Well, I’m admittedly a little stoned right now sitting in my hotel room in Denver making love to a bag of Popchips, in case you were wondering how my day is going.

You see, I’m visiting our neighboring state to snag The Salt Lake Tribune’s plentiful Top of the Rockies Awards given by the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists. I thought, “Marina, like any place you travel, you ought to consider partaking of the local culture.”

So, I’ve walked and wandered, eaten locally sourced food, tried some Breckenridge bourbon (not bad!), and today’s exploration involves the state’s agri-culture.


And I’m feeling cultured as hell right now, my friends. Also like I really want to try that local chocolate shop later.

Focus, Gomberg.

I’m not writing about getting stoned because I think anyone cares about my state of sobriety. I’m writing because something else magical and important is happening.

My body feels so much relief (see recent columns about my hospitalization for Crohn’s disease). I’m talking immediate and side-effect-less relief. Less gut and joint pain. Less cramping. Less battery-acid-eroding-my-internal-organs feeling.

It’s ahhhhhsome. I never want it to end.

But I also have to fly home today, which means I’ll soon be in the land of not-yet-and-then-only-a-little-for-certain-things medical marijuana.

Lucky-ish for me, Crohn’s disease is a qualifying condition for using medical cannabis in Utah under the new law. So, my doctor gave me a cute note that is not at all a prescription but instead just an affirmation that I’m sick with the right kind of illness to get to someday use cannabis (which I’m totes appreciative of, as ineffective as it may be at the moment).

So, supposedly I can carry some medical marijuana legally (though I can’t buy it in Utah) as long as I follow a series of restrictions, and yet I could still get arrested. But I guess the letter would help me fight those charges. Totally clear, right?

Now, I’m a 35-year-old responsible-ish person whose good times are defined by my son’s giggles and wife’s love. I’m not trying to get blitzed. I am trying to survive in incredible pain and uncertainty.

And this slick little puffer device is serving up some vaporized THC and CBD realness that has me feeling like a new woman (those are the psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, which for Crohn’s patients can reduce inflammation, pain, nausea, etc.). I don’t even have to deal with the hot, carcinogenic smoke.

It’s pretty much like eating a vegetable, it’s so healthy. OMG, the hotel restaurant has these Brussels sprouts roasted then flash-fried in honey that I’m def going order up to the room later.

Anyway, I want more of this medicine — not so I can get high off my gourd (see my above need to be responsible), but to feel like a normal human again. To be able to leave my house without fearing crippling sickness or pain will render me useless. To have fewer moments when I’m relegated to the couch when my son asks me to come play. To reduce the flare-ups that significantly increase my risk for scary health scenarios down the road.

I want more, but realistically I’ll have to wait — in pain, sometimes agony, until Utah can get its act together and this law becomes functional. I realize that’s relatively close (things should be up and running by 2020) and yet, any day you can’t trust your bowels is a long day.

So wish me luck, friends.

And with that, I’m going to return my full attention to these chips.

Marina Gomberg is a communications professional and lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at mgomberg@sltrib.com.