Monday, September 11, 2006

Something smells gooooood

After watching this, and having a 40-year-old friend tell me about how her stash was discovered by her husband, I've been reminiscing about my smoking days. I haven't touched the stuff in about 15 years and don't intend to again (I like clarity), but I won't deny I have fond memories.
Well, except for the time I accepted an offering from a guy on the beach during my wild-to-mild teenage years and surprise! the stuff wasn't very "natural." I wound up in the ER freaking out while the cops looked for the dude, who was a dead-ringer for Anthony Kiedis. Still not sure exactly what was in that funny cigarette, but let's just say I took a trip to another planet for a couple hours. That, however, is a story for another day.
Ricky never has touched it and probably never will. He probably fears he would really like it and prefers not to get started on it!
I've had friends who have used it for various medicinal purposes and it's really a helpful substance. I can't say I've known any belligerent smokers, but I've known plenty of belligerent drinkers. It's too bad it has that "gateway" reputation, which I feel is not totally deserved. The people who get into the hardcore stuff still would be addicts even if the plant never existed.
My first memories of it are of sitting around with Jay, a friend in high school, who always was very kind to me and never tried to get in my pants. He was one of those guys I really trusted, and probably would have dated him if he had ever made a move. We did, however, talk for hours about life in general, and shared a smoke now and then. Once we were left cracking up over a garden hose. That's right, I almost peed myself over a garden hose. The adventure also was free as he grew the stuff himself on his roof behind a fence that surrounded the A/C unit. His family either didn't know about it, or didn't care. His mother was sick and blind from diabetes; his dad was a far-gone alcoholic; and his sister was a slutty cheerleader who was into far more dangerous substances. She really changed my perception of what it meant to be one of the "popular kids."
I don't know what happened to Jay, but I hope he turned out OK. Addiciton obviously ran in his family. He seemed to be the only one in his family to have their head screwed on correctly. I hope he got the hell out of there and made a life for himself.
It's funny the people you run into who partake of the herb, and some that are seemingly extremely unlikey users. I had a boss who lived near work and would go home a couple times a night to "check on his dog." I think the stuff probably kept his sanity as he could tend to get very nervous. Not paranoid nervous, just high-strung and worried about doing a good job. You'd never in a million years would guess he was a smoker. He looked more like a banker.
I like to study people who've been doing this stuff for long periods of time, just to see what happens to them. I've heard how it destroys the brain and causes other health problems, but I don't know. It would depend on what else might be in there. But just the plant alone in its natural form, I don't see any evidence from my observations that it does lasting harm.
Yep, it's funny stuff. There are tons of studies out there to read about and it's finally getting some serious attention among mainstream medicine. It just comes down to the politics of the stuff, unfortunately.

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