NORML’s Eleven Surprising Things About Marijuana That Seniors Need to Know

[Editor’s note: Going into Tuesday’s historic vote in six states on legalization and medical cannabis ballot initiatives, one of the last, but not too unsurprising hold out demographics in America to fully embrace cannabis law reform are senior citizens.

Please share the below essay, a distillation of author Laurel Dewey’s wonderfully readable book Betty’s (Little Basement) Garden, with friends and family in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Montana, Arkansas and Massachusetts.

Also, checkout the great work of the Silver Tour, coordinated by Robert Platshorn, which is the premiere public advocacy project today reaching out to America’s senior citizens about medical cannabis and the need for law reforms.]

By Laurel Dewey

During the nearly two years I spent researching my book, Betty’s (Little Basement) Garden, I met a lot of seniors who were intrigued with the idea of using marijuana to either replace their prescription medications or eliminate them completely. The problem was that most of these people had either never used marijuana or had bought hook, line and sinker into the fervent propaganda campaigns against the herb. Many of the seniors I interviewed told me they’d be open to using the herb if they knew it was effective and safe. Based on my conversations with them, I complied a list of the most common questions and concerns they had. In addition, some of the seniors shared their observations and reactions with me when they used marijuana for the first time.

1. Marijuana is SAFER than prescription medications.

This might be hard to believe if you’ve been trained to believe the propaganda campaigns but it’s absolutely true. According to the CDC, in 2008, 36,450 deaths were attributed to prescription drug overdose. How many people have died from using marijuana? NONE. Ever. If you look at the stats, acetaminophen is more dangerous than marijuana, leading to the death of over 450 people annually. And the “side effects” of marijuana are minor in comparison to the side effects of many prescription drugs. You will NEVER see a warning such as, “This drug may increase the likelihood of suicide or suicidal thoughts,” connected to marijuana. Sadly, the same cannot be said for other medications.

2. Marijuana is not addictive.

Ask any responsible individual who uses marijuana and they will tell you that the herb is not physically addictive. People can use marijuana daily and then stop it “cold turkey” and their body will not revolt with shakes, tremors or sweat-soaked withdrawal. Ask that same marijuana user and he/she will happily tell you that marijuana is “habitual” and “a pleasant respite” from pain, anxiety and stress. Looking forward to feeling that relief is more akin to looking forward to reconnecting with an old friend than the anxiousness that surrounds “getting your next fix.” As one woman told me, “I’m addicted to getting a good night’s sleep. Marijuana helps make that possible because it forces my mind to stop racing and I can finally relax.”

3. Marijuana can increase the uptake of certain pharmaceutical drugs, allowing one to reduce the daily dose of their medication.

Research shows that certain cannabinoids—especially the psychoactive cannabinoid THC—within the marijuana plant can and do increase the delivery of various classes of drugs. For example, marijuana naturally lowers blood pressure and often regulates it over time. Thus, if you are taking blood pressure medicine while also using marijuana, you need to be watchful and keep an eye on your blood pressure. Opiates are typically enhanced when marijuana is used concurrently. The bottom line is that marijuana has the potential for accentuating the effect(s) of many popular drugs because it has the capability of also replacing those drugs for some users. That brings us to #4…

4. Marijuana can and does replace multiple OTC and prescription medications.

One of the obvious complaints seniors have regarding their daily medications is that the first pill often causes side effects that the second one is supposed to “fix.” But that rarely happens and more drugs are typically prescribed, until the patient doesn’t know whether their medicine is doing them more harm than good. Marijuana is a multiple dimensional healing plant that targets varied conditions such as inflamed joints, high blood pressure, chronic pain, digestive disorders, constipation, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cognitive awareness and more. Thus, this herb could easily replace close to one hundred percent of what’s in senior’s medicine cabinet right now.

