Medical Marijuana

Logic Need Not Apply

When the English taxed the colonies to the point of clandestine meetings plotting to revolt, the clear step was to recruit and teach the gentry to use a gun. Patriotic leadership posted inspiring messages about freedom from tyranny and the need for independence along with a time and place for musket training. The response was tepid at best. Before long, the leaders tried another tactic offering “free beer!” The response was overwhelming. Americans have always loved their booze. After the revolution, the new country, war weary and in debt sought to pay down some of the debt by taxing whiskey, there was an armed revolt that almost killed the new idea of democracy.  Fast forward more than a century and America is still trying to reconcile our relationship with alcohol. The wake of destruction to families lead to the volstead act better known as prohibition which fed crime and did little to curb the consumption of alcohol and nothing to curb the American appetite for it. Alcohol is part of who we are and it’s going nowhere.

Maybe it’s our long history with the stuff that has normalized the damage it causes. We look the other way, and just accept it. The truth is alcohol is a low tax wealth amassing industry for a very few people. The alcohol industry has a de facto tax subsidy because the manufacturers and consumers never pay for the damage the product causes. America is set up to get drunk on the cheap and we like it that way. Part of this street corner scam is to vilify a safer form of intoxication, cannabis. While alcohol is responsible for 80k deaths annually, cannabis is responsible for zero. While 1800 college age kids die annually in alcohol related incidents, zero die in cannabis related incidents. Our drug policy is a mirror image peppered with dyslexia, we have it exactly wrong. Cannabis should be legal and accessible and alcohol should have multiple hoops to negotiate in order to reach it. Understood, that’s not happening but attitudes and behaviors toward cannabis are softening, the ice is melting and some of us are  thinking about it in a different way.

There is no debate about the comparison of alcohol and cannabis. By any metric, cannabis is safer. The debate rages with the flat earth society who remain unwilling to read or accept data or common sense. In a recent Facebook banter a treatment provider said of the statement “there is no lethal dose of cannabis” , “well, we will just have to agree to disagree”. No, no we don’t. There isn’t a lethal dose of weed and the earth is in fact, round. We don’t have to “agree” on what is.

A recent Fresh Toast article raised the question of using cannabis to help people with alcohol problems. While the media and culture is hyper focused on opiates, and well we should be, we are losing sight of demon alcohol and all it’s insanity.  There is no doubt, opiates are amassing a huge body count but alcohol remains the invisible, odorless gas that seeps in and claims twice the number of opiates. At High Sobriety, we use cannabis as an exit drug from not only opiates but from the clutches of alcohol. Cannabis doesn’t have the health implications and replacement works. It’s not the “just say no” platitude but it is a life saving intervention that can help people grow and develop.  The mindset of thumbing our nose at harm reduction has a price. Pay, usually in a death toll and decimated family systems. We all love the story of the alcoholic who came to their senses never to drink again and become a counselor at their rehab. We also love the idea of winning the lottery to achieve financial security and requited love at fist sight. It’s great but unlikely.

One of out big mantras at HS is “safety first” people who drink themselves to death will never find any range of recovery, not counseling people that harm reduction is an option for some people, is wrong.

Author: Joe Schrank, Editor-in-Chief

Cannabis And Quitting Drinking

In the nomenclature of recovery studies, cannabis aided alcoholism recovery is referred to as “Marijuana Maintenance”. For starters, Marijuana Maintenance offers a relatively un-impactful solution to alcohol cravings, as addicts will smoke or ingest cannabis instead of taking a drink. Along this line of thought, the Harm Reduction Journal reports that cannabis can curb an addict’s alcohol cravings and it is a viable, natural alternative to prescription medications such as benzodiazepines. Secondly, a large quantity of drinkers medicate with alcohol to relieve psychological conditions such as “depression, anxiety, stress, or PTSD”. Studies show that responsible cannabis use can provide relief from these same emotional ailments, without the dangers of withdrawal and addiction as seen with alcohol or prescription medication drugs.

View the complete Fresh Toast article here

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