It’s an interesting situation: legalized medical marijuana and dispensaries in one of the United States’ most conservative territories. How do these conflicting events coexist?

Brandi Atkins, an Arizona resident and former dancer, was diagnosed in late 2015 with a rare autoimmune disease that made her joints and muscles swell, causing chronic pain.

She popped in and out of the hospital with a cornucopia of prescription medications handed out to alleviate her pain, ease her symptoms, and navigate around her type 1 diabetes.

These medications would often clash with her disease and cause her blood sugar to soar. In desperation, she turned to medical marijuana.

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