5. Marijuana does not cause brain damage or lower IQ.

“I don’t want to use anything that’ll make me more dingy than I already am!” I heard this comment a lot from seniors. Some were genuinely convinced that if they took one puff of a marijuana cigarette, their mental capacity would sharply diminish and remain that way. While neophytes may need to learn how to “train their brains” when they use marijuana, there is absolutely no documentation that shows the herb reduces or “kills brain cells.” In fact, the opposite is possibly true. Studies with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients indicate that the herb gradually encourages new neural pathway development in the brain and could be a neuron protector, allowing those with impaired brain function to potentially halt further degeneration and even elicit enhanced cerebral function. Furthermore, marijuana actually encourages creative problem solving, with some users reporting being able to “figure out solutions to problems I’ve been struggling with for a long time.”

6. There are specific marijuana strains that have been bred to remove “the high.”

A certain percentage of the seniors I talked to were adamant when they told me, “If I could get the medical benefit from the plant without the high, I’d consider it.” That’s absolutely possible now, thanks to a cannabinoid called CBD (Cannabidiol). Plant breeders are working overtime to develop “high CBD strains” that either have no THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana) or have a small percentage of it. CBD is great for inflammation, eases pain, stimulates bone growth, suppresses muscular spasms, reduces anxiety and increases mental focus.

7. You do NOT have to smoke marijuana to gain the benefits from it.

Understandably, a lot of seniors either can’t smoke due to health issues or choose not to smoke. And thanks to the “stoner persona,” they believe that the only other way to take the herb is via the ubiquitous “pot” brownie. The fact is that marijuana can be added to just about any regular recipe in the form of cannabis infused butters or oils. For example, you can replace your salad dressing oil with “canna-oil” (marijuana infused olive oil) and discreetly ingest it at mealtime. There are also liquid extracts, syrups, lozenges, candies, chocolates, etc. to choose from. Liquid extracts allow users to “titrate” or regulate their dose. In other words, one can literally take the extract drop by drop every ten minutes or so until they reach the point of physical or mental relief they’re after. For those who miss smoking and like inhaling marijuana, vaporizing is alternative to smoking. Vaporizing allows the user to inhale the heat sensitive essential oils while smoking the herb tends to burn those up.

8. Marijuana-infused products can be used topically for effective relief from cuts, burns and inflammatory pain.

Most people can’t believe the topical powers of this ancient herb until they see it in action for themselves. One woman suffered a moderate burn on her finger that was quite painful. Her niece applied a small amount of a concentrated marijuana salve and bandaged it. The woman reported that her finger stopped hurting almost immediately and within three days new skin had grown over the burn. A simple marijuana-infused salve can diminish arthritic joint pain and works quite well for low back discomfort. And there is NO cerebral psycho-activity from topical use of marijuana-infused products.

9. Marijuana use will not necessarily make you fat.

A lot of seniors may not know much about marijuana but they have heard about “the munchies” that the herb is purported to encourage. Yes, it’s true that this plant can stimulate the appetite but the distinction should be made that appetite “enhancement” is also likely. What this means is that if a senior is not interested in food, if they use marijuana and then take a bite of food, the taste and texture of that bite is often improved and the desire to experience that same taste sensation again is increased. The concern about “getting fat” when you use marijuana is not a fait accompli. If you need to put on extra weight, marijuana can help make that happen. But there are also those who use marijuana daily in their food and report either losing extra pounds or stabilizing at a weight that better suits them.

10. There are thousands of marijuana strains and they are good for different things.

One strain does not fit all. There are strains that are specific for anxiety and strains that are targeted for insomnia. You wouldn’t want to take a strain that is meant for deep and restful sleep when you needed to interact and function with friends and family. Likewise, ingesting a strain that is meant for social interaction and creative problem solving when you really just want to get some sleep would not be your best choice. Most of the seniors I talked to didn’t know the difference between an Indica strain and a Sativa strain. And Indica is more sedating to the body and mind while a Sativa is much more elevating and energizing. Even when one finds a marijuana strain that consistently works for them, it can be advantageous for seniors to try different strains because tolerance to the same strain has been known to build up.

