“It’s definitely worth doing every now and again or hell it’s worth it every day if u can afford it and can function fine while high :)” — Post from Quora correspondent
Here’s my confession: I’ve spent more than a decade writing about the wonders of smoking or vaping marijuana, and have yet to sniff the brew.
I’ve cajoled United States Marines to vape it for their nerves, defended high-school students on the grounds that smoking weed sharpens their minds, criticized Jeff Sessions for his cannabis bans (“he’s a Trump stooge”), and coaxed some cancer sufferers to inhale the stuff.
Not too long ago, after having recounted a long hymn on the healing wonders of the plant, I assured my daughter that if I were terminally ill, I would inhale tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and, maybe, cannabinol (CBD).
Heaps of studies suggest marijuana cures cancer, depression, anxiety, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, epilepsy, chronic pain, insomnia, and stress. Most people I know who smoke cannabis never died from it. It depends on the drug amount, time and setting. It also depends on your age – older than 18 – and on the drug’s strain (namely, sativa or indica). Use it just for recreational and medical purposes – a client who ran an online cannabis market told me – and rest every so often. An acquaintance confided his mother doped when she was pregnant with him. He thought it made him amiable as a result.
“It’s smoking, dude, that does the trick”
Rather than imbibing cannabis edibles or smearing its tropicals, it’s smoking the dope that gives the fastest, enduring and most effective response. With smoking, you can also calibrate the amount of CBD and THC that enters your body. Better still, you can use e-cigarettes for vaping, where you strain stuff like paper and twigs, leaving you the pure dope.
On the other hand, I still come across research that earnestly and consistently question the health effects of vaping. So, I’m a hypocrite.
I tell others to smoke, but, I haven’t rolled a joint yet.
“Yes? No? Maybe so? Burn some rope?”
How does Big Cannabis differ from Big Tobacco?
Sixty-five years ago, more than half of Americans smoked cigars (60 percent), including nearly half of our physicians (40 percent). If I had lived then, I would have smoked a Camel between each Thanksgiving course as “an aid to my digestion.” Celebrities on television would have told me smoking is “gentle on my throat” and “fresh as mountain air.”
Never mind that an unknown scientist in 1602 warned that illnesses in chimney sweepers were caused by soot and tobacco. Or that in the late 1700s, scientists like Samuel Thomas von Soemmerring of Germany, and US physician Benjamin Rush, reported cancers of the lips of pipe-smokers. Or that in the 1920s, medical reports sourced smoking to lung cancer. Newspaper editors of the 1960s hung onto their tobacco advertisers; they quelled these findings. Tobacco industry lawyers shuttered in-house research facilities. Tobacco mogul, Philip Morris, fled to Germany and declared: “Let’s face it. We are interested in evidence which we believe denies the allegations that cigarette smoking causes disease.” A year later, he added: “Anything can be considered harmful. Apple sauce is harmful if you get too much of it.” In fact, one honest RJ Reynolds executive admitted: “We don’t smoke that shit. We just sell it. We just reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the black and the stupid.”
When business flopped in the US and Western Europe, Big Tobacco trawled its cigars to developing countries and Eastern Europe.
Yet note, through it all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insisted:
“Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Here’s my conundrum…
Today, marijuana is big money. Ten US states, including the District of Columbia, legalize its recreational usage, while an additional 23 states permit its medical use. In 2014, Colorado reaped $44 million in sales and excise taxes from its policies. California legalized recreational marijuana in January 2018, followed with a 15-percent tax on all recreational and medical cannabis, plus local taxes and fees. In May 2018, Forbes reported that cannabis gave seven states $1.2 million.
The Hemp Business Journal, which provides data on the hemp industry, calculates that Big Cannabis will cache $1.8 billion by 2022.
Cowen analyst, Vivien Azer, estimates that by 2036, Big Tobacco companies could grab about a fifth of the marijuana pie in a fully-legal United States.
Marijuana legalization proceeds despite the fact that national medical websites, like the American Lung Association, warns smoking marijuana is no different than smoking tobacco – both harm lung health. And despite the fact that the Government of California’s website – the same state that legalizes marijuana for medical and recreational use – states marijuana smoke causes cancer.
So, should I care that the science on smoking marijuana is inconclusive? Or should I suspect that Big Marijuana loves money as much as Big Tobacco?
Hell, it is my life we’re talking about.
And that’s why I tell YOU to smoke, but have yet to take my gig.