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Hello dear reader(s)!
And greetings from Washington state, one of the few states in the nation with legal recreational marijuana. Oh, and one of the best economies in the nation. A place where the biggest problems facing the people are traffic because the people in charge have decided to make life impossible for cars, while failing to replace those cars with adequate public transportation, and high housing prices because everybody and their brother’s sister’s mother’s father’s cousin’s former high school sweetheart wants to live here. Is it because of the legal recreational marijuana? Doubtful. But that could be part of it.
I am not a major pothead. Do I use it occasionally? Yes. It is a very effective anti-anxiety medication, and much safer than the Ativan I was on for so long. It is an effective pain-killer. It is the best anti-nausea medication I have ever used, and it is one hell of an appetite stimulant. When I was fighting cancer, I went from 220 lbs to 140 lbs. I was dying, and had no strength to attempt to live. I could not eat from the GVHD in my throat, my digestive system issues (which still plague me), and the nausea. Nothing they could give me would touch it. Nothing. Medical was legal here at the time. I asked my doctor if she thought marijuana would help me, and she followed the DEA approved line of bullshit and told me it would be too dangerous and there wasn’t enough evidence that it would help. (This is before cancer.gov admitted otherwise.) So, without the card, I broke the law and obtained it illegally. Trusting my supplier to give me the oil and only the oil in hopes it would help.
I got lucky. My supplier was a stand-up person and the oil was as advertised (not in actual ads, or course). And I tried it. And at first, I got high as fuck and I hated it. I almost stopped. But I got hungry. And the pain was less. And I could eat again. And pretty soon, the sharp high I was getting became a calming peaceful sensation. I started to gain weight. I started to be able to fight off all that was happening inside of me thanks to my newfound strength from the calories I wouldn’t have been able to take in otherwise. The treatments actually began to work better, bolstered by a body able to help it fight. And I started taking less pain meds. I was on a ton of narcotics there for a while. I started making a plan to draw off both the narcotics and the Ativan. I stopped the narcotics cold. Suffered three weeks of vicious withdrawals with the help of marijuana. Stopped the Ativan in a safe taper.
Do you know what can happen when you stop Ativan (something they prescribe like candy until they decide you’ve been on it too long)? You can die. Do you know what can happen when you suddenly stop marijuana? Um…not much. I guess when I have and had an anxiety attack I kinda wished I had some with me. The horror!!!!
My doctor didn’t want me to use marijuana for a valid reason, however. With my weakened immune system, smoking marijuana can lead to fungal infections. Up here, where I could obtain the oil (even if it was illegal without a medical card at the time), not an issue. I don’t want to smoke anything.
But when I lived down in Reno, and friends had it? Guess what I did once or twice? And that fungal infection in my lungs? It’s possible it could have been from that. If it was legal there, when my friends were around the bonfire, I would have already been sucking on a candy made from the oil and it would have never happened.
Legalization brings safety. Legalization brings knowledge of trusted supply. Legalization brings an end to turf battles between cartels. Legalization makes a life saving medicine available to all without much risk. When I used during my cancer fight, I didn’t know what I was getting, but I needed something. I was willing to try anything. Anything.
I still use that medication occasionally. But now, I walk down the street, pass the sign waver (really, a sign waver for a store that sells a drug that people are currently in prison for, talk about surreal) and into the store. I find the candies inside the case that are manufactured in inspected facilities, using marijuana that is only organically grown by state inspected and licensed farms, and then tell the person behind the counter what I would like. Some people get the pieces of the plant, I get the edibles. It is all sealed and safe for someone like me. I pay for my candy, put the tin in my pocket (looks like a tin of breath mints) tip the budtender for handing them to me and working in an industry that is still unnecessarily dangerous due to cowboys from the DEA who still like to occasionally raid the places that provide a legal avenue of supply to something they simply could never stop anyway. And I walk back down the street and go home.
My organic, vegan medicine comes with warning labels, sealed containers, and a supply more strictly enforced than the peanut butter you obtain from your grocery store. I get 5 mg of THC in each candy. (Most people take two, one is fine for me.) I can choose the strain (I prefer a hybrid.)
Everything negatively associated with marijuana in studies is either correlation based on the underlying issues of those who need to self-medicate, or is associated with the fact it is illegal. It is not a gateway. For me, it actually got me off legal mediation that is far more dangerous and worse for society. Do people who need to self medicate occasionally try other drugs? Yes. Is there anything to suggest that marijuana was the cause rather than someone who needs to medicate so badly with no legal means and a broken mental health system that they will try what they can? Absolutely not. Do people who use marijuana have a higher incidence of depression? Sometimes. Was it the marijuana? Probably not. They probably turned to marijuana to medicate the existing depression. Can marijuana cause cancer as suggested by one single, unreplicated study that made headlines recently? It might alter the DNA. Might. Can anyone find a single case of non-smoked marijuana that has led to cancer? Anyone?
And since just about everything is a carcinogen, would you rather get cancer from something that helps you survive it? Or from your shitty, polluted drinking water?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tin of candy to use before I move to a place with draconian laws against this medicine, and I have a headache that needs medicating.