photo of Judy VanDam
Judy VanDam is a firm believer in the capability of marijuana to relieve symptoms caused by some illnesses because she has seen results first-hand.
“I believe in it…mainly because of the people who come in here and their stories… someone who can now work in their garden, or their seizures have stopped,” said VanDam, owner of Grand Rapids Alternative Care located at 4582 West River Dr. in Comstock Park. “It changes people’s lives.”
At Grand Rapids Alternative Care, people with qualifying conditions are guided through the process of medical marijuana certification. The laws regarding medical marijuana are complicated and can be confusing, said VanDam, and the folks at Grand Rapids Alternative Care can answer questions and help out with issues that may arise regarding medical marijuana.
Besides through her work, VanDam also has a personal experience with the effects of medical marijuana. Her husband Mike had multiple surgeries over more than a decade for a ruptured colon. The surgeries left scar tissue which caused him extreme chronic pain to the point that “he couldn’t do anything,” said VanDam He was on numerous medications, she said, and none of them gave him much relief. On a trip to a game at the University of Michigan, her husband noticed a sign about medical marijuana and decided to learn more. He went through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. The marijuana relieved his pain considerably, and “he was able to do things again,” said VanDam.