Up In Smoke

“I don’t have cancer because I smoke. I smoke because I have cancer.”

It’s a clever saying I’ve heard a few times by proponents of medical cannabis reform. Even though I count myself among said proponents, I can’t really use those sound bites with a straight face. Nobody should, really. With very few exceptions, most people who acquire a medi card have been smokers in the past. Illegally. Before it became a medical issue. I’m not ratting anybody out, it’s just the way things are. We’ll take it any way we can get it.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… I’ve been ingesting weed since I was 16, or so, but that doesn’t make me an addict. I’ve gone through phases wherein months, or even years, can pass between hits. I am in no way addicted, but I will admit I smoke and eat it more now than I have at any point in my dim and smoky past. Yes, it helps that now, because I DO have cancer, I’m permitted to own a cannamed card. Whether you like the idea or not, having even questionably legal access to the magical herb has greatly improved my attitude and stress levels. Because, you know, cancer is a bitch.

Still, all this doublespeak has put me in an Andy Rooney frame of mind (and if you don’t know who he was, SHAME!). Why are we hiding behind the card, anyway? Why don’t we just admit we smoke and are in the majority, as opposed to the out-of-touch relics in power? Haven’t we waited long enough for the Gucci mummies in Congress to catch up with the rest of the nation? I think it’s pretty common knowledge that weed isn’t a gateway drug, any more than eating salad is a gateway to Veganism. Or drinking coffee is a gateway to road rage.

The rhetoric on this subject is stupid, especially with the new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (the former president of global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly… just let that sink in a minute…) touting his $13 billion “opioid and serious mental illness program” by claiming that marijuana doesn’t work as a pain reducer because the FDA hasn’t approved it. That’s a bit like saying diets don’t work because Betty Crocker doesn’t approve of them. What a meat head.

Alex Azar: That clueless look just about says it all…

Whatever. I’m not hiding anymore. The profit-mongering goons in Washington can eat my shorts. Yes, I know they can make my life a living hell, but in many ways they’ve already done that. We live in a police state, where active surveillance is commonplace and power is in the hands of those wielding the weapons. Also, just try to take a healthy alternative approach to cancer treatment and get your insurance company to cover it. Ain’t gonna happen friends, unless you have lots of disposable income.

Which is all a hell of a lot heavier than I wanted to get here, but c’mon, where does it get us to deny basic truths? These issues I mention aren’t conspiracy theories, any more than the belief that “Big Pharma” is dictating what is and isn’t considered healthy for us is “fake news.” Azar and the rest of his politically misinformed ilk can suck my cancerous balls.

If we don’t stop treating this issue like some kind of back alley deal, it will never become part of a free and open market. It’s one of the few examples of democracy at work that we have left. We speak loudly and proudly; They listen. Not right away, of course, but in time. Every civil right that has been won in the past five or so decades was done so because fed up citizens took to the streets and said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Gods, I love that movie…

So, yeah… wear it proudly, friends. Whatever it is. Stoner? Queer? Gender fluid? Body modification enthusiast? Full time cat lady? Creepy doll collector? Vegan? Let your freak flags fly! It took me over 50 years and a diagnosis of cancer to finally realize I really don’t have to be anybody but myself, for anybody including myself. That might scare some people, but I don’t really care. I’m not psychotic, I’m just expressive. Hey, if approximately 40 percent of the American population will believe that about the oompa loompa in charge, I don’t see any reason why you can’t believe that about me.

My mama raised a very polite and well-mannered boy. Society turned him into a doormat. I was very hurt and angry for a very long time. I lost opportunities and intellectual property to complete assholes with not a shred of common decency. Those days are over, friends. I’m not angry anymore. I’m just mindfully altered, which makes me a lot happier despite being afflicted with a disease utterly lacking in a sense of humor.

I’m also unfiltered and if lunkheads like Azar don’t like it, they can stuff it in their pipes and smoke it.

2 thoughts on “Up In Smoke

  1. ‘Gucci mummies in Congress’ – love that. As one who clings to their nostalgic past, this ignorant notion about cannabis is not one I hold with. Even as a kid I think I knew the adults were full of crap. You can always tell, because they massively over react. When a topic is met with erratic yelling, rather than clear, calm explanations, it’s obvious the responses are driven by self-important opinions rather than facts. Still, I have hope for the impending legalization. The last time I participated, my vision went better than 20/20. I won’t say that’s a permanent solution – just that it’s a natural plant and I can fully say that it gave me benefits including release from chronic pain I suffer from.

  2. I’ve got a few friends who are on the other side of the argument, including one who is running for public office and fears that if it WERE to be formally legalized the constabulary would be unprepared and lacking in the formal education necessary to combat misuse. My only response is, it’s not like they haven’t had plenty of time to prepare. The writing is on the wall. Read it, process it and prepare for the inevitable, ’cause it’s happening whether you’re ready or not.

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