Of cannabis and me

I used to be one of those people who believed cannabis, which for centuries has been flourishing wild around the world, was a dangerously addictive drug.

According to the Wikipedia, “Cannabis, called (meaning “hemp; cannabis; numbness”) or dàmá 大麻 (with “big; great”) in Chinese, was used in Taiwan for fiber starting about 10,000 years ago.

Millions of people everywhere from all segments of society routinely and safely use it to help quell a truly staggering range of symptoms, from HIV/aids, multiplesclerosis, epilepsy to menstrual pain to the debilitating nausea caused by some cancer therapies.

And in that sense, it is addictive.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or, more correctly, its main isomer (−) –trans9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the magic ingredient in the cannabis plant that makes it so irresistible as a fun drug.

But, fun also equals money and that, in turn, equals crime:  it’s axiomatic. Moreover, some people say weed is a gateway drug leading to far more dangerous substances such as crack cocaine, particularly where kids are involved, as well as encouraging burgeoning outbreaks of associated criminality.

And, it’s these kinds of worries which are sustaining the anti-pot movement — these, and an unquenchable desire on the part of government bureaucrats to hypocritically maintain the status quo.

Meanwhile what do industries associated with hemp think of it all?

They’d dearly like to get back to the good old days when Mary Jane, in all her guises, was an accepted and acceptable international economic mainstay, a license for some companies to have their cake and eat it — profit from hemp products and the special papers used to actually make the money ; )

For the past week or so, my daily intake of medications (a while back, I had a couple of heart attacks and a stroke) has included two or three pipes of Purple Kush, that’s right! –– one of the many strains of cannabis said to be good for medicinal purposes.

Oh! The horror!

Since my brain crash, I’ve had a lot of problems with depression and sudden outbursts of nonviolent rage and dark, dark thoughts centering on what I liked to call self-determination.

Suicide.

I don’t think I ever seriously considered taking my own life, but ‘thought’ is a form of energy, and it’s a very short step between that and physical action.

But that’s not where I’m at any more and  the big question now is: is this distinct change for the better going to be permanent?

My wife fervently hopes so.

Marijuana as a Medication

I never dreamed I’d one day be using marijuana as a medication, but that’s the way the cookies crumbled.

I’d had a stroke and  and almost every day I was tormented by thoughts of self-destruction brought on by my inability to effectively and efficiently deal with the symptoms resulting from the devastating stroke I suffered during an open heart operation.

I wanted it to stop. On the advice of my doctors, I’d tried various prescription drugs meant to alleviate depression by subtly altering brain function to tone down aberrant brain activity.

But nothing worked.

I’ve been aware of the alleged medical benefits of marijuana for some time: I used to write for Ontario’s Addiction Research Foundation, the final word on drugs, alcohol, and so on.

Now, ironically, I can be legitimately described as a pot head 😉

I’m fully aware of the chance I’m taking and, people I’ve met at NA and AA would be appalled!  But things are looking very bright, to say the least, for me, and for my family, and more than worth the perceived risk of sliding back.

And, yes, I’ve applied for a license to use marijuana; I’m currently waiting for the paperwork to arrive.

Still, starting April 1, 2014, new government regulations, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), will force Canadians to start using a new system of supply and distribution.

Under it, they won’t be able to choose where and how they get their marijuana. Their only options will be commercial Licensed Producers (LPs), and it won’t take long for the corporate Big Boys to smell the profits to be made from grass ;).

Steve Harper and his merry band of cannabis prohibitionists are attempting to “enact the most restrictive marijuana laws Canada has ever seen,” as

The big unknown, under the soon-to-come Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), is: how much will commercial interests charge for their offerings — in the unlikely event they’re worth buying in the first place?

The current system allows for personal contact between individual buyers and individual growers, so buyers could be sure of getting the strain best suited for their medical condition.

The new regulations will not allow this and they’re potentially forcing me, and thousands more like me, to risk serious penalties on a daily basis.

Cheers, and please get in touch (myblogdammit@shawdotca) if any of this strikes a chord with you.

Stay tuned …

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