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Painkillers Were Killing Me But I’m Five Years Pharma-Free Now


After a fall that resulted in back surgery, I was locked in a haze of painkillers, unable to work. I got very depressed. Wanted to die.

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My name is Jim Preston. I am an Army Vet, and 20 plus year Firefighter / EMT. And employee of a big box hardware chain.

Three years ago, I fell on ice doing my job one morning. I got up, brushed off and reported it. The next day I was in enough pain to go to the doctor. I was placed on meds, and sent to physio. They used mechanical traction on my neck and heat. Four months of this and no relief. Finally they did an MRI, which showed 3 fractured vertebrae.

I had a triple fusion and 2 discs replaced. I was sent back to work full time (with restrictions) along with Vicodan and muscle relaxers. This resulted in me leaving work for the emergency room 2 to 3 times a week, where I was given Valium.

With no improvement, I started to get depressed and had thoughts of suicide. I finally ended up in a pain management centre – where they put me on a Fentanyl patch, Vicodan, and Zoloft.

Nothing changed…except now I was a zombie. And I was angry! Every time I heard the fire house go down the hill, I cried. I didn’t want to live anymore. The pain was constant and the meds made me feel dead. I felt worthless. A burden.

RSO syringe


I started researching. I found RSO – Rick Simpson Oil. Or high concentration cannabis oil. I acquired flower and followed directions on the Phoenix Tears site and made my own.

The day I took the first dose of oil, I took off the patch, put the pills in the closet and said never again! The withdrawal was the worse 10 days of my life. And I wasn’t an addict…I used the meds exactly as prescribed, but the body gets used to it. It hurts when it leaves. Fuck you – never again!

When I came out the other end of that week an a half. I couldn’t believe how I felt. With nothing but 3 grain of rice size doses of oil, wrapped in a little piece of bread. Each day I felt better. I learned to work my dosing as I became more used to the oil. And I’ve learned how to adjust my dosing when I over do it. Or the weather gives me a bad day.

I thought – am I crazy? Does this actually work? Maybe I didn’t feel as bad as I thought. I found the answer to that question the day I ran out of oil…now I have a MMJ card and insurance covers it. Workers compensation commissioner has ordered the insurance to pay for my medication and my out of pocket since last August. I am now the second person in the state to be awarded this. WE ARE SETTING PRECEDENTS! (Please read update below. The insurance company has since refused to pay.)

people meeting with veterans

Reach Out to A Vet

I have never seen anything or anyone as caring or as giving as the cannabis community. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for my friend, Sean Judge, who saw the dark place I was in and brought me into this community through the New England Veterans Alliance. And I’m more than honored to now serve as their director of operations.

Thanks to all these things, I look forward to continuing to pay the good forward and teach the benefits of this incredible plant.

Thank you RxLeaf, for the opportunity to tell my story. And to the cannabis community that continues to help me and so, so many others!

August 2019 UPDATE

After the Worker’s Compensation Commissioner ordered insurance to pay for Jim’s cannabis, they have refused. Jim continues to fight, in court, for his right to cannabis medicine. It is a great burden on his expenses and Jim has come close to losing everything more than once. He continues to be supported by, and to support, the cannabis community. Jim is now five years pharma free and continues to improve under the healing of this amazing plant.

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