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Thread: Let Baby Boomers Fade Out in a Cloud of Smoke

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    Fallen Cannabis Warrior Medical Marijuana's Avatar
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    Let Baby Boomers Fade Out in a Cloud of Smoke

    Out in Sydney's suburbs it looked like US Prohibition-style speakeasy raids, serried rows of marijuana plants replacing the bottles of booze at house after hydroponic house. The cannabis capers at Blair Athol netted $quillions worth of plants in a week when Dr Alex Wodak pleaded for legalisation and taxation of the drug, and the NSW Government responded with another phantom plan for medical marijuana.

    Wodak, director of drug and alcohol services at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney's inner city, wants reform of marijuana laws.

    Well, so say all of us.

    I've been a regular patient at St Vincent's in recent years and have watched widely varying reactions from doctors when confronted with the reality of patient marijuana use. There seems to be a "don't ask, don't tell" mentality. But I use marijuana and always want the doctors taking care of me, in and out of hospital, to be aware of it. I wait for the smoking question to tell them.

    The white-coated old-school specialists tend to simply raise an eyebrow and say nothing. Makes you squirm in embarrassment. The mid-age doctors will have a chat about marijuana and ask a few sensible questions, while younger doctors will much more comfortably share views on cannabis and its uses and are far more inclined to acknowledge its positive effects.

    They are becoming aware, too, that baby boomers who first inhaled some 30 years ago are now demanding medical marijuana - and these doctors will have to deal with it. Few boomers want today's hydroponic horrors, the toxic response to prohibition, but rather the milder garden-grown weed of our youth.

    It eased period pain back then, will it ease my arthritis pain now?

    It works as well as a sleeping pill - which will I choose? And in emotionally traumatic times - valium or a cannabis cookie? And when the cancer pain comes and the surgery pain comes and you're allergic to morphine? Who will stand and refuse us?

    I was transferred to the rehab unit at St Vincent's late one afternoon 12 months ago. The pain was bad and one arm was newly paralysed. I was not calm. It was time to phone a friend. A marijuana joint soon arrived, tucked into a comfort pack of warm clothes and chocolate. But when the distinctive aroma wafted back inside, a 22-year-old male nurse was forced into the comic role reversal of severely reprimanding a patient old enough to be his grandmother, for smoking dope.

    What a naughty old baby boomer!

    In the rehab unit next day all the no-smoking signs were swapped for bigger no-smoking signs. A nurse tells me that in morning handover they've been warned about marijuana and told it is a bad drug.

    When a doctor arrives he threatens, at length, to call the police if I offend again.

    I'd listened to him in silence for some minutes, which may have prompted his final word flurry: "Look, I know it's a good drug. But you can't have it here."

    Well, why not? Marijuana took the pain away, while morphine made me sick. Other hospital offerings either made me sick or didn't work.

    My body has a long contrarian history with prescribed drugs and their noxious side-effects. On discharge, I'm given more "controlled drugs" to take home. They are probably past their use-by date now, mouldering in the back of a kitchen drawer beside the useless morphine tablets.

    The patients who used cannabis (I was aware of four smokers on the ward) had their own favourite spots in the hospital's garden. I was far from the only criminal in-patient. But I was the oldest. And that's the point. I'm a baby-boomer. And most of us did inhale.

    And we are unlikely, in our old age, to suddenly eschew rebellion.

    There is no possibility of governments controlling marijuana use among ageing baby boomers. Many of us will choose marijuana over morphine, marijuana over valium, marijuana over blood pressure meds, marijuana for appetite. And, of course, some shameful old boomers will partake for simple pleasure.

    We don't need to rake over the efficacy of cannabis yet again - the pros and cons have been articulated ad nauseum. It is a totally unsuitable drug for some people. However, almost unbelievably, few on either side of the marijuana debate are differentiating between the indoor and outdoor grown varieties of the drug. Equating today's hydro to yesterday's home grown is ludicrous. An apples with oranges comparison.

    Last week Dr Wodak predicted marijuana use would exceed tobacco use in the next decade. Well, yes. That will be us baby boomers coming home to roost.

    The medical and legal mess around marijuana, carelessly caused by political cowards, is highlighted by the divergent attitude of senior specialists in the same hospital. While Dr Wodak suggests selling cannabis in post offices, a doctor at the rehab clinic threatens his patients with police action.

    In South Australia, where the sun still comes up, you can legally grow your own cannabis. Any chance in NSW for a gentle old age, painlessly tending our gardens?

    Source: Brisbane Times
    Copywrite: Brisbane Times
    Website: Brisbane Times - For local Brisbane News, World News & Breaking News in Queensland, Australia

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    Cannabis Connoisseur Boss's Avatar
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