RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Opioids impact people all across the country, that used to be the face for a former Raleigh County coal miner, until he was introduced to medical marijuana.

For 10 years, Kevin Lacy dedicated his life to the coal mines; but working underground comes with risks and in 2013 Kevin was in an accident, followed by another in 2017. 

“I had a couple of accidents in the coal mines. I’ve had two back surgeries because of it, and I never really recovered from the second time, that I got hurt, and my Dr. prescribed be opioids,”

Kevin Lacy, former WV coal miner

Lacy suffers from Chronic Pain and PTSD. He did everything he could to fix his back, from physical therapy, steroid shots, and acupuncture. After his second surgery he was forced into a wheelchair due to losing feeling in his legs. He took opioids to relieve the pain.

“I will be honest with you I got to the point where I could not stop taking them, and it scared me so I made myself stop taking them and I was really sick for a couple of weeks,” Lacy said. “I never went out and bought it illicitly or anything like that but I realized I was hooked on them and had to take myself off of them.”

Lacy’s life completely changed when medical marijuana came to West Virginia. His life changed so much that he no longer needs a wheel chair to get around.

“I can now sleep at night. And I can now walk with my cane. I don’t have to stay in a wheel chair all the time. I tried that and it was like a godsend. It is just that I can really only afford to use it once a day,”

He also said with medical marijuana there are fewer side effects. Unfortunately, with Lacy’s budget he can only afford to spend 100 dollars a month on it, which is only enough for him to use it once a day. 

“I would like to be able to do it more than once a day, but because of the cost of it, we really need it legalized federally so it can be covered by health insurance,”

Lacy said if you are someone who suffers from a condition which would qualify you for medical marijuana it is worth exploring. 

“I don’t think people should be afraid of it. It is wonderful, it is it’s wonderful. If you are someone with cancer, or even if you take pain pills this is a whole lot better,”