in which I defend Mary Jane with the sword of my keyboard
I had a commenting interaction on Opinionated Man’s blog which spanned yesterday and today. I saw this book promotion, here is the original post Parenting in Amoral Times . From the Amazon page “This book is a modern day fable that tackles the difficult subject of how to help children make the right choice regarding the popular drug marijuana.” and “How the Snake Got Its Tail is a fable about the twin snakes, To and Fro. To is drawn to happiness and light, Fro is drawn into the darkness.”
To this original post, I commented:
“the dangerous landscape of legalized marijuana dealers and abusive users” ? What, you mean similar to the dangerous landscape of legalized alcohol dealers and abusive users? Parenting is challenging, I agree. But with alcohol there is actually the potential to overdose and die. Not true with marijuana. But yeah, be afraid! Very, very afraid!
I felt compelled to stand up to this fella and defend my sweetheart Mary Jane. Because there is really only one way to combat ignorance and that is with knowledge and information. There was a couple back and forths. I’m not going to copy his comments here because those are his words and I’m not going to ask for permission to share them. If you are curious you can read them on the OP.
My follow up comment to his response:
Science has shown that alcohol is much more of a ‘gateway drug’ than marijuana. The science just isn’t there to back up your claim that marijuana use leads to heroine use. Any study that might have purported that fact is outdated and so heavily biased as to be unreliable. Marijuana use also does not “kill the soul”. These absurd claims sound like they are straight out of Reefer Madness.
I am certainly not defending it out of ignorance. I assure you I have studied the science of marijuana use and the way cannabinols interact with the bodies natural systems. Just a wild guess, I don’t think you have done the same.
And my last comment this morning:
Listen, in all likelihood you are really decent person and I respect that you created a beautiful children’s book. That kind of artistic craftsmanship is admirable. And you have your own personal experiences with marijuana – that is valid.
Just because I have studied the science of how cannabinoids act in the human body doesn’t mean I don’t have personal experience as well. I was a heavy habitual smoker of cannabis for over ten years. Following that, I was non-smoker for four years by personal choice. I know many responsible adults with jobs and families and happy lives that smoke cannabis regularly. I live in the heart of the Emerald Triangle in California. I have direct experience in spades.
But my knowledge in the arena doesn’t rely on experience alone; I’ve studied the science as well, that’s all that I’m saying. I haven’t read your book, I’ve only read the description and the reviews on Amazon. The central theme of the book that decisions are either good or bad, pure or evil, and that use of marijuana falls in the Bad category is archaic and very factually false. The world is not a simple duality of black and white; there are a lot of grey areas.
For example, generally speaking children should not consume marijuana. But it is perfectly okay for a grown-up to do so. And getting back to children, there are documented cases of chronic or terminally ill children using cannabis CBDs (the kind that don’t get you high) for medicine. We have seen cases where a child that takes a plethora of pharmaceutical prescriptions with devastating side effects to manage a chronic or terminal illness. Cannabis CBDs have allow them to cut back on the pharmaceutical drugs while living a vastly more comfortable life while chronically or terminally ill. That is important. And it is a grey area where cannabis use by children is concerned.
In your response to my original comment, you brought up heroine use. Heroine use is legitimately an enormous problem facing our nation right now. A major factor in the dramatic rise of heroine use by employed middle class citizens is opioid prescription drugs such as oxycontin. Those drugs are very addictive and we’ve seen a huge rise in cases where someone’s prescription will run out and they turn to the black market/street drugs to continue to get a fix. In those cases overdoses and deaths have occurred to otherwise upstanding good citizens. It is truly tragic. That is real problem that needs real solutions as soon as possible. But it may not be an appropriate topic for your next children’s story. I’m not sure where you personally draw the line at drug-related children’s books.
Anyway, I hope you can understand that my intention is not to attack you personally. I respect your work and the good you are trying to do. Protecting children is very important to me too.
I voted YES on Prop 64 AUMA today in California. I really hope it passes! California’s policy regarding marijuana going forward will be instrumental in changing federal policy and public perception regarding the wonderful useful cannabis plant.