Walking into Maxx’s office was quite the experience. Hanging on his walls there are framed pictures of what I consider a wide array of musicians.
There are framed pictures of Hank Williams, The Beach Boys, The Killers, Flaming Lips, Garth Brooks, Prince and few others I can’t recall. It was an office booming with eclectic taste. Perhaps not really what I expected when he told me he was 59. I could tell at the very least we’d connect.
When meeting new patients, I strive to find people that not only I can relate to but someone others can relate to. When I heard his vision, I knew he is like a lot of the 50+ year old patients that are tired of the health system giving up on them and products of Reefer Madness.
“I am 59 yrs. old I am an entrepreneur. When I was fifteen, I started smoking marijuana.” It was believed then to be a gateway drug and he went further to tell me about how he ventured into other drugs that got him on trouble.
So, there was a period where like most of us have in order to maintain jobs or overcome a stigma we stopped doing something we had no idea was medicine. So, what exactly is the difference between medicinal and recreational? It is our belief that it lies within education.
Sadly, where this must begin is with our doctors and with legalization being recent most doctors either don’t support it or they’re afraid to admit they do. Maxx like so many closet patients believed the difference was when he started piecing it all together.
If a patient isn’t aware of what ratios work for them, how they can obtain synergy using terpenes, then it’s wasted medicine? It’s like buying cold medicine if you don’t have pain why ingest acetaminophen? Not that it’s harmful but knowing what strains and why those are best will be the start to patients getting the best for their body.
One of the concerns faced by the medical community as well as legislators was the lack of regulations. As Maxx hadn’t been aware that new regulations had just passed for edibles. For patients like Maxx who deal with diabetes things like sugar and carbohydrates play a critical role in what he can ingest.
“It’s going to take a minute right now I call it the Wild West, it’s all a loose cannon. I don’t see how they’re getting by with it. It’s all for profit. Just trying to do it the Vagabond way.”
“I have two passions, rock ‘n’ roll and marijuana.”
Maxx started smoking cannabis at the age fifteen but after turning his life around and starting his business he like so many others were taught the marijuana was a gateway drug.
“I’m not saying marijuana did it, but it changed a lot of the things I was into and who I was around. I started getting in a lot of trouble for it throughout the years. I had to decide, I could lose my life because of imprisonment.
“It wasn’t because of marijuana, I was doing other drugs. I ended up getting clean and sober. I had children and built a life.
I have two passions, rock ‘n’ roll and marijuana. I couldn’t do marijuana because of the laws and I’d been in trouble for it. So, I got off into rock ‘n’ roll. In 1983 I started doing shows, getting into the business and working behind the scenes. Through trials and tribulations, I stayed sober.”
It was in 2004 when casinos changed his life. The Baker Boys began their business. His love of music and all the things he was doing for free gave him an idea for a business.
“I was able to get into casinos and use my ideas, my partners were able to create a business, several different ones.”
In 2009 this single dad of two faced something that changed the entire course of his life. It was this year that Maxx took that step off the stage at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City that caused a fracture just below his knee. He was overweight with diabetes that he described as “raging.”
During this time he was still sober from both drugs and alcohol. He received seven different surgeries and at some was left feeling like a human guinea pig nobody could provide answers. Their only solution was pills and for someone who has overcome addiction he said he felt as though he was going to die, and it wasn’t helping his pain.
The depression and misery were direct factors of lying in a hospital bed for a year in his living room. His weight then reached 445 lbs. his blood had become septic. He endured it and came out of it making the decision he needed a change.
He came across a salve from Colorado, “It was the greatest feeling I’d felt in a really long time. Then someone introduced me to the candy and that made me feel good.” Still continuing to avoid pain pills and living at a pain level of ten.”
Like most cannabis users there isn’t always relief from pain. Smoking it effects the front part of the brain that helps you deal with the emotions of pain but not as a blocker. There are ways to ingest or even with suppositories, finding what works has been a struggle for most.
“It was the greatest feeling I’d felt in a really long time.”
Between diabetes causing circulation issues his leg wasn’t wanting to heal. After three doctors it became apparent the leg had to go. He then chose another doctor one that he knew from when he raced motocross, he walked through the door with the mindset that his leg had to go.
The doctor stopped him and told him that he could help him. His doctor suggested water aerobics. Every two days this was his routine, he had to be lowered in when he first started but after six months, he was able to walk in and out of the pool. He found a girl that would make him the salve despite his honesty with his doctors when the salve would get into his wounds, he would test positive for THC and get fired by pain management.
Maxx went from 445 lbs. down to 363! It was in 2017 when everything clicked. Like a lot of cannabis patients, they ingest or consume without any thought as to what they’re consuming. He started searching for specific strains to help him, he was introduced to CBD and found someone to make his edibles.
Once his edible source was gone, he decided to just smoke and realized it was nothing like when he was a kid. “I learned what to smoke in the morning and what to smoke at night. My concern was losing what I built from the ground up.”
This isn’t unusual as a lot of 50+ patients fear the high.
In just a year Maxx really focused on the therapeutics of cannabis. He was able to drop down to 242 lbs. His AIC went from 91 to 69, blood sugar dropped from 300-350 and not averages between 150-200.
For 23 years Maxx had been injecting 200 IU of insulin that has dropped down to 120 IU. It’s amazing when you make a choice that it’s medicine and treating it as such.
“I want people to better themselves. I’m a second and third chance kind of guy. I don’t always like people, but I love them. When 788 passed I felt I had purpose to spread goodness. If I did this anyone can and it’s not about getting high.
I’ll go back to what I said my two passions are music and marijuana. Music gets me through the bad times and marijuana helps ease my pain.”
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— Teresa G