“I’ve been just a person breaking the law smoking weed but I’m doing it for a good purpose.”
Temple sophomore Ben Said was just fifteen years old when he was faced with unimaginable pain that doctors struggled to diagnosis.
Treated with chemotherapy drugs, doctors finally diagnosed him with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder.
“I was eventually faced with a choice of either going back to getting two needles in my arm each week, or trying this supposedly much safer alternative option,” explained Said.
Said received his medical marijuana card just two months ago – but has been treating himself for years.
“I felt like I was doing something wrong, like I was a delinquent of some sort ‘cause I was breaking the law,” he expressed.
But despite being legal, Said still hasn’t been able to get to a dispensary. Due to the high demand for product, he said that he has called dispensaries only to be told they are out.
“Right now it is pretty difficult for some patients to get to the dispensary,” said Dr. Roman. Not only is it difficult, but many doctors are still against using the drug to treat their patients, and it’s still very expensive.
But with growing support, he expects those long lines and high prices to come down soon
“I think what has happened in the past is just natural growing pains of a new progress,” he explained.
For students like Said, access to medical marijuana near Temple is limited – but a new effort at Temple Med could change that.
A Temple official involved with the project told us that the university is partnering with Laurel Harvest Labs to study medicinal marijuana. Located in Lancaster County, the research facility has proposed to build an 8 to 10 million dollar facility in the Mount Joy Borough, according to Lancaster Online. We reached out to Laurel Harvest Labs, but have not heard back.
The source told Temple Update that the university and the lab would be applying for permission from the state in the coming weeks to begin the research.
Said, a film student, is currently working on a documentary that chronicles his journey that he hopes will be ready for release sometime next year. He’s spoken to doctors, fellow medical marijuana users, and even former cocaine dealers in Kensington.
“I am trying to explore the idea that further marijuana legalization will help end the opioid crisis,” Said told us.
You can watch a two minute cut of the documentary here.