Story last updated at 3/13/2013 - 2:06 pm
I want to write a response to the essay that was in the Weekly several weeks ago. This in no way an attack on the young person that wrote it, as I am sure that they gathered their information the best they could to write the essay for their class.
I do want to say, however, that the information I read in the article is very different from the real world experience I have had with the use of pot or marijuana. I was for many years both a drug user and a drug dealer. It destroyed my life and every life I touched, and it began with the use of marijuana. From my experience, and I have had plenty, it is absolutely false that the use of pot doesn't lead to other drugs or drinking. The trouble with using anything that changes your state of awareness and is addicting, is that your life revolves around it. All of your thinking, your actions as well as your behavior all surround seeking what it has to offer. That's just the way people are wired. If that thing being marijuana becomes unavailable most people (not all) will try and find something to replace that need. In too many cases use also leads to sales, especially in young people who can ill afford the steep price of "getting high," turning someone who might never commit another type of crime into a felon. Many years of my life and the lives of so many young people were wasted as we revolved around the use and acquisition of the drug. I was a person who could function and be very productive when using, as I am a driven individual. But now without the drug for many years I am so much more productive, not to mention satisfied with the person I am. For many people however, that is not the case. I have worked with one person after another who started smoking pot and a once good student, athlete or worker went from "hero to zero" as the saying goes.
As far as pot being good for a number of ailments, I have no doubt that it is. The real problem with it is that it is much too powerful for most things. It alters your state of mind, cognitive abilities, and physical reflexes too greatly to be a safe alternative for most illness. If it does have a place, in my opinion, it would be with that patient who is terminal or in so much pain they are unable to even eat, as it does greatly enhance the appetite.
Finally I want to address the issue of pot and hemp. I was also a grower, and what is commonly sold and smoked even when I was young and now has little in common with industrial hemp other than the genus. The THC content is so high that a better comparison would be with pot and LSD as THC by itself it classed as a hallucinogen. The drug as a whole is, however, in a class all by its self as a euphoric. No other illegal drug stays in your system as long and in my opinion few are more addictive with the exception of meth or cocaine. As you might have assumed I am very much against the legalization of marijuana. The argument that alcohol is legal and causes more problems is to me like saying I'll shoot myself in the foot, it won't hurt as bad as shooting myself in the leg. The end result is still lives that are changed families with fewer necessities for their lives because that money has gone to support a habit. This isn't speculation on my part, but a lifetime of experience from a man who, now being free from all that, is still in my late 50s one of the best armwrestlers in the world. The use of marijuana gets in the way of your dreams!