How it all started
The journey to The Hemp House started with a tragedy back in 2011 that would change my families lives forever. On the morning of November 4th 2011, I went to wake my two year old little boy and found him ice cold, stiff, and unresponsive in his bed. I performed CPR on him, and rode in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I remember screaming at the paramedics working on Blake in the back of the ambulance, “don’t you let my little boy die,” and I truly believed in that moment that they weren’t going to let him. When we arrived at the ER, Blake was surrounded by 10-12 ER doctors and nurses who worked on him frantically for over 5 minutes. I sat in the room watching them with my hands buried in my face, between my shaking knees, praying to God not to take my little boy……but it was too late. The room went silent and I looked up and saw the doctors and nurses start to walk away from my son. The looks on all of there faces were inconsolable. I can see all of them right now. In slow motion, pulling off the plastic gloves, slowing fading away from my son lying on the table. I then heard one of the ER doctors call the time of death. I was in complete shock. “What, he’s dead” I screamed? I stood up and grabbed the chair I was sitting on. I screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOO” at the top of my lungs and went to throw the chair through the ER window out into the ER. I was quickly tackled and put into a bear hug by a Dane County Sheriff. He held me in his arms, it seemed like forever. I just cried and cried. My son was gone just like that, with no warning, I have know idea why, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. At that very moment, I literally felt like I was going to die too.
Blake had actually died of a fentanyl overdose from a used fentany patch. I had taken Blake to visit my grandmother at a nursing home in Stoughton, WI. We were told she only had a couple days left to live, so I decided to take my two year old little boy down for one more visit with his great grandmother. The nursing homes disposal method of the fentanyl patch was to just toss them into the garbage cans in patients rooms after removing them off of the patients. Somehow, one was transferred to our home and Blake put it in his mouth right before bed. The medical examiner said it took minutes for Blake to stop breathing, which ultimately led to his death. Within 3 weeks, my grandmother was taken off the fentanyl patch and she went on to live for more than another year. She wasn’t actively dying, she was overly medicated.
Within 3 months of Blake passing way, my primary doctor had loaded me up on a variety of prescription medications. 9 different pharmaceuticals, 31 pills a day. Pain, depression, sleep apnea, anxiety, PTSD, and a handful of others to combat the side effects of these medications. These pharmaceuticals prescribed to me led me to a serious addiction, and it debilitated my life for over 5 years. I suffered from severe depression, sleep apnea, anxiety, and PTSD episodes on a weekly basis. The PTSD episodes were so real, I could tell you what was on TV that morning, what I was wearing, even what kind of shoes all four of the paramedics were wearing. They were absolutely terrifying, If you can even fathom finding your toddler unresponsive in his bed once, I was reliving that moment every week, at least once a week for over 5 years. The combination of these medications caused me not to care about anything. From sex, to food, to music, to paying a bill. Nothing mattered to me at all. All these medications were doing was making me more and more depressed, eventually even making me suicidal thoughts. I literally walked around life for 5 years in an opioid induced, pharmaceutical haze. I was convinced that after what I had been through, this was just how my life was suppose to be from here on out. I literally looked forward to going to bed every night, and dreaded waking up each morning. It was debilitating.
Unfortunately, it took me 5 years to realize that I didn’t, and that I shouldn’t have to feel like this for the rest of my life. I was in such a dark, cold deep hole and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to crawl out of it. There had to be a better way, and I was going to find it. On July 4th 2017, I voluntarily admitted myself into Meriter Hospital to safely withdraw off of the pharmaceuticals that had almost taken everything from me, including my soul. The best way that I can describe getting off of opioids is it;s the seventh level of hell. Imagine the worst flu you’ve ever had, now multiply it by 20. I didn’t sleep or eat for 9 whole days except for Gatorade and jello, and I was violently sick, 24/7. Every joint, muscle or bone in your body feels like it’s torn or broken. I was officially broken, and now it came down to whether or not I had the will power to beat the devil at his own game. If you don’t have one hell of a will power or anything to live for, you’re not beating opioid/heroin addiction, period……
During my stay in the hospital, a post came across social media about the benefits that people have been seeing treating PTSD symptoms with cannabis. As I started researching the benefits of using cannabis to treat PTSD. I was also finding that they were having huge success in the 31 states that had legalized medicinal cannabis in treating other symptoms such as depression, sleep apnea, anxiety, and pain. Everything my doctor had been trying to treat me for over the last 5 years. My hospital stay was days and when I got out, I went and bought some CBD oil and I immediately purchased a bag of cannabis. It helped me immensely with the withdraw symptoms, and it was actually helping tremendously with everything my doctor was trying to treat me for. My anxiety level went down, I was sleeping better, and my pain level was way down. What was truly amazing though was I was no loner suffering from PTSD episodes on a weekly basis, all because I started using cannabis and CBD oil. It was insane and I can proudly sit here today and say I haven’t taken one of those pharmaceuticals since July 4th 2017, and I contribute it all to cannabis and CBD. This plant has literally saved my life. I’m convinced that if I wouldn’t have put myself in the hospital and got clean, I wouldn’t be here today sharing this story.
