Mormon Family Joins In The Fight To Legalize Marijuana

Brother Tried Everything Eastern and Western Medicine Could Offer To Relieve Pain

Nathan and Aaron Frodsham are twins, they live in Utah. One is a data scientist, the other a doctor who works with cancer patients. They are both Mormon. After his brother tried everything Eastern and Western medicine could offer to relieve pain and only cannabis worked, Aaron is joining his brothers fight for  marijuana legalization.

Patient Story: Nathan Frodsham

The choice to use medical marijuana was not an easy one, he tried everything  to relive the nerve pain from degenerative  disc disease. Finally his Doctor recommended medical marijuana.

“When I saw the MRI of his neck, I thought, ‘Oh no. This is not good,'” said Aaron Frodsham “Essentially, it’s bone on bone, and those nerves that are coming out the side are being pinched by those bones.”

lumbar-degeneratiive-disc-disease

Nathan was working in Seattle Washington at the time, where marijuana is legal. Nathan is a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, before he made to choice to use medical marijuana he consulted with local church leaders.

Their answer?

“That’s something you can take up with you and your own personal relationship with God,”

Frodsham took medical cannabis and said his faith grew stronger, and he became healthier. “It helped so much, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m back to normal.'”

Aaron Frodsham said, “I saw you before and after, and I just remember being very surprised, and I think you cut back almost completely on your narcotic medications, which was almost unheard of.”

Back to Utah

Job promotions took Nathan Frodsham home to Utah. Where he can no longer take medical cannabis legally. He’s allergic to anti-inflammatories but has no problem with cannabis. He says cannabis helps better than anything he has used before. Since his move back to Utah, he says his health has gone downhill. To the point where he’s found an unlikely convert to pro- marijuana legislation: His Dad, John Frodsham who has served in LDS bishoprics.

 “I have a very strong belief in God, I’ve been a lifetime member of the LDS faith.(On medical marijuana) By far the benefits outweigh the risks,” John Frodsham, Nathans said. “Without it there are just so many people who can’t get relief.”

John states that he only know the “negative” side of marijuana before his son became a patient.

“I only knew it in the negative side and always believed it was a drug that was very dangerous, and that it was addicting,” he said.

Johns stance now?

“By far the benefits outweigh the risks,” John Frodsham said. “Without it there are just so many people who can’t get relief.”Statement from The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints

A Statement From Nathan Frodsham

Source Pro-Marijuana Legalization group, Truce Utah

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Nathan Frodsham

“I was formally diagnosed with a severe degenerative condition in 2012. I had been struggling with upper back and neck pain for years. I sought the best advice I could afford through private health insurance, consulting with some of the top professionals in orthopedic surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, allergy, rheumatology, physiatry, anesthesia, as well as a few non-traditional options like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and floating therapy.

All of these specialties helped me to better understand my condition and help limit its progression, but I continued to suffer deteriorating chronic and often intense pain. As I was living in Seattle at the time, I inquired with one of my physicians into the newly legal medical cannabis. I was surprised by her encouragement but decided to give it serious consideration, and was eventually prescribed medical cannabis for help in treating my condition.

I was very impressed with what I learned about medical cannabis, and I personally cannot think of anything I could find wrong with it from a health perspective. It really helped me with some very significant pain, and I recovered more health in Seattle than I did at any time I can recall since my diagnosis.

I see no reason why cannabis cannot be evaluated as medicine. Many boldly assert that it is “the most medicinal plant known to man.” As intelligent as the state of Utah is, I think worth helping rethink whether in fact what we know about cannabis is reality, or if biased by almost a century of ignorance due to strict prohibition. We should consider the sense of the current prohibition, whether legislating against human use of natural plants or restricting the research of a natural medicine that perhaps complements our native immune system. If, for example, it offers an alternative cancer treatment as many are claiming, it seems we should at least investigate, if only the hope of sparing another child chemotherapy. This research cannot be done with present laws.
I believe we need to understand this better. If not repealing the law, Utah would benefit from helping lead the country in reform of drug policy in interest anything more effective and efficient than what we pay to maintain today. From my limited experience, I do not believe cannabis is public enemy #1, as has been communicated for years by past and current drug policy. While it can be certainly be abused, I do believe it can be used responsibly with incredible health benefits for most people. It is a bit of a personal liberty question to me, but while legal restrictions/protections seem inevitable and perhaps warranted for many unique contexts, I think most adults should have freedom to consider for medical purposes, if not for personal consumption.

I hope it can soon be recognized for its legitimacy not just treatment of various health conditions, but also for prevention and cure of serious disease. I strongly believe it should be intensely studied and carefully considered for the vast and diverse healthcare needs our nation faces.

I recognize there is a lot of fear and anxiety around this topic, much of which I think stems from the sort of association historically with incredibly harmful and dangerous substances. As such, I’ve prepared some specific thoughts that may be of interest to anybody willing to consider.

Some specific thoughts:

To those who think this opens doors to other drugs, I can’t comment, other than to say it didn’t for me. I was, in fact, able to eliminate most of my prescription drugs I was taking at the time.
To those worried about the counter culture, I was surprised to find the MMJ community warm and sympathetic individuals with level of refinement one might expect at any professional, academic, or similar socially positive environment.
To LDS, I am LDS. I discussed with ecclesiastical authority and can say that I felt support for investigating health benefits for myself (not to suggest for church). I was concerned about possible spiritual impact. I was pleasantly surprised to find enhancement. It did not despise my religion as might seem correlated with drug use, I appreciated it even more and felt greater connection with my spiritual identify and heritage. I did not despise the truly good things, I better recognized growing love for family, friends, and life.
To those who think unscientific or not medically relevant, you may consider that the US government holds a patent on cannabinoids (from cannabis) for treatment of various diseases. Here’s one:
US Patent 6630507 – Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants

“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in treatment… such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

-Nathan

Statement From The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints

“In our view, the issue for the Utah Legislature is how to enable the use of marijuana extracts to help people who are suffering, without increasing the likelihood of misuse at a time when drug abuse in the United States is at epidemic proportions, especially among youth. … We continue to urge legislators to take into account the acknowledged need for scientific research in this matter and to fully address regulatory controls on manufacture and distribution for the health and safety of all Utahns.”

The LDS Church is against any recreational use of marijuana  legislation and agrees with the American Medical Association that further study and research is needed on medical applications.

 

 

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