medical Marijuana Advocacy, they also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. Ellen wrote a book about her journey as a Pain Warrior, It Hurts Like Hell!” For more information about medical marijuana and how to convert it to other forms of administering besides smoking, visit their website.


The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of this website. Medical marijuana is legal in some U.S. states but is still technically illegal under federal law. Even in states where it is legal, doctors may frown upon marijuana and drop patients from their practice for using it.


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