A Former DEA Agent’s Journey: Kicking Hypertension Using Medical Marijuana

Steve Schenck comes from a world where marijuana has always been on his radar. Steve grew up in Berkley during the 60s and 70s, where marijuana was just a part of daily life. His parents smoked when he was growing up and he saw many people around him use marijuana recreationally. Steve was able to get a perspective on how marijuana effected different people from a young age. His personal experiences with cannabis led to further self education as he entered the Drug Enforcement Administration as an agent. Steve feels that being a DEA agent gave him even more perspective on marijuana, but he prides himself on never making a marijuana arrest. He saw that marijuana did not have the same negative effects as hard drugs, like meth or heroin.

When his doctor began prescribing him a plethora of drugs for his high blood pressure and diabetes without any positive effects, Steve turned towards medical marijuana as an alternative medication. Steve is open with his doctor about his medical marijuana usage, which has allowed him to notice other changes he’s experienced throughout the process. Not only has it improved his symptoms, but he has seen a drop in blood pressure and has had an easier time falling asleep. He eats part of an edible before bed and he is able to sleep soundly throughout the night, without any negative effects that come from traditional sleep medication.

Steve knew he wanted to try to use medical marijuana to help with his high blood pressure and diabetes, but he made sure he was educated before starting the process. Steve said an important step in his process was finding the right dispensary. His tips for finding the right place for yourself?

“Make sure you find the right people who can offer you a high quality product. If you ever feel uncomfortable when you walk in to a dispensary, leave. Finding the right people is crucial.”

Aside from a trusted dispensary, Steve recommends people start slow when trying medical marijuana. There are times when he has taken too much of an edible because it is not always easy to judge how much you are getting in a particular product or how it will effect you. He advises that starting slow can help decrease the risks of any unintended side effects.

Though Steve is very open with his friends, family, and medical advisors about his medical marijuana usage, he tends to stick to discreet methods of administration for his medication due to his 3 year old daughter. Steve prefers smoking, but often uses edibles because they are more subtle than smoking.
Steve wants to see more research from the industry in the future,

“Congress has blocked all research and the industry is currently all over the place. In some states its legal or medically allowed and in some states it is just illegal! The US was responsible for lobbying the UN to make cannabis illegal world-wide. This is not a US issue, legalization has to become a world-wide goal.”

Steve thinks research will help discredit the critics of medical marijuana, as well. He thinks people who perpetuate stigmas do not have knowledge of the products and of the industry. He believes that if people really look at the results of medical marijuana users, they will see the efficacy of it as a medication.

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