Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Grab The Ben Gay and Pass the Bong??

 Note: I apologize in advance. My t key is basically not working (I'm working on it). I have tried to correct everything with spell check, but there may be misssed areas and a he or two!!


In 2005, I fell down a flight of stairs in Germany, landing on my kneecap on the cobblestones. Without going into all the specifics, let's just say that while I did not break the knee, there was much permanent damage. Much of that damage is painful. I cannot wear anything but silky soft fabric on the knee, for example. Add that to my arthritis issues, and I have been looking for alternative therapies, and non prescription pain killers.

 One of those alternatives is now pot. That's right folks, I can just go to the store, plunk my money down and walk about with that famous, or infamous drug-in almost any form.

On January 1, stores in Colorado were allowed to sell pot.  Other states, including Washington, have of course voted to legalize marijuana sales, but so far only Colorado has put those laws fully into practice. For years, Colorado had a medical marijuana use law, and for the past year it has been legal to smoke or eat, but not legal to purchase except for medicinal purposes.  However, since the state had a retail system in place......

When I moved to Colorado the pending laws were often jokingly discussed. I once commented that I was moving to Colorado so that I could be a pot resident, not a pot tourist. And here I am.

When those stores opened on January first (and afterwards), there were all kinds of people standing in those lines. There were tourists from Kansas and Oklahoma. There were soccer moms, there were bankers.  Most importantly, at least for this discussion, there were lots and lots of retirees and boomers.  Sure, some were just making a statement after all these years, but most of them were there to use and, as the phrase goes, recreate.

Yes folks, baby boomers have been using marijuana at a constantly increasing rate for the past ten years. Just in the age group of 55 to 59 alone use of the drug has increased from 1.9 percent in 2002 to 6.6 percent in 2012.  And here we are in 2014.  While that's certainly not a majority of the population, it's a significant increase, and only accounts for those were comfortable admitting use.  That increase is higher than the increase in any other single age group, including that of my college student. Use among young people is still higher overall, but has been steadily declining since 1985-in spite of relaxed pot laws and attitudes.

Why is this increase highest among boomers?  Who knows?  Perhaps there were people who stopped using drugs while kids were in the house ?  Perhaps mores have relaxed overall?  Like 90 percent of the population of America, when I was in college (68-72) I tried a great many things. I was unable to enjoy pot-probably because I did not smoke and had trouble with the idea of inhaling into my lungs. Also, I liked the flavor of alcohol and wine-and still do.

Recently, the topic has been revisited, if only humorously,  in our abode. I have had to give up much of my wine drinking and alcohol because of headaches. Pot is available in a million forms these days, and comes from a million sources. On a very few days, I have lots of pain, and almost every pain medication available for this condition comes with darned side effects. And frankly, while I don't love the inhaling, I do love the end result. I can see myself sitting on the patio on the warm weather enjoying that end result-pain or no pain. Whether I can see myself siting on the patio where the neighbors can see or in front of my grown children is another issue entirely.

Will it happen, either for pain or pure enjoyment? I have no idea. I do know that my smoking with friends in the back yard is not going to bring the neighborhood down, increase he crime rate, or turn us all into layabouts. What I don't know is why it's taken society forty years to figure out what a bunch of twenty year olds of that generation already knew-and I'm not just talking about this issue.

Oh, and the coffers of the schools are going to be very full with the additional tax revenue around here!!!!! The price of that particular enjoyment has doubled here, albeit lower than purchasing on the stree.

As for today, I'm off to settle for some old fashioned Sara Lee cheesecake (still partially frozen) and that medicinal glass of red wine!!!

14 comments:

  1. You can always bake it!
    My mil used it for pain before it was illegal (1950's).
    I would have much preferred it for hubby instead of the morphine he had to use when his surgeries went bad. The withdrawl was horrid.

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    1. Yes, you can get it in all kinds of baked goods here already. But then I have the calories as well, lol.