11. Marijuana can be fun.

One thing I noticed with the seniors I talked to is that many of them feel like life has no excitement left. Then, after using marijuana, many of them gushed to me about they “haven’t laughed that hard in years,” or how they noticed something about their surroundings that they’d never seen before. “Life,” as one woman expressed it, “was enhanced.” Colors were more vivid, music was crisper, her morning coffee tasted better and overall, she felt “reacquainted” with the world around her. Others told me that they enjoyed better social interaction and were able to “forget” or “leave behind” their doldrums and grief and “breathe in life again.” For those seniors who have become stuck in their ways, marijuana can afford them the opportunity to be more creative and even experiment with ideas and concepts that are outside their scope of comfort.

What I took away from all these wonderful people was the realization that marijuana has the potential to improve seniors’ lives on multiple levels. For those who enjoyed it, it was their ally for physical maladies and a friend to them when sadness, anxiety or depression lurked closer. For those who were intrigued by it but were also nervous about what they’d been told, education—free from propaganda—was the key to unlocking their courage and giving a little plant the chance to change their life.

*                                               *                                         *

Laurel Dewey is the best selling author of the Jane Perry thriller series as well as the standalone novel, Betty’s (Little Basement) Garden, the first fiction novel featuring medical marijuana in Colorado. Laurel lives with her husband and two orange cats in rural Western Colorado.

Author’s homepage

Join Laurel on Facebook

Email Contact:


54 thoughts

  1. Let me preface this by saying I support marijuana legalization, and medical marijuana (although the way it’s handled is kinda BS). I also believe that DARE etc. have grossly overstated the risks of marijuana.

    But this article *bothers* me. Don’t say things like “Marijuana is SAFER than prescription medications.” Or “You will NEVER see a warning such as, “This drug may increase the likelihood of suicide or suicidal thoughts,” connected to marijuana. Sadly, the same cannot be said for other medications.” That last one is pretty clearly a dig at SSRIs. Because there is evidence that if one is already has, or is predisposed to, mental illness, especially bipolar or things on the schizo sprectrum, marijuana can exacerbate them badly.

    If you’re going to advocate medical marijuana, don’t gloss over real risks.

    [Editor’s note: OK….what pray tell are medical marijuana’s “real risks” that worry you?]

    1. The great thing about legalization of this amazing plant is that we can now do research on it and be able to find out what strain makes one more “paranoid” than the other. Or which one acts like a “valium” VS a “Vicodin”. The stigma behind the plant has materialized out of thin air and there is nothing to back it. The flower child era was laced with countless drugs and it was all about “free love” and parties. There is a whole new energy behind this movement I feel. Its not a bunch of stoners trying to get f’d up. All walks of life are seeing the benefits and are turning a blind eye no longer. I am excited about this and as long as we can minimize the “gangster drug dealer & addict” types that give the industry a bad name, people will continue to see how absolutely and completely SAFE this plant is!!! Is there any drug in this world that you can not overdose on besides Cannibis??? I’ll use cannabis ANY DAY over a pill with a list side-effects worse than the ailment I’m taking it for!!!!!!!

  2. What are the bad points – there needs to be a balance ?

    1) Your health insurance will not pay for it

    2) You can be sent to jail for a very long time if caught

    3) You can be discriminated against and not allowed to participate in many aspects of society

    … Wait a moment all those are consequences of the current legal status – so the only bad thing is the LAW. hmmm some one should do something about that 😎

    [Editor’s note: LOL! Right on!!]

  3. It’s good that the seniors are learning about the medical aspects of cannabis,but it is not like its completely foreign to them.

    Even though it’s hard to beleive,the “flower children of the psychadelic age of the mid to late 60’s are in their 70s now. And the stoner generation that came right after, in the mid 1970s,the ones that listened to Led -Zeppelin while blasting bong loads of columbian with all the seeds and stems in their stash, are approaching their 60s

    Those demographics can not be ignored.

    They basically know that cannabis is a relatively benign substance in contrast with everything else going on in society,and are not as easily swayed by the propoganda tactics that the earlier generations where.

