Moms for Marijuana (Yes, You Read That Right)

Kenneth Garger
The Fix

The movement to legalize marijuana has spawned it’s fair share of off-beat organizations. But few have been as controversial as Moms for Marijuana, a growing group founded by a pain-crippled mom in Idaho. Pot has helped relieve some of her endless agonies. But what will it do to her two kids?

Starting an international movement to promote the benefits of cannabis was never Serra Frank’s intention when, in 2005, she created a simple MySpace page.

The Boise, Idaho, native had been suffering from interstitial cystitis since 2002, although it took seven years to get a correct diagnosis. Interstitial cystitis is not a pretty medical condition. A chronic inflammation that prevents the walls of the bladder from expanding properly, which in turn causes them to crack and bleed, it can hurt like hell. When Frank’s symptoms first surfaced in 2002, she was pregnant with her second child. Her doctor prescribed Percocet, an acetaminophen/oxycodone combination, but it failed to quell her pain.

Month after month Frank went from doctor to doctor in search of a diagnosis, and was prescribed a dozen pain medications, to no avail. “I have gone through the Oxycodones and Hydrocodones. I tried Naproxen—all of the many anti-inflammatories,” she recalls. “It got to where I was only taking sleeping pills because I didn’t want to take prescription narcotics any longer. They started telling me that I was a pill addict, that I was making up my pain.”

By 2004, with her condition still undiagnosed, Frank was nearing desperation. She was frantically trying to keep up with her responsibilities as a wife and mother of two young sons, even as the pain and the pills increasingly disabled her. “The drugs made me feel so out of it. I barely remember the first couple of years of my younger son’s life because I was on them for so long,” she says.

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