It was a snowy, cold, typical, Alberta, December winter night. I had just made the transition, from boyhood, to a young teen. That evening, after my thirteenth birthday party; a few of my friends and I, decided it was appropriate now, to try a beer. It was a pilsner, to be exact. As the foamy liquid hit my taste buds, it was absolutely horrendous, to say the least. I struggled to get half of the beer down, before tossing it under the neighbors truck. This drinking thing, wasn’t what it was all hyped up to be. My drinking career, would come to a quick end, for a couple years after that. Jumping forward, to the delicate age of fifteen, a few things come to mind, puberty, divorce, partying, and I would repair my relationship, with alcohol. The first party I ever experienced, had everything, bands, dj’s, kegs, gangs, stabbings, and hundreds, if not upwards of a thousand people. Biggest and best party I ever went to, and first time I got overly drunk. My parents had just got divorced, and I had now found a way, with dealing with it. Drinking, was better than therapy. I mean, I never went and got proper therapy. Although, this drinking thing, would help guide me through my teen years. I reflect back on it now, and drinking almost every weekend, and even some school nights, I would say, I unquestionably had, alcoholic tendencies. Alcohol, is an extremely easy thing to take up; especially in Alberta, where you will find a liquor store, on ever other block.
Now, I’m going to be very clear when I state this, this isn’t just my opinion, it’s 100 percent a fact, ALCOHOL IS THE GATEWAY DRUG! Think about it, did you start drinking before any other drug? All my friends drank alcohol first, as well as, almost everyone else, I’ve questioned about this. It’s ludicrous to classify drugs and alcohol, as two separate things. A drug is defined as: any mind or mood altering substances. No other drug, has the impact alcohol has, on the majority of the population. Its harmful effects, kills more people than any other drug (with the exception of western pharmaceuticals). In fact, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), 2.5 million people die annually, to alcohol related deaths (200, 000 people die yearly from cocaine, heroin causes 100, 000 deaths, meth causes approximately 1000 deaths a year), causing illness and injury to millions more. 320, 000 young people, aged range from, 15-29, die annually from alcohol-related matters; resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group. Alcohol, is the world’s third largest risk factor, for disease. A few diseases cause by alcohol are: cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, seizures, high blood pressure, nerve damage, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, gout, and approximately 160, 000 people will succumb to psychosis, annually. (Lysergic acid (LSD), causes zero people psychosis, in very rare cases, if that person is already prone to psychosis, the acid will just bring it out of them).
Its truly a tragedy, that such a harmful drug is legal, and available everywhere you look. Its like its praised everywhere, things like commercials and billboards, brainwash people into believing it’s a positive thing. Its fucked up, some parents will make it “OK” for their kids to drink such a powerful, mind altering, substance, from such young age. You look outside the western world, and see other countries looking in. What they see is: let’s say western society was a vehicle, the oil to run this vehicle, is represented by alcohol. Alcohol is a very dangerous, mind and body killing, gateway drug.
Shortly after, my mysterious and innocent, sixteenth. I would let a few friends, convince me to try this stuff called, marijuana. The five of us, would all convene at the local graveyard. As the joint was passed around, I nervously awaited my turn. I recall a very pungent odor, kinda smelled like a hint of mowed grass, mixed with burnt popcorn, and a touch of skunk. I took a hoot, coughed my lungs out, and passed it on. After a few go a rounds with the weed, we left. It had absolutely no effect on me, again, the hype around it, wasn’t what it seemed. Mary-Jane and I, would cross paths again, several months later. Now, I felt like I was more ready for her. I spent some time, bombarding fellow companions with multiple questions, such as, ” What’s the feeling like to be high?” and, “How much exactly, do you have to intake, to become high?” Furthermore, spent time observing others, that were stoned. One night, before attending a social gathering, a group of us, would find ourselves passing the green around a fire. This time, I felt mixed emotions. I felt giggly, nervousness, with a splash of euphoria. It wasn’t a drunk, howling at the moon feeling. As the night went on, we made our way to a local party. The nervous feeling, was now strongly overpowering, the euphoric one. I made two huge mistakes that evening: The first, mixing alcohol with pot. Two, going to a party, with a substantial amount of people, at the peak of the high.
It wasn’t until, closer to the age of 19, I would really start to pick up the joints. It was wonderful. It helped me sleep; if I was feeling down, it gave me a that euphoric feeling; aided with hangovers (mixing alcohol with pot, is a terrible idea); if I had a pain in my body, it masked that hurt. I would use it socially, it help me interact with others. It really helped me deal with the job, I didn’t really want to be at. That’s the beauty of the oilfield though, they can pay you ridiculous amounts of money. And in turn, gives you a false greedy hope (myself included, I fell into it), not everyone though; but the majority of people i’ve seen, it does. If I had a bad day at work, I’d pick up either a joint, bong, pipe, make my own pop can pipe, vaporizer, blades, you name it, I tried it. If I had a good day at work, I’d come home, and enhance that good feeling, with the herb. I’ve eaten weed butter, put it on toast, in cookies, in brownies, tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) pills. Eaten cannabis, is a whole different trip. I’ve had experiences, where I ate so much THC, I slept for two days afterwards. Although, eating it, has proven amazing health benefits.
Marijuana, has profound health benefits, for those who need it. An extraordinary amount of studies, have now demonstrated, it aides in the help of the ill. With things such as:
- Its an active pain reliever
- Shown, to lower insulin levels in diabetics
- Prevents blindness, from glaucoma
- Helps with neurological damage, such as, concussions and strokes
- Treats epilepsy and tourette’s
- It fights anxiety, depression and ADHD
- Can stop HIV from spreading
- It slows the progression of Alzheimer’s
- Helps people with multiple sclerosis
- Helps prevent, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea, with those with Crohn’s and IBS
- Aids migraines
- It kills cancer cells
And the list, goes on…
This blog, I won’t get into details, on how our biggest neurotransmitters, are cannabinoids. And how, marijuana, can boost these neurotransmitters, to properly balance your brain, and body chemicals. I believe, as an adult, a person should be able to smoke, ingest, marijuana, if one chooses to do so. I feel like it should be incorporated, within the pharmaceutical companies, globally. It saves lives, no one has ever overdosed, taking this beautiful plant specimen. You literally, would have to ingest, 1,500 pounds of marijuana, in 15 minutes, in order to overdose.
I now believe, this powerful plant medicine, should only be used, for people who medically need it, and or those who don’t abuse it. I used it for the wrong reasons. I used it as a crutch; a crutch to hold me up, from the things I was running from, that happened to me in the past. I abused such an important medicine, that saves the lives of many. Instead, I now do things like, yoga, meditation (this one has been most important for me), sensory deprivation, working out. Just research online, how to meditate, or Youtube yoga videos, workout videos, etc. I make these things my habit now. Go outside, go into the trees, look up at the stars, look around at the beauty of nature, look at how other animals interact with their world. Now, that is a trip within itself. Life is beautiful. Follow your heart, smile, be happy.