Chris Burke
on 06.22.2019

I grew up in a pretty conservative home

My dad was a RCMP officer (Royal Canadian Mounted Police.. the guys on the horses!) and he actually worked in an undercover task force with customs, stopping drugs from getting into our country. Cannabis was never something that interested me. I didn't think it was wrong, it just wasn't for me or those in my friend circle.

My first real experience with cannabis was when I was 29. By the time I was 29 I had already had 3 different surgeries on my back (started around 26), and was on a long list of opiates and antipsychotics, to keep me from killing myself, which was a product of the opiates. I had injured my back when I was 26 while out playing paintball with my youth group (oh, I'm a pastor by the way). When I got home from our trip, I had to call my wife from the car, as I couldn't even move my legs. After many tests and scans, it was decided that I have 7 herniated and 2 compressed disks in my spine.

In 2012 (I was 28) I resigned from my position at the church, because I was short listed for a new surgery that was supposed to change my life, but we had to be closer to the hospital, which was 3 provinces away.. so we resigned, and moved in with my parents, with the plan of having the surgery, getting better, then moving on to whatever the next thing was that God had in mind for us.

Surgery came in early 2013, and within 6 months, it was obvious that it didn't help. I start looking for new ministry positions, but take up a tech position at a local call center, to hold us over until the next church gig came. I started to get worse and worse, and my work suffered, because my pain just made me a cranky bitch to be around, so I couldn't deal with customers anymore, as their stupidity just aggravated me, and I was very short with them all.

I had to stop working.. medical leave, couldn't do it anymore. At this point in my life, I was spending every waking minute in bed, as I couldn't walk, and used a cane when I got the courage to try. A friend I made at the call center saw my pain, and saw the pills I was taking, and the day I left for medical leave, he gave me a bag of cannabis.

At this point in my pain management, I was very interested in cannabis, as it seemed like something that could help me. I had been researching it for about 2 years at that point, the scriptures and the science, and was ok with the idea of it being used medicinally. I brought it home, and my wife and I talked it out (she knew of the research I was doing), and we both decided it was worth a shot, as nothing else had worked at that point.

I grabbed the cannabis, and a cheap pipe I had picked up on my way home from work, and I hobbled up to a picnic table at the park next to my house (cane in tote). Smoked some, and didn't think much of it.. shrugged it off, and went back home. When I got to my door, I realized I left my cane at the park, and then I said to myself "holy shit, you just walked without your cane".. I cried.. for the first time in a VERY long time, I didn't notice my pain.

The story honestly is a lot longer than that, but it's already gotten far to long and I'm sure no one has read this far!! I'll cut here!

What Do You Think About Cannabis?