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ST. CLOUD — The use of medical cannabis is still a controversial topic in the United States. The federal government still considers marijuana a schedule-1 drug, meaning it has no medical use and is highly addictive. But 28 states, including Minnesota, have legalized marijuana to be used for medical purposes.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there are 6,184 patients using medical marijuana as of July 30 in the state. Tyler Rodgers is a St. Cloud resident. He is currently using medical marijuana.
Rodgers, who is a personal trainer, needs his body to be in peak physical condition to help his clients. With his body in pain, Rodgers says he was barely able to make it through the day.
“I was miserable. I was not happy, I was angry. I was in pain all the time. Just getting through the day was a struggle.”
Rodgers says before he was prescribed cannabis he had to go through a lengthy process.
“I have been through several spine specialists, 17 or 18 different back injections, however many MRIs, X-rays and tests. Over 16 months I found my journey to end at intractable pain, that is what I was diagnosed with.”
Medical marijuana has been legal since July 1, 2015. In the St. Cloud area, there are over 400 people currently prescribed medical marijuana.
“It is very expensive to get into it, to stay in it is just as expensive. Insurance doesn’t do anything for the cost [and] there is an annual fee you have to pay.”
Rodgers was offered opioids to help with his pain, but he turned them down for what he believes is a healthier option. Unfortunately, for Rodgers and many other medical cannabis patients, opioids