A Responsible Take on Toking
If science allows researchers to separate the medicinal effects of marijuana from the narcotic ones, why would we not?
By Jill Phelan, St. Vincent College
In recent years, marijuana has been a blazing topic—pun intended (sorry not sorry).
Personally, though, I’ve never paid much attention to the subject. I’ve always been anti-weed. To this day, I’ve still never tried it, and I’ve never felt any sort of desire to get high. As a recreational drug, I think it’s dumb and disgusting. Call me a killjoy if you wish, but I’ve been called worse before, so it doesn’t faze me in the slightest.
I’ll have flashbacks now and then in which I remember walking out into the hallways of my high school and being greeted by a terrible smell coming from one of the two towers (popular hangout spots for potheads during study hall). It was a distinct, gag-worthy stench, and all I could think was, “God, how do people even like this stuff? It reeks.” It legit made me want to throw up my lunch.
So naturally, my naïve teenage self believed that I would forever be against the odorous grass and that there would be no changing my mind. High school Jill knew all there was to know about anything at 16-years old.
Then college rolled around and did that thing where it made me reexamine everything I thought I knew to be true, and sure enough, I began to have a change of heart.
From slowing down epileptic seizures to alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms, I learned that marijuana had a lot to offer medicinally. Not only can it help with PTSD, but also with several different types of cancer, and the list of treatments goes on and on for minor and major health problems alike.
To clarify, I’m still against smoking weed—I’m against smoking anything, really. Even if you were to light up some cotton candy and start breathing in that sugary sweetness, I would still disapprove.
The fact of the matter is that burning and inhaling anything isn’t good for your lungs whatsoever. The human body wasn’t built to ingest smoke of any kind. Don’t believe me? Check out the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
I don’t care if your argument is that this country’s forefathers have been doing it for centuries and got along just fine. You can’t dispute scientific evidence that it damages the body’s cilia and defense system.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it…actually, don’t, because I just got done telling you not to and that would be counterproductive.
Anyways, just because I’m anti-lung disease doesn’t mean I condemn cannabis (not anymore, at least). It has come to my attention that several different mediums have been developed to reap all of the benefits of the popular drug without actually burning it.
Like many other plants, you can extract the oil from the pot leaves and use the concentrated dose in things like lollipops, vapors, lotions, and more.
Probably my favorite idea, though, has to be a line of products to relive menstrual pain created by Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Elisabeth. With the plant’s essential oil infused in body butters, bath soaks and more, the items help bring about relief for period symptoms.
And the best part? They’re scented and flavored! In fact, the edible Savor tastes like chocolate (I can hear the angels singing in the distance at the mention of such a heavenly idea). So you get weed without the stank and comfort without the high—sign me up, I’ll buy in bulk.
But really, the little Godsends aren’t limited to menstrual issues. They’re labeled simply as medical cannabis items, so you could use them to treat any other ailment that you would typically utilize marijuana for in the first place.
However, being that the products are brand new (they were released just this year) and that the laws on marijuana vary from state to state, they’re mainly available in California right now. But hopefully they will be gaining popularity soon and begin selling all over the country, because if you ask me, women need this—desperately.
And just like that, I’m pro-weed. It’s hard to deny the many benefits that it has to offer in the realm of medical treatments, and who could say no to mentally crippled war veteran or ten-year old suffering from terminal cancer?
I’m still not on board with teenagers who want to smoke pot just to get a high and avoid reality, though, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever support that. I think that cannabis has the potential to be a really powerful tool for overcoming a multitude of illnesses and chronic pain.
So to light up a joint (which like I mentioned earlier already does a number on your lungs) for the sole purpose of getting stoned comes across as stupid and irresponsible. Not to mention it seems like a waste of such a valuable resource, as well as an abuse of power.
Potheads who run around getting themselves into trouble with weed are ruining the drug for everyone.
Cannabis laws will never change if people continue to mistreat the medical miracle like they’re freshmen looking for the next senseless thing to do for shits and giggles.
That’s precisely how you end up with some wise guy’s skull smashed in because he thought it’d be fun to see what it would be like to drive into a brick wall at 70 miles per hour. And as a result, you get harsher restrictions on marijuana, as well as a bigger stigma associated with a drug that has the potential to be revolutionary.
Therefore, I beg of you—for all the children suffering from a seizure a minute, the poor souls undergoing chemotherapy, and everyone else enduring severe illnesses—don’t be a damn idiot.
For some, medical cannabis can provide a tremendous amount of healing and relief, so don’t aid in stealing it away from those people. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing: Stealing their chances of getting better for your own selfish wishes.
You have the ability to help change the field of medicine for the better, so please, don’t squander it.