When Portsmouth resident Nancy Grossman was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma 12 years ago, she considered herself lucky. As cancers go, she had developed one of the most treatable forms. All you have to do, she said, is listen to your doctor. But that didn’t prove to be as easy as it sounds.
“The main thing was to eat, but immediately, as soon as I started chemotherapy, I lost all interest in food,” Grossman said. “But, being a child of the ’60s, I knew what to do.”
Rapidly thinning, Grossman went looking for marijuana, and it didn’t take her long to find some. Smoking the dried flowers made her cough, so she instead baked it into cookies. The drug helped alleviate her nausea and restore her appetite.
Grossman said her doctor did not recommend any alternative drugs. Had it not been for cannabis, she believes she never would have made it through chemo.
“I could not eat. I could not keep things down. I didn’t have any appetite in the first place, and I could not lose any more weight. So I self-medicated,” she said. “It got me through that whole period. I couldn’t have eaten otherwise.”
Grossman is one of many people on the Seacoast and around the country who have used marijuana to treat symptoms of various ailments. And yet, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently ruled that marijuana has no medicinal value. In a report issued July 8, the DEA concluded that marijuana “has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical