Okay. Let me start by saying that i have pretty liberal views when it comes to recreational drugs. I find it absurdly hypocritical that the pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco industries have a long-standing SUPPORTED history of capitalizing off of people’s needs/wants to adjust their realities in particular ways, while our country has simultaneously spent four decades and over a trillion dollars on a “War on Drugs” that never actually showed any success (thanks, Nixon, for spearheading that campaign back in 1971! You were an awesome president in SO many ways).
With that said, I work at a correctional facility, so i keep my views to myself and my drug use legal. I’m not trying to get investigated by I&I for admitting to incarcerated youth that i *agree* with many of them about legalizing weed, nor am i trying to get convicted of some petty possession charge and subjected to some ridiculous mandatory sentencing laws that would leave me in prison longer than a rapist. When Arizona legalized medical marijuana back in 2010, i silently applauded the state for finally not being one of the LAST states in the country to make progressive changes, like it tends to do … but i continued to keep my opinions to myself and my drug use legal. Medical marijuana use did not apply to me, after all.
But it does now!
Obtaining a medical marijuana license was clearly at the top of my priority list. I was released from the hospital on November 19, and by November 20 i was already showing up to clinics to fill out the paperwork. A consultation session on November 21 ended with official approval for me to obtain a license, which was issued to me via mail on November 25. The card arrived the following Monday, and by Thursday, I was already being chauffeured by my awesome roommate, Renee, to the Herbal Wellness Center to start stocking up. By this point, i was MORE than over the prescription medication that had lined up along my bedroom window: Oxycodone, Valium, Dilaudid, Xanax – not to mention the Colace and Zofran medication that had been prescribed to address the side effects of the pain pills. I was doped up zombie-style on pain meds all day long, with no appetite and no ability to use the bathroom like a normal person.
So. Now i am officially on the list of Arizona residents who can legally obtain and use marijuana to address the pain and side effects of having Stage 3C Invasive Cancer. The hard part is over, right?
Ha, ha. NOPE.
Remember: I wasn’t really a recreational marijuana user prior to this, so it’s safe to say that i am quite ignorant about the plant itself. I mean, sure, we all know that THC is the component in marijuana that gives you the fun deep-thinking-laughing-over-nothing-now-I’ve-got-the-munchies high, but when Zach, the employee over at the Herbal Wellness Center, starts talking to me about THC vs CBD vs CBC vs CBG vs THCU in various marijuana strains, i suddenly realized how my students must feel when i am droning on about drawing parallels between central ideas and themes in multiple informative texts that we’ve read over the term. I was LOST within moments of him speaking. He was patient, informative, and conscientious about my ignorance, but i *still* left that facility with the most limited understanding of what this $500 worth of weed was about to do to my body. Yup. $500. I had some experimenting to do.
Back at home, I found myself with smokeable weed, a variety of edibles, and concentrated cannabis oil – and not a clue with where to begin. Do i start with CBD-based product, THC-based, or a hybrid? Should i even bother smoking it since i have never been a smoker to begin with, or should i follow Zach’s suggestion and research how to cook the marijuana with coconut oil, in order to use it in future meals and baked goods? What dosage do i start out with, and how will i know whether i need to take more?
As i type this backdated entry on December 28, i can honestly say that i am still in the experimentation phase of this learning process. Here’s what i know so far:
- Much like hybrid cars, THC/CBD hybrid edibles are the preferred way to go – at least for cancer patients. by FAR my favorite product purchased
- When ingesting any THC-based product, i need to be STRICTLY monitored by loved ones because i will eat every g*d*mned thing i can get my hands on.
- THC-based marijuana + holiday times = TOO MUCH SNACKING
- A seemingly insignificant piece of a marijuana-infused chocolate bar can keep me high for 24 straight hours … which made for an interesting appointment with my oncologist the Friday morning i decided to tell him i would try chemotherapy.
- Marijuana is toxic to dogs … but that won’t stop dogs from climbing up on countertops to get to a marijuana chocolate bar.
- Making sure your loving pet doesn’t die from a drug/chocolate overdose will easily cost you $1,000.
- Learning my limits continues to be an ongoing process that amuses the h*ll out of my friends and roommates.
THE END – for now
http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock <– (There is a cool clock here that generates the amount of money we spend on the “War on Drugs” BY THE SECOND.)