Besides not wanting to take synthetically engineered pharmaceuticals anymore, my fervent interest in the possibilities of medical cannabis use was really sparked in the fall of 2012 one Saturday afternoon while watching CNN. Being that quite a few states had total decriminalization, or full legalization of marijuana on their ballots in November that year, Sanjay Gupta did a short story about medical marijuana. My state had already legalized medical use of cannabis a few years earlier and I had a mild interest at that time, but hey – I felt a lot crappier now, and it kinda made me think more seriously about what the real poison was. Was it the harmless weed or the synthetic prescriptions that my body was obviously not embracing with love?
I watched tv as Dr. Gupta interviewed a doctor and medical cannabis proponent named Dr. Julia Holland, who wrote a book called, The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis, It’s Role in Medicine, Politics, Science, and Culture. I was sold, literally – I went and bought it online right away and after it arrived two days later I read it cover to cover with amazement.
I’m not here to duplicate Dr. Holland’s efforts, but rather to encourage you to read her book, especially if even one of these common myths about cannabis sticks in your mind. I quote from her book, and she quotes from another:
Medical Marijuana Myths
- Marijuana’s harms have been proven scientifically.
- Marijuana has no medical value.
- Marijuana is highly addictive.
- Marijuana is a gateway drug.
- Marijuana [legal] offensives are not severely punished.
- Marijuana policy in the Netherlands is a failure.
- Marijuana kills brain cells.
- Marijuana causes an amotivational syndrome.
- Marijuana impairs memory and cognition.
- Marijuana can cause permanent mental illness.
- Marijuana causes crime.
- Marijuana interferes with male and female sex hormones.
- Marijuana use during pregnancy damages the fetus.
- Marijuana use impairs the immune system.
- Marijuana is more damaging to the lungs than tobacco.
- Marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, gets trapped in body fat.
- Marijuana-related hospital emergencies are increasing, particularly among youth.
- Marijuana is more potent today than in the past.
- Marijuana use can be prevented.
OK, that’s a pretty long list and I’m certainly not going to cover all these topics. Dr. Julia Hollands book has already done that. If I can’t convince you that medical cannabis is real and helps millions of people with their health and well being, the next thing you should do is get her book, but do it quickly because there is really no need to suffer when help is so close. Besides, you’re going to need a good arsenal of fact-based educational material to get you past the skeptics if you care to educate them, and this book should be in your war room. And also visit Dr. Holland’s Pot Book website for additional chapters that she feels complete and update The Pot Book.
Public sentiment has to change, and it will over time, but that doesn’t help the people in immediate need, and there are many millions of them.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing-wax –
Of cabbages – and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
And whether pigs have wings.”
I must confess that I believed one or more of these myths to be true, and I thought I was a pretty progressive thinker. But, no. So much to learn, so little time. I was supposed to be hip and with it, and I was so misinformed. Very misinformed, just like the oysters in Lewis Carroll’s poem of The Walrus and the Carpenter, in his 1872 book, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. If you have never read it, go do that now, because it is quite remarkable.
The Oyster were duped by the unlikely pair of friends. Walrus and Carpenter may as well be named Harry Anslinger and William Randolf Hearst, but that’s another story for another post, as they were two people in our nation’s history that can definitely be held responsible for leading Americans down a very bad path. This path has led us to where we are today with our marijuana laws. At least we weren’t eaten.
I’m still on a quest to get as much information as I can about medical cannabis and to do my best to dispel the attitude and stigma associated with Marijuana. I hope to not only educate, but also to make other people angry enough about the situation this nation has put us all in to become more vocal about their needs and their rights.