A young woman came in and said she seemed to be losing her memory. She worried about Alzheimer’s and was convinced this was her problem. Just a few minutes later, I learned about her smoking habits – ganja, started when she was 17, one every Sunday after church which turned into a Saturday night and after church which progressed to a joint every evening, and now, 2-3 joints a day.
Now I am not anti-fun aunty, but I am the idiot who needs to get to the bottom of many controversial political or religious spats under the sun. So I read the research. Not the news. News does no service to the complexities of any issue. News takes a topic, turns it around, looks at the pointy corners, and decides whether it is pretty enough to glamorize or gory enough to create moral panic. Sounds a bit harsh, but News wants a narrative, not a debate.
Here is what I find. The biggest redeeming grace of marijuana is the perception that it is medicinal. Yes, it is only a perception. And yes, also it is somewhat medicinal – but not the way you think (yes, I can read your mind, especially if you are one of the cool, fun types). Marijuana might be useful in reducing nausea induced by chemo treatment, and it can help you with chronic pain. And if you happen to be one of the 8 out of every 100,000 Sri Lankans that have multiple sclerosis, marijuana could decrease spasticity associated with MS. (MS can cause muscles to feel stiff and heavy). A substack worth reading is here: What if weed is sometimes bad?
Influential sources of marijuana information spread myths such as marijuana is not addictive, has preventative health benefits, and is safe to smoke or use during pregnancy. What are these influential sources? This survey tells us,
the most significant source of information regarding marijuana was from social media or the Internet, the marijuana industry, or friends or relatives (who) were more likely to believe unsupported claims about marijuana.
The commercialization of marijuana in the US is expected to bring in more than $50 billion in revenue. And along with the money, the writers have become more creative.
So now you know why writing is becoming the most popular skill to get in the 21st century! Writing is money. In our everyday world, there is no middle ground that could be found easily. But it exists. Only if you go the extra mile to find trusted sources. That means, not social media, not news, and not your friends.