    The Frank Sinatra -Dean Martin – Martini swiggin generation(God bless them) that where in the
    middle- age’s when Ronald Reagan was president, are now mostly in convelescent homes or have gone on to the other side. They are, where, more impressionable, having been raised during the 30s
    with the “reefer madness” campaigns that where going on at the time.

    So i think the ‘older set, are a significant factor of why the percentages of approval for cannabis legislation is growing.

  4. Im always willing to do work wtvr it may be. From mowingg the lawn to running errands…wtvr it may be.

  5. Yes, indeed. Marijuana is a blessing for older folks. I’ve been using it on and off for over 40 years whenever I could find it and afford those outrageous black market prices or, ideally, when surreptitious garden efforts work and provide a free supply.

  6. Hello, I would like to share my story.

    I grew up as the only child and sadly my parents were drug addicts and

    divorced when I was around 8 years of age. My father had a gambling

    problem and a terrible drinking habit. My mother tried hiding her

    cigerettes and pill popping habits from me but I could either see it in

    her face or smell the disgusting odor from time to time.

    As I grew up in Southern California, we were shown the terrible effects

    of drugs through the D.A.R.E program and the countless police officers

    who came in as ‘Special guests’ to inform our classroom about drug usage

    as well. Again, marijuana was part of it, but little did I know that I

    was being greatly misinformed.

    Gradually over the years of schooling and tutoring, I excelled

    academically and kept a promise to myself never to fall victim to the

    addiction that my parents suffered. However, that did not stop me from

    experimenting conservatively like any curious adolescent and I tried

    drinking with friends, popping pain pills, even tweaking crystal meth

    which I definitely do not approve of.

    Luckily, by the time I reached age 19, I joined the United States Navy as

    a Nuclear Reactor Operator and stopped experimenting everything and

    altogether. Sadly that wasn’t the case with my other friends who couldn’t

    find an outlet and continued to dwell in that destructive behavior.

    Again, I excelled for many years and ironically it was this time that I

    experimented again but with Marijuana. Oh, what a terrible experience

    this was! I must have inhaled too much of it for my first time, because I

    ended up very paranoid and could not eat my pizza because I thought I was

    lost in the restaurant.

    Anyways, a couple more years went by, I realized I could not drink

    anymore because I got sick each time and I was never an alcohol person

    and yet, my father was. After I was discharged I was hooked on Klonopin

    for agitation and anxiety and that continued for 8 miserable years, which

    the Military had no problems of prescribing a LIFETIME supply of. And of

    course, I learned the hard away that Klonopin was one of the worst

    prescription drugs to be addicted to.

    In May of 2011, I finally quit Klonopin and each time I visit the VA

    Hospital, I tell them with great pride that it was Medical marijuana that

    help me quit that prescription death grip. I could go into detail on the

    hellish experiences I was going through but that is another story!

    The insulting thing was that none of my Doctors at the VA believed that

    story and even worse was that they got upset over the fact that I was

    taking Cannabis in the first place! I was very offended to say the least

    and on top of that, after kicking Klonopin the Doctors asked me if I was

    interested in taking a different prescription!

    At that point, I was convinced that the whole VA system was a house full

    of robots working for Pharmaceuticals. I could not figure out how these

    respectable people could continue to be ill informed and even worse

    continue to give out these prescription drugs like candy? I was very

    upset over the whole thing and I walked out disgusted and never returned.

    Sadly, I also quit marijuana about a month after I quit Klonopin because

    I wanted to see how far I could go with being free and pure again.

    Cannabis that ultimately saved my life, went out of my life as well. The

    funny thing is, stopping marijuana was a cake-walk compared to stopping

    Klonopin! And during all these months, I always reflected and looked back

    on how lucky I was and how fortunate to not fall victims like my parents

    and friends did. Sometimes, I want to smoke marijuana again to ease my mind, to help me sleep,to think openly again, but I just

    have this guilt feeling that I am doing something wrong, that it is STILL

    illegal somewhere.

