It was just a few years ago that now 30-year-old epilepsy patient Zara Abas tried her first medical marijuana on the advice of her doctor. Abas suffered seizures almost every day and took four prescription drugs. It didn’t take long for her to notice the difference.
“As soon as I started it, within a few days my seizures stopped,” says Abas. “Before I started looking into it for epilepsy I was very much against marijuana because there was so much misinformation around it. It came to the choice between using that and having another brain surgery to control my seizures. … Turning to cannabis was kind of my last resort.”
Chalk up cannabis to taking away the worry about seizures. Now, Abas is off all but one medication, and has been seizure-free for two years and three months. “It feels like I’m given freedom from my seizures and medication,” she says.
Maybe a little freedom can go a long way. Abas has since become a pro-cannabis activist, speaking on panels at events such as the Hash Bash and a May Day rally in Lansing. She collected signatures two years ago for the MI Legalize effort at putting the question of legalizing recreational marijuana on last fall’s ballot. Now, she’s collecting signatures again this summer as an unpaid volunteer for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol petition effort to get the question on the 2018 ballot.
“I’m doing this because I think more people should have access to cannabis because it helps all people,” she says.
Abas has come full circle on the issue. Even though she is a medical user, she believes it should be legalized for recreational use.
“It should be everybody’s right to use it,” she says. “It will help people. It’s a lot better than other