Don’t bogart that joint, my friend . . .

Posted on October 26, 2009

I’ve reading all these articles about making medical marijuana legal across the United States.  I also read a lot of comments – some funny, some exhorting the harmful effects of marijuana and warning how legalizing it for any purposes would cause the war  on drugs to escalate and more people become addicted to marijuana.  Now, I know the effects of marijuana and I know it is possible to become at least psychologically addicted to it.  On the other hand, it seems that lately the two drugs I read about the most as being abused on the streets are Xanax and Lortabs.  They are both addictive as well – both physically and psychologically; they have a whole host of side effects that aren’t too nice and moreover, they kill people by overdose frequently.  I never heard of anyone dying from an overdose of marijuana.

My reading and an ensuing conversation I had with someone set me to thinking.  Remember this……even if it came out in 1936?  It’s been used in so many comedy sketches, you must have seen it somewhere.

Now, I know it seems very extreme – but that’s the message they were sending.  It would make you ‘mad’.  And remember what Jimmy Buffet said – in those days, "only Jazz musicians were smoking marijuana".  Can ya see now why it’s used so much for comedy sketches?  I occurs to me that perhaps the hysteria has never calmed down about marijuana, despite so many people having smoked it and not gone mad, nor turned into addicts, nor run amok of the law, etc. – even if some of them won’t admit to inhaling.  

Well, I started doing a little homework on the internet.  I already knew that marijuana had been used by people who had cancer to ease pain, restore appetite and reduce the wasting effects of some of the chemo / radiation treatments.  I also knew that it was used to treat people who had glaucoma because it reduces the pressure in the eye.  Did you know that it’s also used to treat people with Alzheimers (slows the progress), apetite disorders / nausea, arthritis, asthma / breathing disorders, Chron’s disease and other gastrointestinal disorders, Hepatitis C, migraine headaches, and Tourette’s syndrome, in addition to the terminally ill?    

Just as a point of reference, I found all this at a site called procon.org  and they present both sides of the issue impartially, IMHO.    I’ve either seen, or experienced first hand the positive effects of using marijuana in some of these instances.  I’ve had friends who had cancer and used it to be able to keep anything down.  It allowed them to get some nourishment and have some relief from the effects of chemotherapy.  I can also say that once years ago, I suffered from terrible ulcers.  I spent a week in the hospital with one of those nasty tubes coming outta my nose.  It was a dreadful experience.  When I got out, I was taking the best ulcer medication available that money could buy.  Not much help.  In order to even drink water and keep it down, I had to drink a combination of Maalox and Lidocaine – oh, let me just tell you, that is nasty stuff.  Even then, I was relegated to  broth, poached eggs or baked potato with nothing on it, and there wasn’t much guarantee it would stay down.  A friend came along one evening with his idea to let me be able to eat something.  He had four joints, and I’ll not lie – I inhaled and inhaled.  Now, I was plenty relaxed, but I also got hungry for the first time in so long.  He made BLT’s and nothing ever tasted so good to me.  Long story short, inhaling allowed me to start being able to eat again when everything else had failed.  I know, therefore, first hand how it can staunch nausea.  

I cannot for the life of me understand how the FDA licenses and allows to be prescribed and sold to the public drugs with harmful side effects, the potential for addiction, etc. – but draws the line at legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana for people who aren’t getting relief from traditional pills.  They claim that it’s because they haven’t done enough research on it – but it’s been around since the ’30s – over seventy years.   When do ya think they’ll get around to it so people can legally use it at this rate, eh?   

Have ya ever had anything that was causing you chronic pain?  Made a trip to a pain management clinic?  I’ve been there before.  They get you to sign papers the first time you go saying that you realize they will probably addict you to opiates, but that you agree to that and they will wean you off of them later.  Not very encouraging, is it?  Gee, now you’re in terrific unrelenting pain, but we’ll stop all that and keep you loaded, even if it turns you into an addict so you then have another problem to worry about.  Not this girl.  I got lucky and found out about a little electrical device called a TENS – instead of being an addict, I just had to walk around with electrodes hooked up to me and the juice turned on.  No matter, I don’t want to be any addict.  

How is that okay, and using marijuana for perfectly legitimate medical purposes that other means did not work for, or that people find repugnant to accept, how is that not okay?  Somewhere in all this, I think I smell a rat and it’s name might be pharmaceutical manufacturers.  They make a lot of money off these drugs and they pack a powerful lobbying force as well.

There’s not room here to cite all the pros and cons they mention, nor the myths that get debunked when you read everything they have at this site.  Go there and read for yourself.  Please ….be my guest.  After everything I’ve read, I don’t see a reason in the world why marijuana should not be legalized across the nation for medicinal uses.  It just seems foolish to me.

While we’re at it, I have to tell you that I’m about to start leaning in the direction of saying legalize the sale of marijuana across the board and just put taxes on it.  I know I will get whalloped for saying that, but look….worst drugs are on the street now, begin sold, used, misused, abused and people are overdosing on them and dying.  I guarantee you that IMHO, Xanax is probably more addictive than marijuana, but many doctors prescribe them to folks for extended periods of time….long enought to cause physical dependency.  Read about trying to get off that drug – the effects and side effects.  At least if marijuana was legal, and taxed, we would see the people who later will require treatment paying for it up front with the tax.  

There is another article in the paper, yesterday I think, about drinking and driving and the loss to society in terms of lives, accidents, lost productivity, etc.  Now I don’t advocate drinking and driving, nor smoking marijuana and driving – both are not wise and illegal.  At the same time, liquor use causes plenty of trouble, but no one is moving back toward prohibition.  Nicotine from tobacco is more addictive than cocaine, but they aren’t outlawing it either.  If we are gonna make some things okay, lets be equal and fair about it.  No more reefer madness stories, they just won’t fly anymore.  

Just in case anyone wants to jump up and condemn what I said, I’m gonna anticipate that and beat you to the punch.  I already know what your arguments will be.  Listen to this song from the newer musical take on reefer madness:

All things in moderation, my friends . . . all things in moderation.

I just hope no one gets upset by my writing on this topic, and tells me that I need to apply " labiabuccal pressure to their subcolonic sphincter", because I have to tell you, even if I have ‘reefer madness’, Katie don’t do that!


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3 responses to Don’t bogart that joint, my friend . . .

  1. Kudos Katie!
    Now pass that joint will you.

  2. A very thought provoking article, Missy Katie. Well written.

  3. Katie,

    The view you express are such that I might have written this myself. Good to see you prepared to send a rational message out.
    I remember years ago ringing a radio station late one night – they shut me off.

    I think eventually people will come around (how long have people been saying that)and there is a rational view on many issues gathering momentum around the world.

    I saw Seth Rogen on Letterman last night. Letterman started asking him questions about personal use. It was very funny – at one point after revealing Seth started smoking at thirteen, Letterman asks if he minds talking about this.
    Seth says straight-up `No, go ahead talk all you want.’

    I agree in your estimation of the problems associated with the `socially accepted’ drug. Though it is not classed as a drug, after all `it’s just a drink’.

    Good article – more power to you.

    All the best

    Brian

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