    I am very grateful about Washington and Colorado, never in my lifetime

    did I expect something like this to happen and I hope it does in just a

    couple of days. I am also very proud of my achievement. It is one of my

    deepest personal goals and I never figured out why VA Doctors could not

    see this, and why they would rather discuss moral opinions but I suppose

    that is something not to stress over.

    I have been drug free for 535 days and still counting! I don’t drink

    alcohol, no cigarettes, no pill, not even Tylenol for that matter, no

    caffeine, barely any sugar and I go from vegetarian to vegan and back

    from time to time. It is the most beautiful feeling in the world and each

    day I wake up thanking the cosmos and I have never been happier. Not for

    one second do I ever think about going back. I don’t think I ever will!
    I also haven’t done cannabis in a long time either but if Washingon

    and/or Colorado passes, I just might celebrate. Well that is my story,

    Thank you Cannabis Sativa! ~Cheers

  7. To KYLA below me,
    Kyla, I’m really glad that you are on NORML’s site! It means that you have an open mind about marijuana and are considering alternatives to the “hearsay soaked” public opinion. If I could, I would like to ask you to open your mind one more time. You said that the article’s assertion that “marijuana is safer than prescription medications” bothers you. Yes, that does sound pretty drastic when you allow yourself to follow a reflex reaction. However, when we look at the evidence it is actually a very true statement! I like the statistics that were provided and feel that they are sufficient support for the statement, but also consider the nature of “prescription” medication. It is not one thing… it is many, and indeed some are far more harmful than others. In order to quantify this we would have to compare marijuana to every single prescription and average the values. I am quite certain that marijuana stands very tall in the category of safety when compared to MOST medications, especially those in the pain management, blood pressure, and anti psychotic categories. Also, I would like you to remember that these “side effects” are not really side effects in the way most people compartmentalize the idea. Those are effects… simply another action the drug takes on ones body, and certainly an indicator to its toxicity.

    I understand your concern in the area of “the domino effect” theory that many people adhere to. This phenomenon in which high risk people are “thrown over the edge” into their latent mental disorder after puffing a joint. While this evidence is highly anecdotal and this argument may be approached from many angles, I believe that the best remedy for this question is found in research. Heres an awesome article that outlines research invested in the use of CBD (a marijuana constituent) to treat TRS schizophrenic patients. {} Also, another great clinical study can be read at {} where the efficacy of cannabis is tested against a multitude of mental illnesses. In a nutshell, 98% of the research I have read indicates acute ANTI psychotic activity in marijuana constituents. Most even find a nice, predictable bell shaped curve! Awesome! Anyways, just thought I would let you know what I have discovered on the topic through my own personal research.

  8. 11. Marijuana can be fun.
    That is my favorite. It does bring back the real forgotten joy of living.

  9. Gen 1:29
    Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

    The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “food” as

    1. a substance taken in and assimilated by an organism to maintain life and growth; nourishment
    4. Something that stimulates or encourages,

    The same creator that made you and I has also created natural food for us to consume.

    Everything our body needs has already been provided. Why then should we be deprived of a God-given right for a certain kind of food?

  10. What Kyla was saying is that marijuana can push people with predisposed risk of schizophrenia all the way over the edge and simply telling people to drop their antidepressants and start smoking is bad advice. There’s nothing incorrect about your facts and statements but putting allcaps on SAFER and NEVER is misleading. The real risks she was referencing are not marijuana’s but risks for people who have underlying mental issues which can be exposed.

  11. Wanna reduce health care costs across the board? Legalize marijuana and watch the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies get nervous.

  12. For those who haven’t smoked and still believe the propaganda.. Please stay off of this website.. I am beyond tired of hearing people whine and complain about how Cannabis is supposedly bad for you and that it isn’t safe.. Your wrong and those whose use Cannabis know your wrong.. Your voice is only being accepted by the people who are naive to the truth.. Experience is always better than hearsay.. I have schizophrenic people in my family which predisposes me.. Are you saying that people like me are schizophrenic? That is a large leap when it comes down to dominant and recessive alleles..

