Legalization, CBD and the Myth of "Safe" Marijuana

Postby Charles Swann » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:17 pm

Today in New York City, food trucks featuring marijuana edibles ply the streets. At one time, this would have been cause for celebration in my life. I especially liked the ganja Pixie Sticks.

I also have fond memories of traveling to Amsterdam years ago, and experiencing the freedom of walking into a bar and ordering a round of hash, much as one would ask for a bourbon on the rocks. It felt like sanity might finally be prevailing in the world.

Today, America's second great Prohibition is coming to an end, and that's probably a good thing. The criminalization of drug use, and incarceration of countless victims, is certainly a historic tragedy. I pray that those who can't get a good job or apartment because of a minor possession charge early in life can finally get their slates wiped clean.

But as a recovering marijuana addict, I don't want to experience what many in "legal" communities now have to endure on a daily basis: opening your window in the morning to the smell of skunk wafting into your bedroom, watching your neighbors in their driveways sparking up in their cars before work, and living in a neighborhood of emotionless, TV-fixated shut-ins. Yes, folks should be able to choose that lifestyle, and I'm not going to impose my choices on them. But I am going to warn them, in fact shout from the rooftop, that weed is neither "safe" nor "healthy." It is a duty and obligation of our recovery.

Marijuana in all its forms is a potentially dangerous drug, no safer for some of us than heroin or meth. Some of you won't want to hear that, even though you're hanging out in this forum -- an addictions message board dominated by stories of weed. Like many of you, I've been around the party block: lots of blow, booze, 'ludes, oxy, opium. I can take or leave 'em. I did benzos daily for years, and easily kicked in a couple of weeks. I can have a couple of drinks when I want, and never feel like I want one before work. But I have no power over weed. A little light goes off on the first toke, a soft cottony switch clicks deep in my psyche. And in days, weeks or months, I become a slave.

Alcoholics Anonymous was onto it long before anyone else. If you haven't studied their 12-step program, there's much you can learn. Parts of the program don't work for me, but I've adapted what's useful. Like recognizing there's a force, a consciousness, an energy in the universe bigger than any us. You don't have to believe in god, go to church, or sell incense in the airport, but if you think you're the sh__, prepare to stay addicted. Another AA belief worth embracing is that you only have to get through today in your recovery...let tomorrow take care of itself. And understanding that you don't have any power over weed. It will control you, and it can kill you.

For most folks who aren't addicts, weed may be an okay choice for partying with friends. But many won't learn they're addicts until it's too late. I've seen posts in this forum asserting that weed is basically a safe drug that some of us can't limit properly because of some defect in our character. In my opinion, it's probably just dumb luck, like genes. I didn't know when I took my first drinks in life that I wouldn't become an alcoholic. I was just lucky, by the grace of whomever.

When I started weed in my teens, we called it "pot," and the good stuff was Columbian. Think high-CBD, low-THC. It took away my anxiety, made me laugh, got me to sleep more easily. Guess what? CBD is a psychoactive drug. And if it's psychoactive, and makes you feel better, it's probably addictive. Now, I believe CBD can be a miracle for folks with certain medical conditions, and can alleviate suffering. But if you're thinking CBD is a good idea for your withdrawal or PAWS, you're playing with fire and lying to yourself. It's like an alcoholic munching on rum balls to relax -- well, not exactly, but you get the idea. You're introducing another mood-altering cannabinoid into your system.

CBD is now in everything from cosmetics to craft beer. Big corporations like Coca-Cola will likely be a leaders in cannabis-infused beverages, and the right-wing politicians who helped incarcerate my friends are on the boards of companies riding the cannabis profit wave. Some say that because farm animals used to eat hemp, cannabis was once part of our food chain, and therefore many of the ills of society today are caused by a dearth of cannabinoids in our bodies.

The prohibition of weed was certainly senseless, but like many historic revisions, the pendulum may now be swinging too far the in the other direction. My point? Weed is not safe -- not for addicts like us, and not for the general public, many of whom may not know they're more vulnerable to addiction to today's high-potency weed in all its forms. As addicts, we mustn't fall into the trap of laying all the blame on ourselves and not recognizing we fell victim to something we were told was safe, natural, and non-addicting. And it's our calling to pay it forward by helping others to recover, and still others to never start down the path we once took.
Charles Swann
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Postby lefttheleaf » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:06 am

Hey dude
Great post. Really well written and I think you’re spot on.
What’s going on in the US right now scares me. Not for myself but for as you put it the people who don’t know they’re addicts. I was in LA last year and I loved the experience of being able to buy and smoke weed legally but in my position now I would struggle so much more if it was around me. Legally.
But that said. I choose not to smoke bro. And so do you. We all have choice in this matter. I chose to accept I had a problem and so did you. But yeah I feel you and your sentiment. I don’t really have a point to make but just thought I’d reply anyway lol.

John McAfee summed it up for me

“Marijuana is the drug of illusion. It creates the illusion that you’re thinking great thoughts and doing great things while you’re sitting on the sofa and growing a beard. Give it up for heroin. You’ll hit rock bottom faster and pick yourself up sooner.” 
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