Former opioid addict seeks to help others with medical cannabis dispensary
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - John Arnold with Coast Cannabis in Bay St. Louis is on a mission to help people beat something he struggled with for years: opioid addiction.
For Arnold, his addiction started after he broke his foot in 18 places thanks to an injury at work in 2004.
“[The] only alternative to my pain was to get more surgeries or take the narcotic pain pills that they were prescribing me,” he said.
After seeing a friend who underwent surgery a similar injury went through, Arnold instead opted to take medications. He eventually grew tired of taking the medications, but after a major car accident, he found himself going to pills once again.
“In my mind, I’m thinking I can get by,” said Arnold. “I’ll just go day-to-day, one day at a time, and just take the pain pills that the doctor prescribed, because if the doctor is prescribing them, it must be ok.”
After a year of painkillers taking a toll on his health, Arnold decided to try another method to treat his pain.
“My doctor said, ‘Why don’t you look into medical marijuana?’ He said he did the research and looked at what it did to patients around the world,” said Arnold. “When I got home that evening after work, I rolled me a joint and took a couple of puffs off it, and it was actually amazing. The pain wasn’t there.”
After experiencing relief and eventually beating his addiction, Arnold says he wants to help others beat their battles by opening a dispensary in South Mississippi.
“Having a store like this in a neighborhood with older generations [and] younger generations, there’s all kinds of different people that have disorders that need a substitute besides that narcotic,” said Arnold. “And I’m glad I can be a part of it -- to try to get people away from these opioids -- because they almost ruined my life.”
Arnold says there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony this Friday in Bay St. Louis to officially open his store with free food and information about the products.
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