  13. One more thing by the way.. I was diagnosed Manic Bipolar which I choose to personally self-medicate with an Indica which acts like a mild tranquilizer.. The doctor pushed pills on me for years that destroyed my stomach lining and gave me ulcers at 22.. I don’t trust people who are more willing to meet a drug rep than see a patient.. Plants are the base of most common medications so to say that there is not a plant that helps for most ailments and is harmful is a joke.

  14. hey all i read earlier on the huffington post that amsterdam decided to keep the coffee shops open to tourists!!!!!!the reason now get this besides being 1/3 of their income it would also create a black market,gangs,crime would go up,and they said screw that we like it just the way it is

  15. My sister has been seeing a dermatologist for skin problems. He prescribed some very expensive topical lotion. It didn’t help. She asked me if I thought hemp oil would help. I told her everything I have read about it was that it worked very well. She tried it and the results were very good and the oil is inexpensive. She told all of her friends and now they are all using it. She is 60 years old. If seniors start using hemp it could really change their lives for the better.

  16. The greatest risk to this is I might be in the idiot state that holds out till last before I can get my medical grade oil delivered.

  17. I’m a supporter of Amendment 64 not because I smoke marijuana but because of the benefits of industrial hemp. That’s beside the fact however because the main issue is about smoking cannabis. If your on the fence with this issue please educate yourself on cannabis and then go have a look at More specifically go to their myths facts sheet page and see for yourself the lies, propaganda, what have you that they like spreading about a fucking plant.

  18. @ Young Smoker

    “I don’t trust people who are more willing to meet a drug rep than see a patient”

    Thank you, that sentence rocks and I agree completely.

  19. There are lots of stories about people smoking pot for the first time including myself that would feel a bit confused after the first few puffs, and all day could not understand what so good about it, until I try again a year later. Then it becomes a more welcoming feeling.
    Does anybody remember their first coffee, their first beer, their first cigarette?
    Smoking and not smoking pot can both be fun, it’s not like smoking tobacco. If it is legally available then people don’t have to go out and take a risk with underground drug pushers.
    Within a year or two some people may no longer think of it as a big deal. They may become allies against hard drugs.

  20. It’s all about personal choices. I grew up hard. A lot of the people in the same position have let one thing or another get the best of them and they didn’t care or didnt see it happening. That was them. Can’t fix stupid. I knew at a young age that i had choices. I started smoking pot in my late teens when my brothers came back from Vietnam. I stopped drinking in my early 30s. It was something that I knew was bad. I quit smoking cigs. in my 40s. Nobody forced me. I stopped getting high to keep my job. Thats forcing me plus pisses me off. Getting high is the best stress relief that’s out there. Well.. besides sex.

  21. Dear Kyla and T., while marijuana in general might aggravate some symptoms of a few mental ills, it does help with many more. It should not be thought of as a replacement for medication, but it does have very helpful effects on the nervous system which other legal drugs cannot achieve and it has far fewer side effects. This is both fewer negative mental side effects and fewer physical side effects. So yes, it is completely accurate to say marijuana is safer in general.

    Probably some folks with issues should only consume particular strains that have a chemical profile friendly to their bodies; or perhaps they just need to refrain. 🙂 Marijuana is quite an amendable species. We can breed new strains for different purposes or even help treat certain conditions.

    This point is, however, unlike nearly all other drugs that are toxic; marijuana is not toxic and that is the number one reason it is so safe for the user. All the chemicals in marijuana are safely digested or otherwise consumed by your body. This cannot be said of hundreds of weird and unnatural chemicals found in manmade drugs; nearly all of which are very toxic and must be carefully managed in small doses or they can shutdown, damage or kill some system in your body.

    You’d have to somehow put the stuff some of these pills are made from into the marijuana to make it as dangerous as they are.

