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First Coast man says medical marijuana saved his life

6:09 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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Courtesy of Jessie Battle's Facebook.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local man who is a group organizer for the People United for Medical Marijuana movement spreading throughout Florida said medical marijuana saved his life.

It's a life Eric Battle would have never imagined. Seven years after he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, he is married to his high school sweetheart and has a one-year-old daughter doctors told him he'd never have. His story goes back to when he was 17. 

"All of a sudden, the weight just wouldn't stop coming off and it just kept coming off and coming off and coming off and all my friends and family were like 'man you look sick,'" said 24-year-old Eric Battle.  

Battle said he lost 75 pounds in less than a month. He was having black outs, night sweats and his eyes would bulge out of his face. 

"My eyes felt like I could feel my heart beat in my eyes," said Battle. 

Doctors first told him he might have cancer. But after going back and forth doing tests, they told him he had hyperthyroidism and he would have to go on very strong medications.

"The medications I was being given were literally making me feel like I wanted to kill myself," said Battle.

Battle said his thyroid shut down and he was on synthroid, a medication he would have to take for life. 

"My family has a history of pill abuse and pill addiction which really plagues a lot of families especially in this area and I just could not put myself in a position like that," added Battle.

He was living in Colorado at the time, where medical marijuana is legal. He decided to try it and said he quickly started to gain weight and the black outs stopped. Over time, he stopped having hot flashes and night sweats. The last time he went to the doctor he said all his thyroid levels were fine. 

"Medical marijuana saved my life, or marijuana in general saved my life, like it's the reason I'm still here talking to you," said Battle.

Today, Battle is packing to move to Wyoming with his family for a new job opportunity. He's part of a People United for Medical Marijuana Florida activist group and says he hopes to bring PUFFM to Wyoming.

"It's about being able to choose medicine that actually helps you, medicine that helps you, doesn't make you live a half life," said Battle.

First Coast News

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