“Have you considered marijuana?” floated past me on the conversational breeze. It was my previous cardiologist speaking. Was I in the Twilight Zone? No, he was merely suggesting pot might be a good drug. For me. It would deal with a variety of issues. He wasn’t suggesting “medical marijuana” because though theoretically we have it, insurance won’t pay for it and almost no doctors are certified to prescribe it. But don’t worry, now we can buy it recreationally — and legally — at a local shop.
“Take in more air when you inhale,” he said. “You’ll cough less.”
Right. Like I didn’t know that already. He forgets that mine is the generation that made it popular. The biggest users of legalized pot are — you guessed it — senior citizens.
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 long time. A world in which marijuana supposedly was the gateway drug to a life of dissipation and degradation which would end with you lying face down in a gutter in a part of town where the cops won’t go.
Now I live in a world where the cardiologist recommends 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 World War 2 and brought employment to everyone who wasn’t fighting.
By the time she passed, there was cable television, home computers, and two cars 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 cardiologist suggested pot. Okay. I think I see a motor car.
Massachusetts, in its infinite wisdom, has so heavily taxed cannabis that it’s more expensive to buy it legally than to get it from ye olde dealer. In fact, it’s a lot cheaper to buy it from the same guy you bought it from before they made it legal. Competition lowered his prices while the state upped theirs. Figures, doesn’t it?
As it turns out, pot has no particular medical advantages for me. The cannabutter I made was so strong, I didn’t feel better. Mostly, I just passed out.
I wish it did work medicinally. I wish something would work. The company that made the medication that always worked for me stopped making it a few months ago. It was cheap to buy and it helped. But it wasn’t profitable. Now we are searching for something else that won’t make me sick, make my heart stop, or give me ulcers while reducing the pain enough to allow me to function.
Pity the pot didn’t do it.