Lonnie Kessler and Kimberly Ruiz are a couple who live in Moberly, Missouri. Lonnie has intractable epilepsy and Kimberly is a disabled vet, and they both advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.
They sat down at the Little Dixie Regional Library in Moberly and spoke about what motivates them to be advocates.
Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.
Lonnie Kessler: I think some of the biggest barriers that that we’ve dealt with is public perception about people who need access to marijuana as medicine.
There are a lot of stereotypes, and people who are lacking that education about cannabis as medicine. That’s a big barrier – just getting some people to open up and talk about it is quite the challenge.
I had a family member at Christmas who I tried to speak to about it and it didn’t go so well. I was actually told that I’m selfish because I want to have access to all the options in treating my illnesses and that if that’s the case I should move out of state.
Since I’m not able to try cannabis as medicine in the state of Missouri, Kimberly and I did pack up and make a few trips to Colorado to