My name is Adrienne. I’m 37 years old. I’ve lived most of my life in Chester and Lancaster Counties. I was diagnosed with AIDS in 2011. I had been having intractable headaches and nausea for months and was finally diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis and a CD4 count of 7. I was told that I had most likely contracted the HIV virus up to 10 years prior. I am fortunate to have antiretroviral medications that have reduced my viral load to an undetectable level with the help of cannabis in less than one year. During the ten years that my disease was progressing, unbeknownst to me, I was using cannabis for Major Depressive Disorder that I’ve suffered from since adolescence and I believe it thoroughly mitigated symptoms and inhibited progression of my disease, to a degree until I had virtually no immune system left to fight off cryptococcal meningitis which is an opportunistic infection that only effects people with a compromised immune system.
I lost my father in 2009 to a Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor. I worked for 8 years at a local hospital on an oncology unit. After I learned about the healing powers of cannabis oil I left my job in pursuit of further education in cannabinoid therapy. Since 2012 I have been independently studying cannabis cultivation, processing it into many forms of medicine, and the application of this medicine to every aspect of human suffering. Knowing that I could have helped my father during the most traumatic, sad, and painful moments of his life is excruciating and has inspired me to change our world into one where people with terminal as well as non-life-threatening illnesses can use the medicine that has been put on this earth to ease their suffering. In dealing with my own illnesses I have come to realize that without cannabis medicine in my daily life I simply feel sick and cannot be productive or enjoy life much at all. I ask the people and legislators of Pennsylvania to allow me to live my life the way I see fit and to provide medicine for my community. There is hope for all of us.