I was so amazed by the results I was receiving by using cannabis and CBD that I buried myself into researching everything I could about it. I found that in the 31 states that have legalized medical cannabis, they’ve seen up to a 25% reduction in opioid prescriptions, overdoses, and deaths. Here in Wisconsin, the opioid/heroin overdose rate is up 450% from 2017-2018. For those of you who don’t know, opioids and heroin are the exact same thing, one is just prescribed legally by a doctor. So how could this be? Why would’t Wisconsin want all Wisconsinites to have a safer alternative to dangerous, addicting, and potentially deadly pharmaceuticals? That was a huge question for me that nobody could seem to answer, including state representatives up in the capital. I kinda had a problem with that and I guess this is kinda where all the activism and advocating came from.
I immediately joined Madison NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) and within about 6 months, I was nominated to be The Deputy Director. I was a big advocate for our current Governor who for the first time ever, came out and publicly supported cannabis legalization here in Wisconsin. I wrote the language for the cannabis referendum for the Dane County and presented it to the Dane County Board of Supervisors. It passed to go in the 2018 ballot and it passed with overwhelmingly support. Within weeks, I was receiving phone calls from other counties. They were county board members asking if I would be willing to come up to their county and share my story with the county board of supervisors. Help try and get a cannabis referendum on the ballot. Last Summer, I traveled more than 4200 miles across the state to 12 out of the 16 counties that had cannabis referendums proposed to be on the ballot. I did over 25 news and radio station interviews. The week of the election, I went back to 6 of the counties and did live press conferences advocating for people to go out and let their voices be heard. I advocated to these county board supervisors to give their constituents a voice and put a cannabis referendum on the ballot. I would share the story a story about my grandmother being over medicated, which ultimately led to my son’s death, and also led me to a serious addiction to pharmaceuticals. An addiction that didn’t start with a drug dealer. It started with my primary doctor, a “legal drug dealer” walking around in a white lab coat. I said, “we don’t want to legalize cannabis because we want to get high. Us Wisconsinites are tired of going to the doctor for treatment, and our only option is dangerous, addicting and potentially deadly pharmaceuticals.” Whether you agreed with legalizing cannabis here in Wisconsin or not, now is your opportunity to go out and let your representatives up in the capital know how you feel. I’m constantly making phone calls, setting up appointments, writing letters, and sending emails, on a weekly basis. I will do what’s right and continue to fight for all Wisconsinites until we all have a safer alternative such as cannabis here in Wisconsin.
So that’ what led me to The Hemp House. The fact that pharmaceuticals almost killed me and that I didn’t have a safer option such as cannabis here in Wisconsin. That Wisconsin is leading the nation in opioid prescriptions, overdoses and deaths. That our government is run on legal briberies from big pharma. All the research that I had done, and experienced first hand for myself had convinced me that we had something really special here, the hemp and cannabis plant. We may be lagging behind the rest of the nation with cannabis legalization, but Wisconsin was dominating the hemp industry with legal hemp to create CBD products. Over a years time, I researched probably 50 different distrubitors, tried 20 of them, and picked 10 superior quality CBD oils to be on our shelves. They’re all organically grown, they’re all 3rd party lab tested, and we also have lab reports for all of it in our store. Most importantly, everything on our shelves in either grown and processed in Wisconsin, or just processed in Wisconsin. It’s super important to us to carry Wisconsin grown and processed products as we believe that this’s the one opportunity for Wisconsin businesses and farmers to get back on there feet again.
All of the staff at The Hemp House is well trained and incredibly friendly. Everyone at The Hemp House has done extensive research on the planting of the hemp plant, to the extraction of the CBD oil. We’re confident that we will be able to answer any questions you may have for us. If we can’t answer it, I bet we can find out quickly for you. You will walk out of The Hemp House feeling well educated, and ecstatic about your purchase.
Our vision is to work alongside doctors to help people safely add hemp alternatives to their medical regiment.
Why Hemp and CBD?
Hemp products have been clinically shown in recent years to benefit children who suffer from epilepsy, stemming the frequency of their seizures. It has also been found to help children suffering from anxiety, depression and ADHD. Candies, including gummi bears, are an alternative for children who are averse to the strong taste of pure hemp oil to take medicinal hemp, they said.
Hemp products have also been credited for alleviating chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety, and glaucoma and alzheimer’s diseases in seniors.
“We just want to help people,” says Melissa, who once worked as a medical assistant, and saw then, first-hand, how over-prescribed drugs hurt people.
CDB oil, they said, is also an anti-inflammatory said to be 20 times more effective than ibuprofen. Hemp creams and salves have been shown effective for treating skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
Part of our mission is to promote hemp growers in Wisconsin. Almost all of the products in their store will of hemp be grown and processed in Wisconsin, including CBD oil from the Cottage Grove hemp farm Hemp Haven.