I bought into the "War on Drugs" as a kid. I didn't try weed until I was 25 and had such a weird sensation that I never tried it again until after I was hit by a truck in 2014.
A doctor had tried (unsuccessfully) to convince me to try an opioid-derivative pain medication and I was crying, telling her that addiction runs in my family, there's no way I was going to tempt fate that way. She finally sighed, exasperated and said, "Have you tried cannabis?"
I was 33. Having waited that long to smoke a semi-psychedelic meant that my brain was in fact capable of experiencing the best effects of cannabis. I have met people who have had a hard time with cannabis as youths and thus have terrible opinions of the flower. Some smoked it with friends at parties where they drank or tried other things and it "ruined their high?" I don't even know what that means. Then, I have friends who used it unknowingly as a self-treatment for depression, anxiety, or even just the general isolation of high school.
Those of us #eldermillennials from the 1980's-90's will likely remember the war on drugs that swept the children's air time on cartoon Saturdays and TGIF Fridays. Some of us know too that they were really convincing. I mean, I still have some of the jingles from them memorized and those Jim Henson puppet wannabes were terrible! Also, #badvoiceacting
The truth is this: all substances have effects and affect the body in ways that are unpredictable because we are all as unique in chemistry and physiology as our fingerprints. What for one is a dangerous chemical could actually be healthy. Peanuts are a food example. Some people can handle their caffeine, others experience anxiety or the jitters when they drink the magical brew.
So what is the point of fighting over this right now?
Well, I think that what we need to realize is that when we talk about the "war on drugs" we're actually talking about the market monopolization that occurs in pharmaceutical companies. Think about it.
In the post '70's demand for human rights and an end to various forms of prejudice, many reforms occurred across north America. We cannot claim to be the only country (Canada) with Health Care, nor is our health care really all that great - at least not in BC - thank the BC Conservatives (ahem!) sorry, I meant the BC Liberals.
In the push for the elimination of street drugs, especially cannabis' earned status as a drug at the same level as cocaine in the USA, Canada faced heavy criticism and cannabis' medical legalization was often brought up in the same breath as the softwood lumber dispute in the early millennium. Cannabis patients and advocates for it's healing qualities and capabilities in some people has been denied and controlled now by Big Pharma since. When Cannabis was legalized recreationally it ruined the medical community's cannabis devotees, mentors, and authorities. Companies exploded and the weed that was serving the medical community wasn't "good enough" anymore so that it went into what's being called a "Grey Market" merely because now it's (comparatively) and only in legislated bullshit, "less safe."
A lot of things have slipped Health Canada's notice and I really don't think health is actually their first priority if they've insisted on enough packaging for "safety's sake" that soon Canada will be able to build it's own plastic continent. In a few million years we can send Albertan oil workers over there to drill.
Can we all drop the act like businesses and government makes the world go round? They don't.
People make this world work and sometimes those same people need a break. Just because someone is a lower economic class doesn't make their habits any "worse" or less ethical than a privileged upper-class white boomer.
As a student I worked tirelessly and volunteered when I wasn't sleeping or studying. At one point when working at a coffee chain I loved, one that paid well and treated me well, in Prince George - I had a lady lose her shit and throw her coffee at me because it was wrong. She threw it through the Drive Through window at me and scalded me. My boss asked if I wanted to press charges and so did the RCMP. I didn't.
Turned out this was a hoity-toity doctor who had done this to other drive-throughs in other communities but none of their locations had cameras. Ours did. Clear video of her launching what she knows I just gave her as a super hot beverage with a sleeve at me because there wasn't enough sweetener in it.
Pressing charges against a rich person is like asking "Please Sirrah, Can I have some more?"
No, thanks. I prefer to be humiliated by myself at home. And scalded by hot coffee there too.
Now barring addictive behaviours that affect your life and those around you, I think it's totally fair for folks to have their own vices. Some folks want a cold beer, that makes you reliant-maybe dependent, but does it make you an addict? Does it make you a bad person with a "crutch?"
Is Tylenol a crutch? Should you shame yourself just because you get headaches?
I have excuses called chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and GERD. It's been helpful. Since being able to discover it's ability to retain my wretched retching (from the GERD) to it's ability to melt the electric pain in my shoulder away to a dull ache like a bruise, cannabis has won me over.
It's also time that North American Researchers started actually lifting their heads up and paying attention to a huge body of work that various countries are providing to their scientists and health researchers into the capacities and abilities of the cannabinoid receptors in the body to help do some impressive healing. Could it be the xenophobic or racial politics of coming out of the middle east, or other places where the research is done with non-colonial styles of data collection? Hm. Nah, that's probably just me.
Some folks pity me.
I see you drinking alcohol, I can't drink any but you can have mine. Alcohol gives me hot flashes. So, you can have it, I'll have the weed and together maybe we can stop judging folks?
How does that sound?