Look like wee solar panels, don’t they? I guess…in a way, they are. This is a picture of Windowpane or acid or LSD… It was the acid of choice back in the day and very hard to get. We usually had to accept Sunshine or Purple Microdot. Blotters weren’t all that common in our area. Any port in a storm, right?
In the mid to late sixties, early seventies; authority tried to stop drug use via scare tactics. The one that sticks out in my mind is the “LSD will cause your brain to explode” rumour. Even at 14, I was able to figure out that this was bullshit. That statement caused me to disbelieve anything “authority” had to say regarding my drug of choice. I loved it. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I did. It was my raison d’être at the time. I could live in a fantasy world, as I did when I was a child. Make-believe. There were reasons but the reasons are not relevant to the blog.
I’d get up in the morning; get ready for a day of skipping school and drop a hit. This was, virtually, a daily ritual. Sun rises, do a hit. Come down just in time to do the family supper thing. I thought I had ’em all fooled. Nope. My parents knew and were at a loss as to how to handle drug abuse. (LSD wasn’t my only poison, it was just my favourite). They tried punishment – didn’t work. Tried counselling – didn’t work. Tried guilt – didn’t work. Tried having former drug users talk to me – didn’t work. I guess it was something that was discussed on the family grapevine. One day, I think I was about 16 at the time; I was sitting in my grandparents’ backyard, my Dad’s brother came out. Strange occurrence, he was a bit of a recluse. When he was in town, he would stay with my grandparents but avoiding interacting with kids. He wasn’t a kid-fan. He was a scientist – a biochemist to be precise. He was also a part of the LeDane Drug Commissions research team.
He pulled me aside and the gist of the conversation was: “If this stuff was safe? Don’t you think that I would be doing it?” Point, set and match to the science guy. It wasn’t long after that I ceased to do drugs of any kind.
My uncle was on the front lines of this drug thing; he, actually, did the research. He wasn’t a meme on a future internet site – there was no internet. He wasn’t a cop nor did he have any vested interest in what I chose to do with my life.
This man was a paratrooper during WWII; jumping out of airplanes and being a target for ground to air gunfire. He landed behind enemy lines in Holland. He went on archaeological digs up in the Canadian tundra before the advent of cell phones or GPS. This man knew from dangerous. He told me that hallucinogens were dangerous, very dangerous. Now, if a former paratrooper, a man who got his kicks a thousand miles from emergency help, in a desolate, bog and mosquito infested wasteland, was telling me that something was too dangerous for him to try/use? This was worth further examination.
When I gave up drugs and yes, I did, on occasion, fall off the wagon – just being honest here; I did notice that talking to my friends and acquaintances who were still using, was like…well, using an analogy from this time period – it was like talking to freaking Teletubbies. Sadly, some of them never made it out of the 70’s: some died, some disappeared into oblivion, and some ended up in prison.
Currently, the internet is abuzz with talk of marijuana curing cancer. It is a gross misrepresentation of research but the internet being what it is… There may well be some positive results in that end but let’s just hold up a second; the derivatives being used are lab quality. No one is smoking the stuff or tossing it into muffins or cookies. This is strict laboratory research, with controls, with quality; scientists with actual education and degrees out their wazoos. They are not using a baggie full of the harvest from someone’s basement grow-op.
The stuff that is available to the users, currently, have NO quality control. There is no sterile environment and you just never know WTF has been sprayed on the plant or placed in the soil. In addition, marijuana smoke contains, at LEAST, 50 of the same carcinogens found in tobacco smoke: benzyprene for example. The THC in weeD causes benzyprene to promote a change in something called the p53 gene; a faulty change. 75% of lung cancer happens to people with a faulty p53 gene.
When you smoke a joint; you keep the smoke in your lungs, throat, esophagus and mouth far longer than a tobacco smoker. This means that the smoke and carcinogens are floating around your respiratory system for much longer, increasing the odds of damage and chemical deposit. Simply because some research is showing a potential for shrinkage of a very specific type of tumour does not mean that weed is safe or cures cancer. Studies pro and con are inconclusive either way and so, I err on the side of caution because I’m already high risk – I smoke…cigarettes. In addition, when people are high around me; I get annoyed and frustrated. Again, talking teletubbies. I’ve also noticed and this is purely anecdotal, that habitual weed smokers lose their intellectual edge. Is it permanent? I don’t know; I hope not.
Until all the facts are in – just as I did with the acid, ‘shrooms, mesc and speed…I’ll give it a pass. No use looking for trouble.