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  2. Well,Barb, you can always be counted on to talk about things head on and it sounds like your chronic pain would benefit from a puff here and there.. so why not? I visited a friend in Oregon a couple of years ago--her husband took a little toke every afternoon around 5, while we ladies had our wine, on the patio.He suffered severe diabetic neuropathy and it eased his pain. He is not a drinker, never had been, wasn't about to start. Pain pills= side effects he could not tolerate, and they did not work very well. The first few days he hid in his den to smoke-- they somehow thought I might be offended (Hey! I am an old hippie,hard to offend me!!) On the third day I said,"Tom, just take out your pipe and enjoy. " By the way, he was a kind of cranky guy and was muuuuuch more pleasant to be with ,when he was "relaxed.." (I imagine years of chronic pain may do that to a personality!) So-- it's legal, it's safe and it works,why not? I'm still enjoying the chardonnay but if I had a chronic pain issues this would probably be a safe option I would consider.

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  3. While I am blessed to have true pain with a capital P only a few times a month I can see the result of that pain.

    a favorite joke in my family is the time that my thirty year old daughter was just in college and went with me to see Crosby Stills Nash and Young (my husband bough the tickets not realizing he was fully committed to a boy scout trip). Our seats were fairly high, and much of the audience was gray and booomerish but he smell was obvious. She just looked around and said "really???+

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  4. For sure, I have thought seriously about a road trip to Co for that purchasing power. I will try the baked variety due to respiratory problems. Heck with the calories; the thought of getting relief from fibromyalgia without side effects makes me feel almost giddy. Long term pain makes one feel very old and depressed. Might even help with seasonal disorder due to lack of sunshine. Thanks for presenting your thoughts on the subject.

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    1. Andrea, I can imagine that it might seriously help fibro. I would have to try and edible because I never could inhale (smoke or anything else). My thoughts are still ambivalent, lol.

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  5. There are many alternative therapies to be explored. I extol the benefits of a Chinese healing practice/acupressure, yoga and massage. So far I've managed to stay out of the doctors' offices. My concern is the lack of recognition for these alternative modalities and consequently the lack of insurance coverage. So much of the modern western medicine manages symptoms but doesn't get to the root of the problem and most doctors will denounce other modalities.

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    1. I'm with you. As I said earlier, I'm in the midst of research for arthritis and knee damage that doesnt include celebrex or surgery. Right now today I am exploring armomatherapy!

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  6. Alcohol or pot, I mean really, what's the diff? I say let's take the tax money legalizing it will generate, and run.

    We're adults, and as such most of us will use our common sense with this, just as we currently do with alcohol.

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    1. Yep, and the side effects of using pot is much less than the side effects to one's body of alcohol-even when used in moderation.

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  7. I did some in college and a little while afterwards, but found that it made me really paranoid. So I don't think it would help me out with any pain today. I take aspirin and do physical therapy -- and ice on the knee when it flares up -- and together they cure most of what ails me.

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  8. In my early rock DJ days in the 60s & 70s pot was just part of my life. Unlike cigarettes or alcohol, pot does not kill nor does it lead to harder drugs. I didn't have Tom's experience of paranoia, I just got mellow and hungry.

    It is about time society dumped the scare stories and accepts the fact that grass is so much less harmful than tobacco and booze. Like anything, if used in moderation I see absolutely nothing wrong with your toking up to ease your pain.


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  9. Barb,
    As a result of my fibro and polymyalgia rheumatica and other as yet undiagnosed conditions, I am almost always in pain...unless I am on steroids. Well, the steroids are not good for me and cause many dangerous side effects. I have sought out a Pain Management consultation at the suggestion of my physicians, but due to my liver disease I can't take the pain medications they most often prescribe. I am here to say...completely without flinching...that if PA ever legalizes pot and it can provide me with relief, WITHOUT all of the dangerous side effects and contraindications due to my other conditions, I will be using pot in any way, shape or form it is available. Chronic pain is horrendous and the negative impact on overall health is just beginning to be adequately explored. I never tried pot when I was young, but this is one boomer who is more than willing to use it as an adult, lol.

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  10. I feel like I should know about that weed but I just don't. I am sorry you fell. It is my worst nightmare when I am traveling. The idea just scares me a lot. Take very good care of yourself. If it will help any, I will drink an extra glass of red wine for you.

    Barabara

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