  22. As usual, great information from Laurel Dewey. I’d just like to add that you don’t have to wait for high-CBD strains to appear, you can start microdosing cannabis at any time to get the benefits of the plant without getting high. I’ve found this particularly useful for depression and anxiety.

    You can also eat raw buds or juice raw leaves without getting high, and these techniques help a number of different physical ailments.

  23. I support NORML to “Free the Weed” Our forefathers grew and I’m sure smoked it. Enough of a Drug War that is a total Farce and end the Prohibition in the U.S.

  24. I am a senior who lived in two worlds. My business friends did not smoke. Most of them are dead. My hippie friends are still kicking for the most part. It is only anecdotal but does weed make you live longer?

  25. Can one purchase CBD extract through the mail legally? I am seeking the medical marijuana for pain, antiinflammatory, immune system support–NONpsychotropic. Would also be interested in the salve for pain. Thank you for any advice you can give.

  26. @JZ, A company named DIXIE X has just put out a product called DEW DROPS that is made with industrial hemp and a other high CBD strains. It has ZERO THC in it and it will be sold nationwide in the next few weeks. Just Google “Dixie X Dew Drops” and you should find it. They also sell a high CBD capsule but it’s really expensive. The Dew Drops retail for $50.00 for a one ounce bottle.

  27. I am so thankful that the state laws are starting to fall – and with the feds? HEY, FEDS!! You’re supposed to be nothing but a bureaucratic center – the STATES are SOVEREIGN and you have NO RIGHT to go in and trample their decisions! Anyway, I live in a state that only *just* this summer allowed liquor sales on Sunday, so I’m not holding my breath they’ll join the medical cannabis bandwagon until everyone else in the world has done so first, but… I hope out hope. I hold out hope that someday I can get off this morphine and oxycodone and instead use cannabis to treat my pain; that I can get off Zanaflex and instead use cannabis to treat my spasms. That I can get off klonopin and instead use cannabis to treat my anxiety. What a wonderful day that will be!

  28. if this tends to be too long, please forgive me. i’ve served over 8 years in the U.S. Army and spent 3 1/2 of those years living overseas. I was almost done with basic training when 9/11 happened. There are many things that i would like to see changed in this world, mainly because i have a son who is almost 10 now and I don’t like thinking about the society that he is growing into. His school has ordered for him to be on ADHD medication since he started school; He has always been his own source of entertainment, and that doesn’t work out well in the school program. I noticed his behavioral change when he started taking medications immediately; He laughed less, wasn’t as outgoing, and would cry over the most meaningless things. My little man could not conform on his own, so he is now forced daily medication just to be able to attend school. I have ADHD, I didn’t find out until i was 25, and it explains why I didn’t complete Jr. High, why I only have my G.E.D., and why I excel so well at the things that interest me. I was put on medication to help me with my ADHD, and i was more organized but very tired. I stopped taking the medication and realized that marijuana had greater effects, I was attentive and would see my tasks out until they were completed, and I was satisfied.

