Lazy Stoners create new strains of medicine

By: Dianna Donnelly

Sometimes it takes me a long time to realize exactly how to verbalize my thoughts on certain subjects. I’m all about the Cannabis plant as many of you know. And the stigma surrounding it has been like a piece of broken glass under my skin for a long time now. It’s like I just wish I could do a “Dr. Spock” to all of the nay-sayers by placing certain fingers on their face and telepathically downloading all that I have read. Some of the stuff is just feelings as well. Feelings of fear about the possibility of all-out losing my secret freedom to ingest Cannabis. What if I’m no longer allowed to use it? Will I have to go back on the pills? The pills that made an addict out of me? The ones that gave me horrible detox zingers when I quit them? Or feelings of sympathy for the many people out there who are ostracized because they choose to ingest a plant rather than a pill. Many of them risking their freedom and the custody of their children to buy something that makes them be better parents. Many parents take antidepressant and anti-anxiety pills every single day. And their efficacy and function is really only theoretical. I wish the world could feel that the way I do, and see that cannabis is a medicine when used like a medicine.

The ‘lazy stoner’ and the ‘pot head’ do exist though. They aren’t totally fictional. But only for a small fraction of the regular cannabis users take on this extreme persona. Like maybe only the ones who are unemployed or bored or already lazy. Seeing someone ingest a Sativa– the more cerebrally stimulating class of strains –and go about their day with better clarity and receptor action than they would if they popped that Proz@c or Cymb@lta, doesn’t make the audience laugh as much as Wayne and Garth with couch-lock in the basement of their parents’ house. There is a whole other side to this plant that the audience never gets to see. That’s a shame if you ask me.

At the moment, I don’t have a family doctor. I fired mine after he diagnosed my father’s 90% heart blockage as a pulled chest muscle two years ago. Thank Goddess for Sean, my dad’s Chiropractor who insisted he drive over to the Emergency room. But before all of this, I had come clean with my doctor about my cannabis use. It was perfect timing as he was scheduled to speak at the university about Marinol. Weeks later I sent him some studies I had found online. He said he wished he had had them before he did his talk. Doctors do not have time to learn about this plant. And, because it is illegal, studies and evidence through the medical industry are severely lacking. Health Canada, and the Government don’t educate Medical and Family doctors so educating themselves is their homework. Many do that homework too. There are a lot of medical professionals who love the Cannabis plant. But quite often, their support causes friction with their ‘employers’, and they’re not encouraged to prescribe or suggest the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Program at all. It is stated blatantly on the Health Canada website that the Government doesn’t recommend or approve Cannabis as medicine. But they expect some 400,000 of us to be buying it from the LP’s within a few years. At the moment, money is made with prescriptions for pharmaceuticals. Not prescriptions for plants.

I’ve read that there are as many strains as there are Oranges.

A later conversation on the phone saw my doc ask once again about the plant. He said, “I’ve read that there are as many strains as there are Oranges.” At the time, I just sort of agreed, but now I’d very clearly say no … not really. Google tells me there are nine types of Oranges, though that seems too few to me. But there are easily five hundred strains of Cannabis out there. And more being made every day. It’s this fact that has inspired this post. Society, Hollywood, and those who want to keep Cannabis illegal have encouraged and perpetuated the idea of the lazy stoner. But lazy people don’t create new strains of medicine! Growing weed like all weeds is easy. Growing it well, is not. In another piece I say that some of these gardening geniuses are like mad-scientists meet tree-hugger. They’re grafting fruits like Blueberry plants to Cannabis plants to create Blueberry Strains. Yes … strains that smell like blueberry when they’re dried and cured. The idea that growing Cannabis is easy, is one of the big reasons why so many people are against the home grows.

The idea that something is easy, encourages the idea that care and safety is lax. Mold and potential fires are what Real Estate agents, Lenders, and Property Managers are told are side effects of growing large amounts of any plant inside a home. And I’m not going to tell you that they aren’t a problem. But those professionals are not the only ones to know this. Growers protect their gardens like they are their ‘man-caves’ filled with precious collectibles and priceless trophies. And they are filled with those things … just in other forms.

Now I am in no way being so bold as to herald the illegal pot grower. But the fact of the matter is, many of these people could pass as Botanists. Many hold the degree. Many who hold that degree are now being hired on at the Licensed Producers in the Canadian MMPR program. This I do herald as a success. The only problem I have with it, is that they are the only ones allowed to grow it. Well, the LP’s and some of the existing MMAR card-holders. At least until the Harper Government appeals the injunction. But don’t you think it’s fabulous to see education from Queen’s University being hired on to collaborate on this medicinal plant? That makes me want to walk right down to the Engineering department of Queens and look at their awesome Bio-wall!

Image: Toronto Botanical Garden

Every February my Dad starts hundreds of flowers and veggies for their numerous gardens. It’s a full time job. And then the next day too. And every day after that until he puts those organic babies in the ground. Mom and Dad had a wee Aphid infestation this spring that took many of their seedlings down. Each morning saw them preening and inspecting trays of Petunias and Marigolds, Blue Poppies too. At the same time, they would assess their moisture levels and give them a gentle misting if needed. But not too much, as seedlings are very susceptible to rot from over-watering. This is the life of a grower. Most growers– legal and otherwise.

Basically, growing any garden is hard work. Yes we’ve all heard about homes that were simply filled with soil and an instant garden of weed arises. But that doesn’t happen very often with anyone who actually loves and respects this plant. In many ways, it’s the illegal growers in their basements and closets who are the most careful. When the alternative to being carefully diligent is six months to a year of mandatory minimum sentencing, you tend to take things more seriously. Cannabis consumers are an educated group. Many know or have a pretty good idea of what their ingesting even when procured by your buddy’s buddeh who knows a friend of a friend. Many will not accept or spend their hard-earned money on something that was grown shoddlily and without safety measures and tender loving care. We’ve heard what it’s like to smoke the body of a spider mite. Ew…. now that’s organic. And finding seeds in your ganga is a total friggin buzz kill. Not to mention the fact that seeds are heavy. So you’ve now spent money on something that you can’t and don’t really want to ingest at all. Most of us tuck those away for when Justin Trudeau legalizes home grows and recreational Cannabis use in 2015.

I hold no degree in anything and surely don’t want to learn too much more about cut-throat capitalism. But I know about supply and demand. I know the economy is important, but that it grows based on our excess money. If we could grow our own medicine, just think about all the money we’d have to buy the other shit that’s advertised ad nauseum everywhere we look.

Gardening is therapy. Doctors even recommend and yes prescribe it to calm stress and give your mind a creative outlet to relax with. You can google “Horticultural Therapy” to find out more about Gardening as medicine.

Dianna Donnelly is an activist for harmony, builder of good karma, and budding author of The Couch Activist – You can find her on twitter @FinallyInspired

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