I want to tell you about the time I almost died.
One minute I was hiking up a mountain in Colorado, and the next I was staring into the great abyss. Unsteady feet, heart pounding, lungs burning. Pulled to safety by my friends.
I leave the details out because it’s not important.
I lived to tell the tale. That’s all that matters.
Escaping death is the greatest success one can hope for (and good friends).
I was lucky.
My friends like to remind me that I am a lucky person. Not because of the above, but just lucky in general.
Anytime something good happens to me, they say I am the luckiest man alive. In fact, I think it annoys them how things usually work out in my favor without any effort on my part.
You could do worse than being lucky.
Some people aren’t so lucky.
Dravet Syndrome is a dreadful illness. It is a form of epilepsy that begins in the first year of life and causes severe prolonged and/or frequent seizures.
Associated problems could include
- developmental delays
- behavior issues
- recurrent infections
- and more
Unfortunately, the mortality rate is estimated at 15-20%.
There is no cure and treatment options are limited. And I’m not sure I have enough space here to mention all the possible side effects from the current medications that are used. But, with such a severe condition, you have to do what you can, and you take the risks.
I have seen and treated more than a few seizures in my day, and every second feels like an eternity. Can you imagine watching your child have multiple seizures a day? Can you imagine how it feels when the medicines fail to be helpful?
One treatment option that is showing potential for Dravet Syndrome is CBD. CBD is one of the cannabinoids in marijuana. It is currently being studied to determine benefits/risks/etc.
Does it work? Some cases seem promising. And sometimes hope is enough.
The bureaucracy of medical marijuana holds no weight compared to the despair of families needing medical care. They want to know if this will work. Could it save their child?
Hope is a powerful thing.
But hey, that’s not why they should legalize marijuana.
An article I recently read stated Colorado collected around $70 Million in tax revenue last year. I’m not great with math, but that seems like a lot of money.
I think Mississippi could use a boost like that. But I am not naive. We have casinos, and we are still the poorest state in the nation.
But I can’t help to think that we could follow a successful model like Colorado and bring in some much needed revenue.
How much time and money is wasted on policing marijuana?
These are just some things to ponder.
But never do anything for the money, right?
What about smoking it? Is it as bad as cigarettes?
I was curious about its effects on the lungs, so I found a study that looked at lung function in a group of people that had smoked marijuana for 20 years. No adverse lung function found. I don’t know if Bill Clinton was a part of this study or not (since he never inhaled) but regardless, the findings are interesting.
From Alzheimer’s to Anxiety. Glaucoma to Chronic Pain. The possibilities for treatment are there. And, it’s likely not that dangerous to the lungs.
Yet marijuana is still labeled a Scheduled 1 Controlled Substance by the DEA. Which means by definition it has no medical use. But wait, of course there is medical use. It’s already legal in several states for medical use. We just discussed a few of the medical uses.
So what’s the big deal anyway? Why do I care?
I treat addiction. I see the damage drugs can cause. I see the pain in people’s lives. Why would I be in favor of legalizing it?
Let me be clear. I don’t think anyone with addiction should smoke marijuana. You need to be living your life, not trying to escape it.
I don’t particularly care for the term “gateway” drug. I think it’s stupid. But, if the shoe fits.
You see, every decision we make leads to other decisions. You make enough bad ones in a row, and it can really start to add up. Everything is a gateway to something else.
But of all my years treating addiction, overdoses, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and cancer, I can truly say that I have never lost a patient to…….marijuana.
It just doesn’t happen. Alcohol, yes. Cigarettes, yes. Marijuana? No. You don’t die from marijuana. I’m sure it’s possible, I just haven’t seen it. (And I’m not talking about the guy that smoked a joint and decided to jump into the lion’s cage at the local zoo because he thought it would be funny. Although maybe that should count.)
I would venture to guess that Sweet Tea kills more people in Mississippi than marijuana does. (But I have no data to back this up).
But there’s more to it than living or dying.
If you spend your life in a haze, did you ever really live?
Is marijuana safe for everyone?
It’s not for everyone. I do have several patients whose use has been detrimental to their health, and they are unable to stop. They will say it is to self medicate their anxiety or some other reason. But in the end, they are still stuck trying to utilize a drug to trick their mind that they are happy.
But will it kill them? No, probably not.
If they drive impaired, could they die or kill someone else? Yes, they could.
But that is not the law we are discussing. We aren’t asking if it should be ok to drive impaired. It’s not. It shouldn’t be.
Here’s why they should legalize marijuana:
Did you know that last September, the Massachusetts State Police and Massachusetts State Guard raided the home of an 81 year old lady? They cut down one marijuana plant that she was growing and using for medicinal purposes.
This happened in a state where marijuana use is already legal for medical purposes. She just never bothered to get a “medical card” and grew it herself.
The article I read said the DEA gave Massachusetts $60,000 for marijuana “eradication”.
That’s your tax money in good hands.
God forbid this 81 year old woman grow a plant in her yard. Or have any free will for what she does to her own body.
God forbid any of us make any choices in our lives without Big Brother breathing down our necks.
We are merely asking if it should be illegal to ingest a substance. A substance that could cause harm to yourself, in most cases likely doesn’t cause any harm, and in other cases could save your life.
You see, the law against marijuana isn’t really about marijuana. It’s about your ability to choose, and your ability to allow other people to make dumb decisions as well.
Who decides what we should do or think?
Even God gives us free will.
What will you do with your free will?
Will you give it away?
Will you hand over your freedom to the machine?
I am a lucky guy. I went to Colorado and didn’t die.
Maybe I will stay lucky, and somebody will read this and pass it along.
And eventually someone, a servant of the people, will do the right thing.
And stop sending 81 year old ladies to jail because they have glaucoma and good gardening skills.
This article is meant for entertainment and discussion. It is not medical advice. I am not recommending you smoke marijuana or saying it is safe. Medical advice should be individualized between the patient and physician. Go see your doctor.
Don’t tell them I sent you.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
Sign up for my newsletter, because it’s free and you have free will. DOCTORCHRISPARK.COM
Follow me on twitter: HERE