|Tincture boil in the shadows of prohibition. RI 20011|
Like Bradbury's book lovers, cannabis patients living under prohibition are fundamentally law-abiding citizens driven to secrecy by oppressive laws and social contracts that have neighbors watching neighbors for signs of moral decay.
The Tyranny of Prohibition
Washington has long operated on the assumption that what is good for big business will ultimately be good for the nation; jobs, revenue, growth, captive markets, and lots of consumer spending. To make that work for big healthcare, they took away our right to grow our own medicine and created a farcical schedule of forbidden plants; don't even look.
At the heart of this global scheme to control for profit what we use for medicine is a deep-rooted propaganda campaign that has installed the societal impression that cannabis is a fringe issue; just pot, a smoked substance for slackers that crafty stoners are calling medicine in an effort to free up their favorite party drug.
To keep the truth at bay and everyone in line, many doctors are forbidden by their insurance carriers to discuss cannabis options with their patients, and some willingly disavow their Hippocratic oath by refusing to treat patients who confess to using the banned flower for medicine. For proper New England Yankees, using weed is a fine practice for prep school and college, but if you’re a fifty-something professional with teens in the house, you’re probably tokin’ in the closet.
Cannabis the Exit Drug
The first generation of school children to go through the DARE program are now in college. Given the popularity of the book Marijuana is Safer, and the proliferation of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapters around the world, it’s clear that younger generations are finally deciding to think for themselves—and fight for the right to add cannabis to the party mix.
Let’s be honest; consuming alcoholic beverages can be a fun way to celebrate, but let’s also cut the crap. Alcohol kills; cannabis doesn’t. Cannabis isn’t physically addictive; alcohol can be. Cannabis-infused gatherings are famously peaceful, while alcohol-fueled celebrations are notoriously unstable.
In 2009 researchers at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley found that “medical cannabis patients have been engaging in substitution by using cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, prescription and illicit drugs [www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/6/1/35]
In late 2011, Maia Szalavitz reported for Time Magazine that “states that legalize medical marijuana see fewer fatal car accidents, in part because people may be substituting marijuana smoking for drinking alcohol.” [http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/why-medical-marijuana-laws-reduce-traffic-deaths]
These findings are hopeful news for heavy drinkers and the people trying to help them—but many will first need to shake the notion that the only cure for alcoholism is sobriety. Here’s an example from a prohibition state on the east coast:
An elderly Purple Heart veteran is dying of cancer; cared for by his daughter and her husband—in a cramped two-bedroom apartment. For too long her old man has been dealing with his pain with a volatile mix of prescribed meds and Stoli shots, which he loudly raves for all day long.
The weary couple can usually hold him to four or five, but every night he’s bitter, loud, and abusive. Three months before her father dies, his daughter begins coloring his Stoli shots with a solid dose of alcohol-based cannabis tincture she found at a local freedom festival.
The change is miraculous. The old guy is suddenly talkative, relaxed, and down to three shots a day. In those final weeks he took a renewed interest in watching his favorite old war movie s. He got some rest, and died in his sleep.
Truth, Healing and Enterprise
With no danger of a lethal overdose or physical addiction, cannabis is well-suited to personal exploration, including strains, edibles, raw juice, extracts, salves; whatever works. Seeds, clones, home remedies and care strategies are being shared, sold and bartered through a cautious and well-hidden community of growers, patients, healers, and practitioners. Weekend freedom festivals are the market square of the movement; a place to connect, toke, brag, haggle and sample kitchen creations made from flowers lovingly grown in private.
The cannabis frontier, which Washington is simultaneously attempting to deny and crush, are nevertheless delivering jobs and opportunity to recession-weary carpenters, electricians, plumbers, practitioners, care growers, vendors, inventors, publishers, promoters, educators, online enterprisers…and a few are already making a very good living in the cannabis trades.
Well aware that legalization is inevitable now that the truth can be found online, industrialists who have long benefited from prohibition are no doubt horrified to see how healthcare customer counts fall wherever cannabis freedom is restored. In Colorado, forty percent of the weed produced in the state is grown in private; not packaged, not regulated, not taxed. Ancient, non-toxic medicine freely produced at home and in private. What a concept.