Herbal Medicine: Look for the Green Cross

    Dateline: Los Angeles, Calif., April 20, 2018

You can search the internet and never find the certain connection between “420” and smoking dope. Yes, “dope” is what we used to call it back in the “good ol’ days.” The word wasn’t pejorative at all and besides, there was hardly anything else that fell into that category back then. Smack, though more than a word meaning “hit upside the head”, was a hardcore kinda “dope” but there were no suburban moms doing smack — until much later. So, we called it “dope” and anyone who was anyone knew what we meant. Opioids? Nobody had a clue. Only the really hep cats knew anything about black tar opium and they weren’t telling.

Early adopter. I admit I started smoking marijuana long before most of my contemporaries could spell the word. It was 1964. Wow. A long time ago. I remember the year because the tall, cool black guy who turned me on to both “boo” and Miles Davis drove a brand new 1964 forest green Pontiac GTO, a car that could smash your innards against your spine when you mashed the accelerator. You felt like half your body was through the back of the bucket seat and on the floor behind you.

Eugene (his real name) worked in housekeeping at the old Methodist Hospital on Cuming Street  where I landed gainful after-school employment as a dishwasher at the tender (and impressionable) age of 15. Eugene was the coolest guy on the block, outgoing and obviously hip. And, all the nurses loved him… literally. I would know exactly where the vacant hospital rooms were as I made my rounds picking up dirty dinner dishes because I would see a housekeeping cart parked outside the door. Next time by, I would spot Eugene gliding out of the room, cool as could be, and casually push his cart down the hall. A respectable few moments later, a hot-looking nurse would emerge, adjusting her nurse hat and skirt, face flushed and body coursing with estrogen and oxytocin. (They actually wore uniforms back then that made them look like nurses, not joggers off for a 10K run.)

One summer afternoon Eugene asked if I smoked. “Sure,” I said with bravado. “My friend’s mom smokes Lucky’s and we cop a few.” But Eugene meant something different and off we went to his “crib”. Eugene sat me down, put on “Sketches of Spain” and passed me a fatty. My vocabulary would swell in the coming months with words few of my fellow Prepsters related to.

In the Sixties, we marched to end war, end poverty, save the planet and assure equality. All we got is legalized pot.

So, as I sit here in Los Angeles on 4/20, pot is legal in one way or another in 30 of the United States. That’s a majority, you know. The flow started in 1996 when California legalized medical marijuana. Colorado even spearheaded recreational use in 2012. Nine states now allow it. Eventually, it will be nationwide.

(For the record, I stopped smoking dope in 1969. One episode in the studio with Glenn Frey of and the Eagles in 1975 reinforced the wisdom of that decision. Glenn liked really good dope. And as for the alphabet soup of other intoxicants (LSD, DMT, THC) and mushrooms, mescaline and meth, those all could be filed under “experimental.” My personal experience is that the best thing those types of altered state hallucinogens did was to open the door of perception and make it clear that the mind could go where it chooses. Becoming a responsible host to that phenomenon was up to the user and once it is obvious that perception is malleable, the drug is no longer needed to provide that entree. How often do you need to “unlock” the door to realize it’s open?)

Pet Sounds Cannabis in all its forms seems to have remarkable qualities related to medicinal or positive applications with few deleterious effects. Simple recreational stress relief is one. Serious stress relief is another. Derivatives of cannabis or the unprocessed herb itself have direct medical applications with new ones emerging on a regular basis. These uses are too numerous to list here. Simply let it be said that they are legion.

On a recent visit to Los Angeles, I found my canine friend Bodhi with a health challenge; a cancerous tumor and much associated pain, barely able to walk. His caretaker Peter took advantage of the medical opportunities in California and with cannabis medicine Bodhi regained mobility, became pain-free and the size of the tumor was reduced. There’s no placebo effect possible when the patient can’t read the label.

It’s worth exploring in more detail and without a nationwide adjustment of Federal law, many of our citizens — and our pets — will be deprived. Meanwhile, for Bodhi, 420 is a lifesaver.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Visit HeartlandHealing.com and like us on Facebook.

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