Here’s a funny story I’ve never told anyone. When we lived in Okinawa (I was an Air Force brat for all practical purposes), I was about 10 years old, and used to catch the bus to the swimming pool. The bus terminal was right across the street where the base PX (military store) was. On my way home, I would go into the PX and stuff my rolled-up towel with miscellaneous candy and things and walk out with it without paying. I did this a couple of times, and then one time a man ran out of the store and questioned me. He made me open my towel and out spilled all of the junk I was stealing. Lucky for me he didn’t do anything but give me a warning. Ok, it wasn’t a funny story, but it is true I’ve never told this to anyone before.
After that incident, I swore off stealing. I might have some notebooks from old jobs where I ripped out my notes so I could re-use the notebook, and I know I have some pens and pencils from jobs, but not stolen on purpose since I’m very particular about the pens I use.
I don’t even lie unless it’s for a really good reason. I’m pretty much a goody-two-shoes. If I worked with you and you wanted to team up in a fraud scheme, I’d probably turn you in.
However, with all of this goody-two-shoes talk, I did break the law last year. In order to get certified for medical marijuana here, you need a year’s worth of medical records, a doctor’s letter, and then an appointment with a doctor that can certify you along with about $500. It’s a lot of expense and trouble. If you’re uncertain whether it will do you any good, your only option is to try to get some illegal pot off the street.
When I was going through chemo and radiation, my medical staff told me pot was something that could really help me. They couldn’t give me any, of course, but they said if I could find the real thing that you smoked, it would be worth a try to help with the nausea. Well, as desperate as I was, I didn’t know anyone who smoked pot, and wasn’t about to stand on street corners looking for drug pushers, so I did without.
Well, cancer didn’t end there. It must have burnt out some important brain cells and caused scarring and nervous system impairment, because depression, stress, and chronic pain have lived with me since my cancer treatments. Medical marijuana was legalized in my state and I knew that I would probably try to get certified. However, I hadn’t smoked it for 30 years so I really felt that I wanted to try it first to see how it reacted with my symptoms.
Hubby works in academia, and there are some academics who smoke pot. Although Hubby is about as straight laced as a human can get, he agreed to ask a friend of his for some pot. His buddy asked around, and got me a small bag, which I tried. I thought there was some hope of it helping me.
I didn’t have any ethical problem with either Hubby or his friend in getting it. I don’t think Hubby would have agreed to even ask if medical marijuana hadn’t been legalized to begin with. They did the exchange in the parking lot, away from the campus, and the bag was, maybe 1/8 of an ounce, about the amount you could stuff into a small prescription medicine bottle.
A month or so later, I asked for one more from his buddy so I could have a bit more in my stash (I was still waiting for the dispensaries to open, but had my certification by this point, so I was legit to carry it, but even after you’re certified, you have to buy it illegally unless there’s a dispensary in your state, which there currently isn’t.). I didn’t want to keep hassling this guy for pot, so I was conservative with what I had. Now, six months later, I have Massachusetts and Maine certifications and can go to the Portland, Maine dispensary to buy it legally and drive it back home.
There are a lot of people in this world that can be served by the use of marijuana. How do they even get it to try it if it’s illegal? And why should someone have to pay $500 just to get certified to try it? That’s a lot of money to pay only to find you hate it.
I rarely smoke outside of the house so maybe my observations are skewed. But the fact that I smoke marijuana seems like a purely inconsequential thing to the world. I confessed to my periodontist (the guys that get their kicks ripping out your gums and grafting them back together with tissue from your palate), and he didn’t mind. He said as long as it’s not tobacco it’s not a problem. (Tobacco rots your teeth, screws up your gums, and delays healing, apparently.) Yesterday I confessed to my chiropractor and he said I was his third patient who mentioned marijuana and all three of us had good things to say about it. Thirty years ago I wouldn’t even dare mention it to anybody. Now no one really gives a shit.
The chiropractic appointment that I had after beginning my Ativan and marijuana routine was the first dramatic improvement my chiropractor had seen in me for the two years I’ve been going to him (every 2 weeks). A quarter of an Ativan makes the marijuana edginess tolerable and completely removes my residual pain, and the marijuana as a performance enhancer supports me doing relatively rigorous exercising and stretching as well as rolling my quads and iliotibial band on a foam roller every day. It keeps me doing my somewhat strenuous yoga routines, and sparks a sense of curiosity about the world and myself in me, making everything I do fun.
Hubby says marijuana makes me a better person. He says when I’m high I become the person that he married instead of the dismissive, stressed-out, depressed person I’d become. My long-term goal is to become this better person without drugs if possible. If not, I’ll die smoking pot. Because having this as an option, I know I’m not going to die depressed and stressed-out.
I don’t know how the law expects a person to try marijuana without breaking the law first. The people who need it the most are the people who have probably never smoked it in their lives. What would motivate them to go through all of the trouble and expense of getting certified for something they’ve never tried before?
I’m grateful that I’m still alive in this age when we’re recognizing the benefits of marijuana and accepting it more. I only hope I live long enough to see the laws change so that all people with medical conditions for whom it could possibly help can at least try it without feeling like they’re going to go to prison for breaking the law.
Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?
Thanks for the great idea, mycookinglifebypatty.