I am a child of the 70’s. My generation witnessed the slow and methodical efforts of government and corporations to make a plant one of the most illegal substances in our country. Seriously, you can get more time in jail for possession of marijuana then if you murdered someone in cold blood. So how did this happen, and why? Now, in this post, quite a bit of what I am going to say is my opinion and personal experience. If you want studies and citations – Google it. There is a ton of information out there to read up on the health benefits, healing benefits, and the ‘news’ behind why people either love or hate it; so I am not going to recreate the wheel here. What I notice that is lacking about reporting on marijuana are the people who are like me who are too afraid to “come out” and admit that they smoke it, eat it, grow it, vaporize it, and just plain enjoy it. Stories like that are reserved for magazines like “High Times” where the only people being exposed to the information are those who already understand that weed isn’t the problem – it’s like preaching to the choir.
I think we should have a Marijuana “coming out day” just like we do for the gays. The principle is the same really – the more we come out, the less offensive it seems and people have more of an opportunity to try and understand individual experiences – good or bad. Research and studies are great, but they tend to leave out the humanistic part of the story. That is what I would like to hear more of, and I think the more we hear about how not deadly, not addictive, and not evil marijuana is from real people and not some mysterious panel of “experts” the more we can truly understand it. On a positive note, some of these stories are gaining momentum thanks to the 24 States who have legalized marijuana for medicinal use and the growing “marijuana movement” taking shape because of the hundreds of people who have ‘come out’ to share the success stories of heath improvement from it.
Sometimes though, it isn’t about health improvement. Sometimes people just like to get high. It is these people we need to hear more from. The medicinal benefits are proven. The comparisons between marijuana and alcohol are many, and I think most people with even the most basic understandings of drug use (like it or not) can agree without a research panel that alcohol is WAY worse than marijuana. I have never wandered through a hotel naked high, however, I’ve done it while drunk. I have never gotten into a fight because I was high, nor have I ever blacked out. I haven’t had unprotected sex, nor have I ever “high” dialed my friends at 3am to share with them how badly my life sucks (sorry friends – aren’t you glad I don’t do that anymore? I still LOOOOOOVE you though).
Now if you are one of those people who uses NO natural or artificial substances to alter your mood, cure a headache, get high, fall asleep, improve your health, wash your hair, fight an infection, etc., well you don’t actually exist. If you think you are one of those people, go check your medicine cabinet and then come back and read on with a new open minded attitude.
Marijuana has been so vilified by the media, pharmaceutical companies, religious groups, and our system of laws that people tend to forget that it is it 100% better and safer for you than a good majority of FDA approved medications, foods, and any other recreational drug on the market. Yet – we are allowed to self-medicate and get completely obliterated and addicted to alcohol, narcotics, and other mood altering drugs like Ritalin, Prozac, and Chamomile tea. <—see what I did there?
People are going to find ways to get high. Humans have been doing since they first realized that certain things made them feel a certain way. So why are some substances demonized, while others are not only accepted but encouraged? Depending on what you read, the general consensus is money. Money the root of all evil. Money – the harbinger of greed. No one can make any money when people grow weed in their backyard. To allow people to grow their own, well it makes our capitalist souls cry. Could you just imagine the job losses when we can cure our own cancer? Those poor insurance companies would lose billions in revenues! The pharmaceutical companies that spend billions on research and development to find synthetic drugs to mimic what nature gives us for free? Well shoot – they wouldn’t have anything to create! SAVE BIG PHARMA! We have been brainwashed friends. Whether you like marijuana or not – you should have the freedom to grow it if you want. I can legally grow Oleander in my backyard but not marijuana. Did you know that Oleander is poisonous?
Oleander is known as one of the most poisonous plants on Earth, often used in suicidal cases around southern India. The numerous toxic compounds contained in the entire Oleander plant, including oleandrin and neriine, affect the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems, all at the same time.
Oleander poisoning leads to drowsiness, tremors, seizures, coma and even death. The plant’s sap causes skin irritation and severe eye inflammation.
There are thousands of plants out there that can kill us. Then there are thousands of plants that benefit us. So why is marijuana illegal to grow but not oleander or even tomatoes? Back in the days when humans ate on pewter-made dishes, the chemical reaction between the compounds in tomatoes and the pewter was toxic to humans and they “outlawed” tomatoes. Seriously. We look at some dietary “laws” in the Bible, but today we can understand that under-cooked pork can kill you. While some choose not to eat pork to adhere to their faith, the majority of people in the world understand that they don’t eat it because they don’t want too, not because it is going to kill them. We just now know what Moses didn’t – cook thoroughly and it’s delicious.
So basically I think we should treat weed like brussel sprouts. Some people like it and some people don’t. If you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it. You guys can choose to go grow some oleander and poison your enemies – I am going to just get stoned and take a nap.
You know what really sucks about marijuana being illegal? In order to get my hands on it I have to break the law. Either by purchasing it from some dealer, who received it from some distributor, who exploited some family in Mexico to grow it, and hired a ‘mule’ to get it here; or by growing it in my backyard next to my corn and zucchini. Which would you prefer people do? I vote for backyards.
Now I started smoking marijuana for the high. I like it. I started drinking for the same reason. I also enjoy my prescription for Vicodin. My smoking ‘habit’ had some unintended consequences though. I am sad to report that the more I smoked, the less my back hurt so the less I needed the Vicodin. I also noticed that when I got high, I no longer craved alcohol. Wow. What a bummer right? My stomach gets really upset all the time. The doctors told me much of that was from alcohol abuse. When I smoke, my tummy feels better – I no longer have to eat TUMS by the handful. I mean really, marijuana is ruining my life. How fun is it really to have your high ruined by better health? Sheesh.
The bottom line should be simple. This is a plant that no matter how you use it, hurts no one (not even the user). The only real downfall to marijuana, isn’t the plants fault at all. The downfall is crime. Crime that wouldn’t exist for long if people could just grow it themselves. Supply and demand. Of course, no one can make money off that.
So come out come out where ever you are! Do you use marijuana? What are your personal experiences with it? Do you think I am insane for supporting legalization and partaking?