Medical Cannabis applications are piling in, now legal in 20 states. As Massachusetts considers the 181 applications which have just been filed for potential dispensaries, the question rises up, is medical cannabis a step ahead into greater consciousness? The legalization and ‘proper’ use of marijuana is a loaded subject among smokers and non-smokers alike. Even those who use cannabis strictly for medical purposes will run into the issues surrounding its deeper influence. As a heavy x-smoker, I can’t help but ask the questions that might lead this discussion deeper.
Medicine or Abuse?
There is no doubt in my mind that cannabis can be medicine, the same way cayenne pepper, comfrey root, lavender, kava kava, poppy plants, basil leaves and rosemary can. There is a difference, of course, in potency and direction of the herb – but all in all, mother nature seems to have provided us with plants to cover just about every need and issue that may arise in the human body and psyche. However, as with all things, including television, sex, driving, internet time, prunes, and even water – there comes a point when over-indulgence is more detrimental than good. The yogis and other spiritual and religious organizations have taught ‘moderation in all things’ as a good slogan to live by, and in the case of cannabis, for medical purposes or otherwise, it seems to be a sentiment rarely considered.
When you look at those pushing for medical marijuana, an honest assessment would reveal many individuals who would like to create a medical issue for themselves in order to continue to smoke ‘legally.’ Years ago, for me and many others I knew, that would have been the case. Surely, anybody can find a reason to ‘need’ medical cannabis if they want to – headaches, menstrual cramps, car accident, anxiety. The question is, does medical cannabis support the healing of an individual as medicine ought to do? Or is it just another symptom masker, following along with so many other prescription medications in that they do not provide the answers, nor the cure – but rather placate the ‘injured’ so as to relieve the effect, but not the cause?
Those who are true proponents of marijuana in all of its forms would argue that the use of this beautiful plant helps to open the mind and expand consciousness. Though this is potentially true for many who would ‘take the plant’ in respected doses, this has largely become an excuse among the population of smokers to continue to indulge, thereby avoiding their own clear evolutionary process by way of ‘succumbing to the fog.’ I know I am going to get a lot of flack for saying this from the highly intelligent and even very evolved pot smokers out there, but it is an issue I believe needs to be raised. It is one I questioned myself, and one that eventually stepped me out of the repetitive cycle of ‘lighting up’, through the hazy months it took to clear the residue from my system, into the space where I felt I could really finally see.
Now, if you are a smoker, for medical reasons or otherwise, this is not meant to be an offensive piece to pass judgment on your decisions to smoke. However, if this nation begins to adopt medical cannabis as a ‘common medicine’ – is it a step ahead into greater consciousness or are we pulling the veil over the minds of many more who would one day stand in clarity?
Benefits of Cannabis
I’m not saying cannabis doesn’t have its purpose, as hemp it is a highly useful and amazing plant. I agree we ought to be growing much of it for use as clothing, building materials, body care, fuel, a nutritional supplement, and yes – sometimes, with THC, as medicine. Some folks do benefit greatly from the pain-relieving and even deeply healing properties of the plant, especially when dealing with something as serious as cancer, where marijuana has been shown to be very effective in elimination of the dis-ease. So, yes, there is a purpose – and a great one, though abuse is still prevalent, it seems.
Is it a crutch?
In circles of what I would call ‘highly conscious’ individuals I have encountered over the years, I am always surprised to see who might ‘take a hit’, while then watching them become less and less ‘present’ and more and more pacified by the herb. It is rare when I see or know of someone who will really just indulge ‘on a blue moon’ – as a sacred sacrament of sorts, with pure intent and no attachment. Likely these people do not feel the need to make their actions ‘known’ publicly. For many, it has become like a crutch of sorts, to their consciousness, ‘using’ the medicine to escape the possibility and even challenge of accessing higher dimensions of thought and possibility on their own.
So, though I can see and support the use of any plant as a true medicine, in the way that one takes medicine – Cannabis users often abuse the plant in the name of ‘relaxation’, ‘amusement’ and ‘connection’ rather than finding it within themselves to access that potential naturally. In many ways, marijuana is used by ‘smokers’ like alcohol to alcoholics. And though it is true that the effects of marijuana ‘abuse’ are not violent as alcohol has the potential to be, and pot does not harm the organs like booze, for the one who smokes regularly, a dulling of the senses takes place that is unavoidable.
Ask anyone who has smoked pot for an extended period of time and then quit. Nearly the majority would likely agree that they experienced a ‘parting of the fog’ where they realized how much the plant had been holding them back. Now, in the beginning of use, the opposite is often true, where smoking can ‘part the veil’, opening consciousness up to new realities before unseen. The question remains, is legalizing cannabis a step ahead in awareness?
Many use the smoking of pot as a tool to connect with others, to create harmony and unity in a group of people. I have both seen and participated in it many times. However, the act of offering such a powerful substance in a group setting to someone who desires to be included, yet is not equipped to handle the plant, nor to say ‘no’ confidently, can be a detrimental experience.
Too much regulation outside of the ‘self’, imposed by government, religion or any other organization is never the most enlightened, nor beneficial action, for it prevents individuals from taking responsibility for their own actions and levels of awareness. Thus, legalizing a plant which grows naturally, without any alterations to its make up, is always a positive improvement toward living in harmony with nature. For how can we think that we can regulate nature and what she produces? Surely there is a purpose for everything that grows, if we can but find and honor that purpose.
Many argue for the consciousness-raising benefits of cannabis and compare its influence to other sacred medicinal plants such as peyote, ayahuasca, and psilocybin mushrooms, though few would indulge in these substances as frequently and nonchalantly as they do marijuana. Considering the nature of such a plant, it perhaps ought to be regarded with the same level of honor as these other powerful substances and taken in with less frequency in order to maintain that regard.
I do not pretend to know the answers, only the questions to raise for those who continue to light the pipe in the name of progress and consciousness. To these people I speak. To these people my soul begs to ask the question of why you continue to smoke? Is there an issue avoided by hiding behind the smoke? Is there an over-riding benefit felt granted by this plant that can be found no other way? Is there a disconnection happening with what is before you- when smoking? What is the relationship had with this plant?
Is medical cannabis a step ahead into greater consciousness? Perhaps in once sense, as we allow the plant – a natural part of the world – to grow without restriction. In another sense, the excuse becomes larger to smoke more, and rely on the self to learn to ‘shift at will’ – less. Maybe it is just a transitional state between two worlds, and as the plant becomes more ‘common place’ and no longer restricted, the interest in it will wane. The plant itself is beautiful, fragrant and has the energy of a powerful, sensual woman. Who would not be enticed by her loveliness? However, if we are to evolve as a society, the conscious population must stand in clarity, not fog.
I would love to hear a conversation start regarding this plant – from the perspective of consciousness.
Written by: Stasia Bliss