April 25, 1997, I was the victim of a front-end collision with a Ford NS8000. The only thing larger is the Ford Tractor/Trailer combo. It’s larger than a dump truck, as it was used to haul pipes. I was a social worker and had three adult clients in the state owned vehicle, when the driver of the Ford failed to yield right of way. I laid in a coma for 9 days, and spent 11 days in intensive care in Floyd Medical Center. I was transferred on the 18th day to the Shepherd Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury unit, as I had what the doctor in Rome classified as a moderate-to-severe, tending to be more severe, closed-head injury. After 18 days at the SC, I was discharged to do 6 weeks of out-patient rehab at Promina Kennestone’s Out patient Rehab center, in Marietta. In addition to the Brain Injury, I had a mid-humeral fracture to my dominant, right arm and had Radial Neuropathy, that has given me constant neurologic pain since the moment it was injured….4/25/1997. I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On into 1999, I was assaulted by a client and that re-ignited to PTSD. In 2005, I was assaulted by a Deputy and that, too, re-ignited the PTSD. Finally, in 2007, I gave up on my quest to be unlike most, and apply for my disability. I was sent to a psychologist in Centre, Alabama, and she said that she agreed with my personal, Psychiatrist, that I was volatile and I was not be able to hold a public job any longer because of my tendency to have outbursts. See with PTSD, its a fight or flight thing, and as my doctor put it, I am not the flying type. My perception is not always correct and if I perceive a threat, verbal or physical, is directed at me or anyone under my care or supervision, it is on. I will go into preservation mode and give as good as I get, verbally or physically. Most people do not understand PTSD, as it is invisible. I explain it like this. If I mistakenly touch something hot, I do not stop and think that whatever I touched is hot and then choose to move my hand. It is a natural reflex that I move it. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is cyclical and all types of doctors, neurosurgeons, psychiatrist, Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, etc… have tried every type of medicine to deal with the pain, restlessness, etc… all to no avail. I finally said enough and have come to the conclusion that the medicines offered have side effects that are worse than what I experience with my symptoms. Therefore, I suffer. I do not say much about it, as I have dealt with it so long. I have had long conversations with several physicians regarding cannabis therapy, and at least two said that they would write me a script for it today, but it would do no good, as it is illegal and there is no place to get it filled. This places me and countless others in a dilemma. To get the sought after relief from a plant that has no addictive properties, is 100% natural, that my God says is good in the Bible because he created it, you must look to illegal sources. That causes a person to be put into a hot seat. First of all, you never know what you get from the street because most dealers only get marijuana. They may get Kush or Granddaddy Purp, or whatever, but they are not familiar with what is an Indica or Sativa Strain and what is best for any of my specified symptoms or whatever. Secondly, you risk going to jail and ruining your name and reputation all for the sake of relief. Doctors take the Hippocratic oath, the oldest oath in use, and are daily forced to violate it- “…I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism….” What do I mean? Doctors today know that cannabis has great medical value, as does the US government who has patents on its components, yet they cannot prescribe it, as their patients have no where to get said prescriptions filled. So, I find myself along with countless others in the state of Georgia, unable to get the medication that I need.
Sharon is a wife, mother, caregiver, business owner and life long resident of Georgia. Her eyes were opened when her family was traumatized by the “War on Drugs”, she uses her ears to listen to other victims and her voice to tell their stories and educate others on the direct and indirect harms of prohibition and how it affects us all.
Sharon has been a guest on numerous radio stations across the country as well as local and regional TV news affiliates. As well as LadyBud Magazine, HighTimes Magazine and Main Street. She was recently nominated by Mass/Cann NORML for National Female Activist of the Year. Sharon has traveled the country speaking on various topics including drug policy, activism, southern strategies and harm reduction. She produces a segment on 420radio.com highlighting the stories and work of other women in the fight to end marijuana prohibition.