    I started using drugs around the age of 15; I have overdosed over 5 times. I had a 50/50 life, I have plenty of memories I try to suppress, but there are more that I would like to remember. I would like to say that I chose the wrong crowd, but I didn’t. i was raised in church, and a christian school, i even played in the worship band on wednesday nights and went on missions trips across the world. But somehow, surrounded by all this “love”, I wasn’t fitting in this life. I started taking cold medicine in large quantities, then added nitrous oxide, and alcohol. I later joined the army at the age of 18, I hated the fact that I had to shave my head, but I loved it, basic training was something new everyday (which is awesome when you have a form of ADD), I went through with flying colors. Then came AIT, and thats where everything changed. Once I realized that I would be doing the same thing everyday for months, I couldn’t handle it. One night back at the barracks, I took a few boxes of cold medication and ended up overdosing that night, nobody helped me. I talked a friend into going awol, and we snuck out one night and went from Kentucky to Washington, then Washington to Texas, our hometown. Our moms brought us back to Fort Knox, talked with our drill sergeants and did their best as parents. I told the Drill sergeants that I had smoked marijuana while I was awol and they decided to give me a urinalysis so they could put me in jail and chapter me out of the military; they even reduced the awol sentence to the minimum of 7 days extra duty so the dirty urinalysis would take affect ASAP. Well the UA came up clean and after just 7 days of being awol, i was permitted to go on Christmas exodus, and thats when my whole life began to spin out of control. What I learned was that as long as I didn’t smoke pot, I didn’t have to worry about anything being in my system when I got tested, so I did everything else. A few sober ( I only say sober because I quit using drugs but still drank heavily, its what you do in the military ) years later I was married and had a son, life was great. A couple years after that i got divorced and my ex-wife moved with my son to california, this was the worst time in my life. the only way I knew to fight the feeling was to go back to the use of drugs. I was scared to smoke marijuana because I knew I would get caught, so I used cocaine and ecstasy. I was so strung out, I was doing a little over an 8 ball a day, and selling just so I could support my habit. I failed 2 drug tests, one for an insane amount of cocaine in my system, the other I came up positive for: cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamines, designer methamphetamines, amphetamines, designer amphetamines, heroin, and marijuana. I was court marshaled and sentenced to 9 months in prison in oklahoma. while I was there I was put on so many medications, including one for ADHD. I began to see how this medication had an effect on me, I was organized and more accurate ( I would play dominoes until someone scored 1000 ), but there were still more drugs that they gave me. I was given ambien to help me sleep, I ended up abusing those and would wake up (somehow) missing an entire bottle.

    After I got out, I continued to see a psychiatrist for ADHD, they would put me on different medication to see which one had the least amount of side effects. One day I told them I wasn’t going to take it anymore and asked them questions about marijuana and the effects it has on ADD. There was a lady in Austin that was doing research on this and it interested me. I was told to stay away from marijuana and was later put on 8 different prescriptions that multiplied throughout the day. I blacked out for weeks at a time, and this went on for years, I even had hour long sessions with my therapist that I still to this day cannot remember. luckily, I missed too many appointments and am not allowed to return to that office. I started to see another psychiatrist and he immediately put me on a high dose of SYMBYAX, which knocked me out so bad my roommate could never wake me up. At this point I completely stopped smoking marijuana. There is a documentary about a comedian who stops smoking pot for 30 days, then smokes it non-stop for 30 days. I decided to give this a try. it was horrible, without having something that could easily level me out to where the doctors had been trying to get me, I was using anything I could just to feel right. I couldn’t focus, I was depressed, i was anxious, I was disorganized, and I was out of control. I was using meth, cocaine, heroin, any pill I could get my hands on, and as much alcohol as I could until I finally passed out. Even the K2 stuff they “legally” sell here is horrible, who’s in control of all this? I looked for what marijuana gives me, in everything, and could not find it. There is something about this plant, there is a reason it has been around for as long as we know, and there is a reason there are medical uses for it. When I look back now and see my life, what I’ve went through and what I’ve done, I could have stayed out of so much trouble if i was just able to smoke some weed. I might have even been able to graduate.

    I say all that so that I can comfortably say this: I don’t want this life for my son, and he is already in a system that has put him on lifelong medication at the age of 5. As much as I love this country, I want to raise him elsewhere, and give him a better future then the one that was laid out before me. I’ve loved Texas since the day I was born, but now I’m thinking of moving it all and going to colorado, they are on to something that i have been coming to realize might just be the way, or out of the country completely. Im tired of dying, I just want to be norml

  29. Hey there! I just would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you’ve got right here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.

  30. At age 74 and not having to work anymore, there is nothing as enjoyable has having a couple of toots and walking in one of our many beautiful nature trails.

  31. Psychiatry is a fraud.
    And marijuana?? Just another fraud. Now many people are making a lot of Money with the propaganda that marijuana is a miracle plant but the truth is that THC in marijuana is a hallucinogen that stays in the body for a long time. Pot heads are puppets. And I was one of them.

Leave a Reply