Speaking of being in the zone, “Have you considered marijuana?” floated past me on the conversational breeze.

It was my cardiologist speaking. Was I in the Twilight Zone? No, just him suggesting pot might be the perfect drug. For me. It would deal with a variety of issues. He wasn’t suggesting “medical marijuana” because though theoretically we have it, actually we don’t. Yet. Maybe someday.


“Uh, yes,” I said. “The downside, other than the price tag, is coughing. Coughing hurts.”

“Take in more air when you inhale,” he said. “You’ll cough less.”


I grew up in a world where getting busted for having a couple of joints in your pocket could land you in jail for a very long time. A world in which marijuana was the gateway drug to a life of dissipation and degradation. Which would end with you face down in a gutter in some part of town where even the cops won’t go.

Now I live in a world where ones doctors recommend smoking pot.

My mother was born in 1910 and passed in 1982. Growing up, horse-drawn carts were far more common than automobiles. She was a child during World War I, a married woman and a mother in World War II. She survived — somehow — the Great Depression and marched with friends and family in a spontaneous parade of celebration when the New Deal passed. Even though the Depression didn’t really end until the war came and brought employment to everyone who wasn’t fighting.


By the time she passed, there was cable television and home computers, two cars (at least) in every driveway. One day (I was a kid) I shouted “Oh look, a horse and cart!”

She looked bemused. “When I was your age,” she said, “We used to shout “Look, a motor car!”

And today, my doctor suggested I smoke pot. What a world, eh?

In Whose Zone?

Categories: American history, Anecdote, Health, Medical, Personal, Photography

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

40 replies

  1. Things sure flip fast. Yeah there are people who had their lives ruined after getting busted for pot. Though I’ve never upheld the idea that it’s harmless – avoid it if possible I say. Many people that i knew who were in the drug culture of the 60’s and 70’s stopped using pot – and everything else.
    Yet, if there’s medicinal benefits, good.


    • There were always medicinal benefits. It’s just that it was deemed less important than making sure no one enjoyed it’s other benefits. We are a culture that is anti-fun. On principle. It came here with the Pilgrim fathers and has hung around long past its due date.


  2. Is your cardiologist Dr. Chech or Dr. Chong?


  3. Love this – I’ve heard that advice from a number of people! Apparently smoking pot is great for people with MS, too. I’m a bit wary, because I remember people in college who smoked it being pretty chill and unmotivated… and with MS fatigue, less motivation is all I need!


    • The effects of pot are not the same for everyone … and change over time. I had a very intense reaction to it when I was a teenager, less as an adult and as I’ve gotten older, it is different, sometimes stronger too. Exactly how it would affect you, no one can entirely say. It is certainly not something you’d want to use if you were going to work. It’s more of an evening-when-the-day-is-done kind of drug.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would love some medicinal marijuana. Just to try it once to see if it helps. Great story.


  5. You’d think a cardiologist wouldn’t be suggesting marijuana knowing the link between the lungs and the heart.


  6. Oooooh, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I finally will start seeing doctors after about 10-15 years of not having a PCP and maybe I can get that kind of advice! I love that your doc was giving you TIPS on smoking, not just suggesting the smoking. This is a change I can get behind 100%. Someone mentioned brownies… does ingesting do the same as smoking, when using marijuana for medical purposes?


  7. I am at this very moment eating some brownies that I made with infused MJ oil that I did myself. They help take the edge off of the pain and it’s not difficult to do. If smoking isn’t to your liking, you could try edibles. Or vapor pens. They’re not as harsh on your lungs.


  8. Marujana really does have some positive effects on the health especially if you have pain. I grew it in the garden a couple of times as someone gave me some seeds. A very pretty plant. You just have to know how to do it. I am a bit simple in that connection, but my son gave me all the details.


    • I haven’t smoked almost at all since … gee … 20 years maybe? The coughing really is an issue. My breast bone has not knitted and when I cough, it feels like my heart is going to explode out of my chest. If I could get past the coughing …


  9. That’s all fine and dandy. But what if you take his advice and he barks at you next time about putting on weight. And you explain it’s all those Twinkies, Doritos and chocolate bars that are a side effect of his non-prescription!?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love your writing style Marilyn.


  11. I have often wondered how “bogart” became a term.


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