Baby, I’m Amazed

In February of 1968 I smoked my first joint, not surprisingly, on the Campus of UC Berkeley, during the days of People’s Park, just before Kent State, and during Viet Nam.

By 1968 I had already been ill with Crohns disease for four years (though the malady was justcalled “colitis” in those days) and I only took a couple of hits of the number so as not to be uncool.

Crohns had ruled my life. In February of 1968 I was 15, a junior in high school, was 5-foot-2-inches tall, and weighed around 6o pounds, thanks to the disease for unbeknown to my doctors, I had a fistula where my duodenum and colon had adhered together and created an organic bypass, a condition that would plague me for another year-and-a-half before being detected.

At the time of my first doob, I had been on prednisone, phenobarbital, seconal, bella donna, azulfadine, gantrasin, and a host of other chemicals, none of which really helped at all. But, with that first joint, my digestive juices slowed down a bit, and I got a slight case of munchies.

Later, I fell asleep for several hours, uninterrupted, and when I awoke it was not because I had diarrhea or nausea. Thus, dope became my Crohns drug (I considered weed a gift from god at the time), and though I quit all the other medicines prescribed I kept my use quiet since at the time marijuana was a Class A Felony in California.

When my late wife Cathy Hedgecock was dying from breast cancer, undergoing any number of nasty medicines and procedures, the daily joints I rolled and left for her should I be away were what mitigated her discomfort more than anything else.

Of course, since then, things have changed a lot for dope and users, where to date 30 states and Washington D.C. allow for the medical use, while eight states, including now California (yay!!!) allow recreational use.

I don’t need to really explain beyond the fact that medicinal marijuana certainly has some validity, and the drug is less harmful or dangerous by rote than alcohol, tobacco, and probably enjoys fewer users than Vicodin (140 million scripts written in 2010) or Valium (169 million scripts written in 2009), but still weed carries a stigma way beyond the neanderthal views of Jeff Sessions.

But now marijuana’s by-product, canibanoids, or “CBDs,” have been used for any number of ailments from anxiety to forms of cancer to childhood eplilepsy, to even Chrons Disease. CBDs are an extract, and the percentage of THC is such that there are generally no psychotropic effects from the drops of the extract.

Personally, my experience with CBD’s was during an attack of Crohns last summer when I developed one of those fistulas near my butt, essentially giving my body two means of excretion relative to the southern hemisphere of my bod. The problem with this second opening was no sphincter. I had no control and that meant 24X7 diaper rash, and let me tell you, that is extremely painful. It hurts to walk, to sit, to sneeze, in fact try to notice how often you tighten yours and imagine every time pain and burning.

After trying to treat this with both Humira ($1,250 per injection) and Stelara ($1,200 per injection), with neither effective, I underwent a surgical procedure last November in an attempt to close the hole, but it failed and I was even more miserable than before.

As it was, my doctor, almost as an aside, suggested I try CBDs ($40 for a 1 oz bottle), so I did and I kept with them though they were slow to take effect. In March of 2017, as I was getting ready to fly to New York for Tout Wars, I called my surgeon and suggested that when I got home we could talk about a colectomy, and permanent ostomy, as I just could not take the burning and pain any longer.

Funny, for while I was in New York, suddenly the CBDs kicked in full strength, and my butt stopped hurting. Within a month, the entire fistula had healed, all by itself.  Meaning, no surgery, and everything is now fine “down there.”

All the above is well documented within my medical records, so anyone with the muscle and interest can confirm any time, but there are enough witnesses around me to validate this. But, if you had doubts about whether the pair — marijuana and CBD’s — have any curative medicinal use, I rest my case.

What is amazing to me, though, is not just that the drug worked, but that as backwards and stupid a species as we can be, finally, now in my home state, I can smoke a joint mostly wherever I like and my only fear is Jeff Sessions, a fairly remote one.

I cannot believe this — the decriminalization of this plant that has literally saved my life. I kind of have to pinch myself. But, that’s ok, for should I pinch too hard, I can take a hit of a doob without fear of recrimination.

Tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Thursday night at 9 PM ET, and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.

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