Outside the history of hysteria, how scary is marijuana?

by DGO Web Administrator

This morning I checked my news feed, laughed as another testimonial of cannabis playing a major role in curing someone’s cancer brightened my life, thought about a girl I went to school with whose daughter used cannabis to reduce her seizure frequency from dozens of episodes daily to almost none, and read about the endocannabanoid system for an hour. It was a good start to the day.

It’s amazing how much your life can change as a result of deciding to go deeply into something. We’ve all seen people who find something that speaks to them and immerse themselves in it – exercise, religion, travel, exposure to an idea, a certain diet, politics, a field of study; time passes; for better or for worse, their involvement changes them.

My involvement with cannabis has opened a doorway to an entire other world: a couple of Facebook pages liked, a little research every day, a few new contacts made. These grow into something I look forward to every day. The more I learn, the more my sense of wonder grows. The more I know, the surer I am of my path; confusion and fear are replaced by the joy of the journey and a sense of peace with my decisions.

There is a weird balance to this, though. So much of what I’m learning goes in direct contrast with what I was taught about this plant. Sometimes the cognitive dissonance is borderline unbearable. I see politicians on TV or hear people I know arguing over whether the states that have medical or recreational marijuana programs should be allowed to keep them or should they be shut down, and I want to scream.

But do I really want to scream? Or do I want to sit them down and show them what I’ve been shown? I want them to take an hour to research the Figi family and their daughter Charlotte and Dravet Syndrome and the Stanley Brothers’ Realm of Caring Foundation. The research wouldn’t be difficult; it was the subject of a CNN documentary.

And this story is far from the only story. Every day I learn another, about people living in states where it’s still illegal, risking prison time by concentrating their own cannabis oil as a primary or supplementary path from cancer to health, of people using cannabis in ways that don’t deliver intoxicating effects, but rather, to promote overall health by using the pathways of the human body’s endocannabanoid system, a vast network of receptors throughout the body and in the brain that promote homeostatic balance and play a positive role in preventing disease and degradation.

But the word is not really out there yet. That’s what frustrates me. How is this possible?

Because it doesn’t fit the narrative presented over the past couple of generations in this country, a narrative that stonewalls through the use of fear tactics: arrests, fines, and an entire industry built around the incarceration of citizens for use of a plant that we evolved next to over millions of years through the muck of primordial life, a plant that was a friend to many until a few decided that it was their enemy and made it law.

Aslinger, Hearst, Nixon: These are the real villains. The ones who built the framework that kept this plant and its million-and-one positive gifts buried, who built the empire against which we must continue to fight. The battle has begun here in the United States.

We have made progress – that will be the topic here next week – but if you care, DGO, understand: We are just gearing up for the real fight.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected]


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