Leanne Barbee says she spent much of her adulthood treating her chronic illnesses with opioids. Desperate to kick those drugs, the Newark, Ohio woman turned to marijuana five years ago, and today, “I am a whole different person.”
“My entire family was completely opposed to marijuana before they found out what a difference it made in my life,” said Barbee, 37. “ I’m not this long-haired hippie person. I’m a mom of a college student, I have a house and two dogs. I’m your average, typical cannabis consumer.”
Barbee and other advocates of Ohio’s coming medical-marijuana program say they hope to enlist the drug not just to help individuals avoid opioids for pain treatment but to break the addiction epidemic’s hold on the Buckeye State.
“It’s a great idea,” said Dr. Will Sawyer of Sharonville, who is certified to recommend medical marijuana. “The trick here is not to be afraid. It’s just another tool in the toolkit.”