Once again I am left in a position of asking for help to cover what is an essential medication for the management of my symptoms. As many of you have doubtless figured out by now, I use medical marijuana to treat my Crohn’s disease.
The medication acts on two fronts. The first is symptoms management where it relieves the severe pain and nausea caused by my conditions. The second is by making the other medication I am on, more effective.
I’ve mentioned time and time again that it can be expensive, but for once, I am going to share specifics.
Every once in a while, someone will complain about the fact that I ask for monetary assistance. I get advice on how to “save money” which often ignores the reality of my situation.
So just how much does my medication cost?
Medical Marijuana ranges from $6 per gram to $12 per gram. Thanks to compassionate pricing, I get a 20% discount with my dispensary. I do my best to buy the cheap strains as much as possible, but often those strains are not the ones that work for my conditions.
More frequently I end up needing the strains that cost me $7.60 per gram.
My prescription is 2 grams per day.
That adds up to at least $465 in an average 30 day month. If the cheaper strains are not available, that total can go up to $600 per month. The choice literally becomes, do I buy groceries or do I buy my meds. Frequently what happens is I use the money we used to pay down our debt on the credit cards, to then purchase my medication, in effect never actually making any improvement in the debt situation. The remainder comes from the overdraft protection, which in turn can cost us up to $5 for each day that the account in overdrawn.
Some months it is a matter of deciding which is more important, my meds or groceries.
Medical Marijuana has not been covered by Trillium or ODSP since the rules surrounding prescriptions were changed by Harper’s government. It is also not covered by any other insurance, even if I wasn’t prevented from accessing other forms of insurance due to my “pre-existing conditions”. This despite the fact that it is a known treatment for chronic pain, chronic nausea, and a variety of conditions.
Every month means an overwhelming amount of anxiety as I try desperately to come up with some way to get extra money, so that maybe just this once, we don’t overdraw and can start the month without being in the red. Overdraft protection is supposed to be a failsafe, not a line of credit. The anxiety of course makes my conditions worse, increasing pain, increasing nausea, increasing blood loss, to the point where medication becomes even more of a priority.
It’s a desperate circle, and one I hope someday to be able to escape. But in the meantime, I ask for help.