Ending Suffering

I am not a cannabis user or consumer. I am also a sober devotee to a 12 step spiritual path. But I emphasize a clear distinction between central aim of recreational pot; “getting stoned”, etc, which I believe focuses only a little on helping those suffering afflictions; Veterans, Disabled, Seriously Ill, Cancer Patients, AIDS Patients, and most emphatically Children with Dravet syndrome and other forms of epilepsy and those with autism.

If parents have a child with Dravet syndrome, perhaps suffering terribly the 200-300 seizures per week, who can be relieved of that condition and given back a childhood, a life without the suffering and pain, they would become devoted to “pot” in at least as much as they care about and love their child. The blanket reduction of “pot” as a stunting agent is understood in its context, but doesn’t seek to help the suffering.

I “hate pot”, I always have, for sooo many personal reasons. Any teacher’s reasons are my mother’s reasons as an educator, who referred to smoking pot as “smoking stupid”. But from what I witness and advocate for every day in my work, as in the alleviation of the suffering that so many children are made to endure without it, while there is still a child who whose parents cannot access the sacramental medicine that gives their child their life and childhood back without the torture of severe conditions, my work in the world is not done. It’s about ending suffering.

At age 12, I sought relief from difficult family related pains and began to smoke pot like many of my peers did. I went from impressively high IQ assessments, achievements and general happiness and positivity, to an almost complete halt in academic achievement, increased depression, decreased interest in self care and social activity, withdrawal and nearly failing 7th grade. One could chart my lack of progress and productivity as directly proportionate to my pot use throughout middle and high school, living well below my established potential. When I was done with high school, I was done with pot, and my life, goals, creative career, etc, soared almost immediately. For those who know me and know how I’ve felt about pot for decades, and know me as a sober person, it seems fraught with contradiction that I create access to medicinal and sacramental cannabis, but it’s not about ME, it’s about helping others, compassion, and the mission to decrease suffering in the world and humanity.

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